A few years ago, Douglas Almond and Lena Edlund of Columbia University were looking at data from the 2000 census. They noticed that immigrants from China, Korea and India had fewer American-born daughters than you would expect.
Whereas among native-born whites, the male-to-female ratio – 1.05 to 1 – was constant regardless of family size, that wasn’t the case in families from these three countries. If the oldest child was a girl, then sex ratio for the second child jumped to 1.17 to 1 in favor of boys. And if the first two children were girls, the sex ratio for third children soared to amazing 1.5 boys for every 1 girl.
The conclusion was inescapable: These families were practicing sex selection to ensure they had a son. As I have told you previously, this practice is common in Asia: by some estimates, there are 100 million fewer girls alive today than there should be. The combination of pre-natal testing and abortion, coupled with a strong cultural preference for sons, has created a shortage of females in Asia.
Almond and Endlund’s research showed that the practice accompanied immigrants to the U.S. Another study of two San Francisco-area abortion clinics found that 89 percent of the South Asian patients carrying females had an abortion during the period covered by the study. For many of the women, it wasn’t their first sex-selection abortion.
The reasons behind these abortions demonstrate how hollow phrases like “choice” and “reproductive rights” really are. Writing in Forbes magazine, Richard Miniter described how these women, “pregnant with daughters, reported incredible pressure by in-laws and husbands to produce sons and not daughters.”
They were threatened with “divorce or abandonment ... beaten, choked or [even kicked in their] abdomen in the hopes of preventing a daughter,” he wrote. Remember, this is happening in the Bay area, not in some Indian village. And the pressures that lead to sex-selection abortion are felt even by women with graduate or professional degrees.
If there is one restriction on abortion the vast majority of Americans support, it is eliminating sex-selection abortion. Yet many of those who, in theory, should be most troubled by the targeting of unborn females are adamantly opposed to outlawing the practice.
I’m speaking, of course, of feminists and their allies. Ironically, they have come out in opposition to a bill, the Prenatal Discrimination Act, or PRENDA, which would ban the selected abortion of females in the U.S.
They claim that PRENDA would “stigmatize some women ... from exercising their fundamental human right to make and implement decisions about their reproductive lives.”
It’s hard to imagine a statement less grounded in reality: The women in question are being kept from making and implementing these decisions right now. The law as it stands facilitates the coercion that forces women to abort their daughters. It’s easier for a husband to pressure his wife into aborting her unborn daughter here in the U.S. than in India or China, where sex-selection abortions are illegal.
Pro-abortion forces are insisting that PRENDA is a “ploy.” Now look folks, the fact of the matter is that the feminist cannot live with the logic consequences of their own worldview. And if you can’t, what that proves is that worldview, the feminist worldview, is false.
Chuck Colson's daily BreakPoint commentary airs each weekday on more than one thousand outlets with an estimated listening audience of one million people. BreakPoint provides a Christian perspective on today's news and trends via radio, interactive media and print.
Publication date: December 27, 2011