The War Against Girls

[Editor’s note: Abortion and birth control are issues central to feminism (yes, even with a minority like Feminists for Life out there holding the pro-life line), but the results of widespread abortion harm women. In particular, sex-selective abortion has destroyed far more girls than boys all over the world. This piece from the Wall Street Journal is sobering and should provoke us to think about long-term consequences. Abortion doesn’t just destroy life right now in this moment; it has repercussions down the generations.]

Mara Hvistendahl is worried about girls. Not in any political, moral or cultural sense but as an existential matter. She is right to be. In China, India and numerous other countries (both developing and developed), there are many more men than women, the result of systematic campaigns against baby girls. In “Unnatural Selection,” Ms. Hvistendahl reports on this gender imbalance: what it is, how it came to be and what it means for the future.

In nature, 105 boys are born for every 100 girls. This ratio is biologically ironclad. Between 104 and 106 is the normal range, and that’s as far as the natural window goes. Any other number is the result of unnatural events.

Yet today in India there are 112 boys born for every 100 girls. In China, the number is 121—though plenty of Chinese towns are over the 150 mark. China’s and India’s populations are mammoth enough that their outlying sex ratios have skewed the global average to a biologically impossible 107. But the imbalance is not only in Asia. Azerbaijan stands at 115, Georgia at 118 and Armenia at 120.

What is causing the skewed ratio: abortion. If the male number in the sex ratio is above 106, it means that couples are having abortions when they find out the mother is carrying a girl. By Ms. Hvistendahl’s counting, there have been so many sex-selective abortions in the past three decades that 163 million girls, who by biological averages should have been born, are missing from the world. Moral horror aside, this is likely to be of very large consequence.

Read the entire piece here.

2 thoughts on “The War Against Girls

  1. I saw this article the other day, and I have to agree with the author. Once a woman has a right to choose whether or not to abort, you can’t really tell her it’s ok to abort for one reason, but not ok for another. If abortions are not immoral, then it’s ok to do it whenever, for whatever reason, even if it’s a reason someone else doesn’t like. This is where the freedom to choose abortion leads.

    I wonder, does the author of the book think that you can abort as many unborn children as you’d like, so long as you don’t disrupt the gender balance? Instead of recognizing abortion for the evil that it is, as evidenced by the negative effects it’s had on societies that have embraced it, she prefers to believe that the solution is to educate those societies that value men over women, that women are not lesser creatures. That way if they choose to abort it has nothing to do with gender. How in the world we could police that, I don’t know. Someone could always lie and say they’re aborting for some other reason. Will they force these women to take lie detector tests? It’s ridiculous. If a woman has a right to choose to end the life of her offspring, then no one has a right to judge anyone else’s reasons for making that choice. But at least this article and the book will get people rethinking their stance on the morality of abortion.


  2. What gets me about the issue of sex-selective abortion, other than the obvious fact that abortion is murder, is that so many people who are otherwise pro-choice are against it. Why? Why is killing your unborn baby okay if you’re doing it so you can have a career or keep your man, or so you won’t have to be inconvenienced financially, any different from killing your unborn baby because it’s a girl? Motive is irrelevant because the end result is the same no matter what: a child whose life is snuffed out by the person who’s supposed to love him and protect him no matter what. It makes no sense to support some motives but not others, to say that in some cases an unborn baby isn’t a human and has no rights but that in other cases it’s human and deserves to live.

    The human race has so much to answer for…it kills me knowing that it’s legal for people to do this to society’s smallest and most helpless members.


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