Hi readers. Thanks for coming by.
As a person who never had an abortion and never intend to have one I’m either not qualified to have an opinion about anything related to the subject, or, I’m uniquely qualified by virtue of being potentially unbiased. And because of my ambiguous position on the matter I was unaware of a battle raging worldwide over the concepts of ‘femicide’, ‘gendercide’, and ‘missing women’ with emphasis on abortion as a contributing factor.
Sex-selective abortion in the context of abortion
MacPherson estimates that 100,000 sex-selective abortions every year continue to be performed in India. For a contrasting perspective, in the United States with a population 1⁄4th of India, over 1.2 million abortions every year were performed between 1990-2007. In England and Wales with a population 1⁄20th of India, over 189,000 abortions were performed in 2011, or a yearly rate of 17.5 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–44. The average for the European Union was 30 abortions per year per 1,000 women.
Many scholars have noted the difficulty in reconciling the discriminatory nature of sex-selective abortion with the right of women to have control over their own bodies. This conflict manifests itself primarily when discussing laws about sex-selective abortion. Weiss (1995:205) writes: “The most obvious challenge sex-selective abortion represents for pro-choice feminists is the difficulty of reconciling a pro-choice position with moral objections one might have to sex selective abortion (especially since it has been used primarily on female fetuses), much less the advocacy of a law banning sex-selective abortion.” As a result, arguments both for and against sex-selective abortion are typically highly reflective of one’s own personal beliefs about abortion in general. Warren (1985:104) argues that there is a difference between acting within one’s rights and acting upon the most morally sound choice, implying that sex-selective abortion might be within rights but not morally sound. Warren also notes that, if we are to ever reverse the trend of sex-selective abortion and high sex ratios, we must work to change the patriarchy-based society which breeds the strong son preference. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sex-selective_abortion
And thus arises the concept of [statistical] ‘missing women’:
Estimates of missing women
Estimates of implied missing girls, considering the “normal” birth sex ratio to be the 103–107 range, vary considerably between researchers and underlying assumptions for expected post-birth mortality rates for men and women. For example, a 2005 study estimated that over 90 million females were “missing” from the expected population in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, India, Pakistan, South Korea and Taiwan alone, and suggested that sex-selective abortion plays a role in this deficit. For early 1990s, Sen estimated 107 million missing women, Coale estimated 60 million as missing, while Klasen estimated 89 million missing women in China, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, West Asia and Egypt. Guilmoto, in his 2010 report, uses recent data (except for Pakistan), and estimates a much lower number of missing girls, but notes that the higher sex ratios in numerous countries have created a gender gap – shortage of girls – in the 0–19 age group.
Country Gender gap
0-19 age group (2010)
% of minor
Region Majority Religion Afghanistan 265,000 3.0 South Asia Islam Albania 21,000 4.2 Southeast Europe Islam Armenia 35,000 8.4 Caucasus Christianity Azerbaijan 111,000 8.3 Caucasus Islam Bangladesh 416,000 1.4 South Asia Islam China 25,112,000 15.0 East Asia Georgia 24,000 4.6 Caucasus Christianity India 12,618,000 5.3 South Asia Hindu Montenegro 3,000 3.6 Southeast Europe Christianity Nepal 125,000 1.8 South Asia Hindu Pakistan 206,000 0.5 South Asia Islam South Korea 336,000 6.2 East Asia Singapore 21,000 3.5 Southeast Asia Buddhist Viet Nam 139,000 1.0 Southeast Asia Buddhist
All of which brings up some arresting questions. Such as, is it possible to commit a gender-crime against a statistical human being that was legally erased as a fetus [whether it was aborted because of gender, or simply because it represented an inconvenience for the mother]? Outside the context of statistics how can a parent who knows the sex of the fetus and chooses to abort be accused of doing it for the wrong reasons? And what use is a law forbidding abortion for reasons that can only be known by the person making the decision to abort.
Maybe I’m wrong, but my understanding is that inside the US a fetus does not become ‘human’, a person with legal rights, until it exits the body of the mother. It doesn’t even have the rights of a corporation, which, as it happens, is human.
So how the hell can legions of non-human fetuses result in legions of ‘missing women’ after they reach statistical adulthood?
I’ll confess the whole damned thing is too much for my aging comprehension.
Makes me glad I never had an abortion, considering how I might be haunted by legions of missing ghost adults swarming around making statistical nuisances of themselves.