In the last two years, international organizations and Asian nations have stepped up their efforts to eliminate sex-selective abortions, which have created a massive dearth of girls in many nations over the past 20 years. With the new year, some new statistics have been released. The result of these efforts? The sex imbalance continues to worsen, not improve, thanks to the ever-increasing spread of cheap abortion and ultrasound technology into more and more areas of China, India, and other countries.
One expert who spoke at the United Nations estimates that up to 200 million women and girls are missing worldwide because of sex-selective abortion and female infanticide. Some experts put the figure as low as 60 million. All agree it gets bigger every day.
With rapidly growing Asian and Muslim immigrant communities in the United States, will a sex ratio imbalance soon emerge here, unless sex-selective abortion is outlawed? Last year, a Zogby/USA Today poll found that 86% of Americans oppose sex-selective abortions. Sex imbalances have already been documented among Canada’s Asian immigrant communities.
Feminists like to blame this rapidly-worsening situation on “patriarchy,” but that has been around for thousands of years and is less powerful today than ever before. What is new, is the access to abortion in so many places. And this has long been a paramount goal of feminists: To grant the “right to control her own body” to each woman on Earth via unrestricted abortion. That, combined with falling prices for the ultrasound machines that can reveal an unborn child’s sex, has produced the disastrous situation that the Asian world is in now.
And just how, exactly, are men on the whole supposed to benefit from being unable to find wives? By 2020, 30 million Chinese men of marriageable age are expected to be in that situation because of 30 million “missing” young women. Many historians warn that a large number of unmarried men in a society is a recipe for social unrest and war. The kidnapping of women for forced marriage and prostitution is already increasing exponentially in Asia. This is a disaster for both sexes and society as a whole.
The great experiment of feminism, just 40 years or so old as a social force, has produced this wonder: The ever-growing elimination of more and more girls worldwide. And so far, nothing can stop it. Indeed, from the feminist perspective, how or why should it be stopped? If women have a right to an abortion, why can they not exercise it on the basis of sex selection? Is the abortion her choice, or the government’s?
Also, beyond mere personal preference, many women and their husbands have rational reasons for preferring sons over daughters. For example, most Chinese still live on farms barely above subsistence level. A son is better able to perform the hard work that farm life demands than a daughter. Sons and sons’ wives traditionally care for the sons’ parents, while daughters join their husbands’ families.
When you consider that China’s Communist government forcibly limits Chinese families to one or two children, it’s no surprise that Chinese couples employ abortion to ensure having a son while staying under the limit. They murder their own children to comply with the law while ensuring their own survival in old age. Some Indian states, too, employ coercive practices to limit family size to two. Western feminists supported population control from the very beginning, believing that fewer children would liberate women from the “oppression” of motherhood. And tax, spending, and economic pressures all over the developed world have made child-raising very expensive.
Outlawing sex-selective abortion has not made any difference in China and India. There is no way to enforce such a ban when abortion laws are so permissive. The only solution, of course, is a return to a culture that values all human life, and legal protection for unborn children. Growing sex ratio imbalances provide strong evidence for the practical arguments against abortion, separate from moral ones. Some large societies could simply fall apart if abortion is not restrained.
Let’s look at some of the statistics for the sex imbalances that the brave new world of abortion has wreaked in just two decades. According to China Daily, 118 Chinese boys were born for every 100 Chinese girls last year, up from 110 just five years earlier. The maximum natural imbalance is 107 boys per 100 girls. The 118-100 Chinese split is just for births and doesn’t account for the far greater number of girls than boys who are allowed to starve to death as children, or who are sent off to ill-managed government orphanages (95% of Chinese orphans are girls). In prosperous Guangdong province in southern China, the ratio has reached 130 boys per 100 girls, proving that financial hardship is not the primary cause of this phenomenon. UNICEF estimates that there are only 832 girls per 1,000 boys in China, making the world’s largest country also its most sex-imbalanced.
India, the world’s second-largest nation, has the second-worst sex ratio, with 927 girls for every 1,000 boys. Again, poverty is not the primary root cause: In the Indian state with the highest per capita income, Punjab, the imbalance is 793 girls for every 1,000 boys. Fifteen years ago, when India was poorer and abortion and ultrasound less affordable, it was 874 per 1,000 in Punjab. Sex imbalances in China and India really matter, because together, these two countries have over one-third of the Earth’s population. UNICEF, no opponent of abortion in general, says 7,000 fewer girls are now born in India each day than nature would dictate, and ten million have been killed during pregnancy or just after in the past 20 years.
Taiwan has 110 boys born for every 100 girls, and South Korea has 108.
The Toronto Globe & Mail has noticed a slight tendency toward sex-selection among South Asian immigrant communities. Focusing on the areas in which many of these immigrants have chosen to settle, the newspaper reported, “Figures from the 2001 census supplied by Statistics Canada suggest a slight skew in the usual gender ratio among people with South Asian backgrounds. . . . According to the 2001 census data, the proportion of girls under 15 in the South Asian communities of Mississauga and Brampton is two percentage points below the ratio for the rest of the population in those municipalities.”
That’s not nearly as bad as in India, where the difference is 6%, or China, where it is 12%. Yet, as these communities grow rapidly and become less and less assimilated with their host country—which the Globe & Mail says is the trend—will sex-selective abortion increase?
Sex imbalances are worsening in Middle Eastern and African countries as well, with abortion and ultrasound gradually penetrating traditional cultures there. Can Europe, with its expanding immigrant communities and shrinking native populations, be immune?
Reliable data on the United States’ immigrant communities is hard to come by. Certainly, the United States as a whole has no unnatural imbalance in her boy-girl ratio.
Should we wait for this problem to develop into a substantial one here before taking action? As Americans, we should ensure that this immoral and socially destructive habit does not become entrenched here as our Chinese and other immigrant communities continue their rapid growth. China and India outlawed sex-selective abortion years ago, to no effect, and their societies are headed over a cliff. Here in the United States, with our more effective regulatory structure, we should outlaw this practice and seek to eliminate it elsewhere around the world before this crisis gets any worse.
The worsening sex ratio of the world in general, and Asia in particular, is proof that abortion-on-demand isn’t practical.