The Real War on Women: Baby Girls in Peril
Never mind the phony “war on women” contraception controversy concocted by the Left to help get President Obama re-elected. There is a real gender war being launched against females around the world, as documented in a provocative article titled “The Global War Against Baby Girls”by Nicholas Eberstadt of the American Enterprise Institute. Specifically, Mr. Eberstadt, a political economist and a demographer, is referring to the practice of “sex-selective feticide, implemented through the practice of surgical abortion with the assistance of information gained through prenatal gender determination technology.”
The Obama administration is indifferent to the spreading use of abortion to deliberately control the growth of the female population. This should not be surprising, considering that, as a state senator in Illinois, Barack Obama consistently refused to support legislation that would define an infant who survives a late-term induced-labor abortion as a human being with the right to live.
And, as I will discuss below, left-wing feminists are perfectly willing to ignore the war against future generations of baby girls if it means preserving abortion on demand at all costs.
Without the deliberate tilting of the scales against the birth of baby girls through gender-discriminatory abortions, the normal sex ratio at birth (SRB) for large human populations has tended to be in the range of 105 newborn boys for every 100 newborn girls. There are millions upon millions of new “missing baby girls” each year, whom Eberstadt defines as the number of baby girls who would have been expected to be born based on the normal biological sex ratio at birth, but were not given a chance to live because of sex-selective feticide.
Eberstadt documents the tragic statistics in his article, starting with China, where girls are not valued as highly as boys. Anti-female eugenics by abortion has resulted in a sex ratio at birth approaching 120 in China – more than 14% over the expected natural biological norm. Eberstadt provides detailed SRB figures by Chinese province, with the ratio reaching more than 130 newborn boys for every 100 newborn girls in at least two provinces.
China has a coercive population control program known as the “One Child Only” policy. Although Beijing officially outlawed prenatal sex determination in 1989, and criminalized sex-selective abortion in 2004, it does little to enforce those laws while concentrating its resources on enforcing its overall One Child Only program. That’s not to say that such enforcement is airtight. Some families do have more than one child. According to Eberstadt, the total number of births per woman per lifetime is estimated by the UN Population Division as averaging 1.64 for the 2005-2010 period, and by the U.S. Census Bureau International Data Base at 1.54 for the year 2010. However, the data show that Chinese families are more inclined to strictly adhere to the One Child Only edict by means of abortion if they learn that the second child would have been a girl.
“Chinese parents appear to have been generally willing to rely upon biological chance for the sex outcome of their first baby,” Eberstadt observed, “but with increasing frequency they have been relying upon health care technology and services to ensure that any second- or higher-order baby would be a boy.”
At work is the interplay of coercive governmental action and cultural norms. The Chinese government seeks to strictly control the overall population through the means of its enforced, but imperfect, One Child Only policy. Cultural norms in China that devalue the worth of girls, as compared to boys, have led many Chinese women to submit to abortions of prenatally identified female fetuses, particularly if they already have a child. The sex ratio at birth for children born after the first child has been “stratospheric,” according to Eberstadt. As of 2005, this ratio was an astonishing 143 for second births and rose to 156 for third births – 36% and 48% above the natural biological sex ratio respectively.
Eberstadt concluded that, to the extent there are births in a Chinese family beyond one child, they are heavily skewed on purpose towards male births:
“…there is absolutely no doubt that shockingly distorted sex ratios for newborns and children prevail in China today — and that these gender imbalances have increased dramatically during the decades of the One Child Policy…In effect, most of contemporary China’s abortions are thus intentional female feticides.”
The net result is that, through deliberate killing of fetuses identified as female by inexpensive prenatal gender determination ultrasonography, the population in China is being socially engineered to radically favor boys over girls.
Let’s not forget that Vice President Joe Biden said during his official visit to China: “I’m not second-guessing — of one child per family.” The “pro-women” Obama administration is also not second-guessing China’s use of abortions to deliberately extinguish the lives of little girls in the womb. Tragically, the Obama administration is making American taxpayers accessories to this calamity. It insists on contributing to the United Nations Population Fund, which helps China carry out its brutal population control policies.
China, while the most coercive in its eugenics policies, is far from the only country experiencing alarming unnatural disparities in the sex ratio at birth between boys and girls due to widespread abortions of female fetuses that have been gender identified by inexpensive obstetric ultrasonography. Eberstadt lists other countries in Asia with similarly high ratio disparities such as Singapore, Vietnam, and India where sex-selective abortion is technically illegal.
The sex-selective abortions cut across religious, educational, socio-economic lines.
However, Eberstadt identifies three forces contributing to this anti-female outcome in the Asian countries that he focused on. They are (1) “local mores that uphold a truly merciless preference for sons;” (2) “low or sub-replacement fertility trends which freight the gender outcome of each birth with extra significance for parents with extreme gender bias,” and (3) “easy and affordable abortion and prenatal sex diagnostics” that enable the eugenic manipulation of the population to favor males over females.
With globalization and increased mobility, intentional female feticides are becoming a world-wide phenomenon. Eberstadt estimates that over fifty countries and territories accounting for over 3.2 billion people, or nearly half of the world’s total population, have unnaturally high sex ratios at birth. The unnatural “girl deficit” for females 0-19 years of age as of 2010 are estimated to have totaled in the range of 32-33 million.
We are not just talking about underdeveloped or emerging nations, although China and India do account for a significant majority of the “missing baby girls.” The female feticide phenomenon has reached Europe and the United States.
“Sex-selective abortion is by now so widespread and so frequent that it has come to distort the population composition of the entire human species: this new and medicalized war against baby girls is indeed truly global in scale and scope,” concluded Eberstadt.
The lives of millions of prospective women have been snuffed out simply because their fetuses were identified as female. They never had a chance to live. This is the real war on women, and it is occurring today in the United States as well as in many other countries around the world. But left-wing feminists are AWOL in fighting this campaign of decimation of the female population. Instead, they are spending their time trying to convince American voters that people of faith are anti-women because they do not want to be forced to violate their own religious beliefs by having to fund contraception, sterilization and abortifacients such as “morning-after” pills.
Worse yet, pro-abortion groups such as Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice America and the American Civil Liberties Union are actually fighting legislative efforts in the U.S. Congress to ban intentional female feticides in the United States! They banded together with other pro-abortion groups to oppose a bill known as the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act. This measure would prohibit knowingly performing or financing sex-selection or race-based abortions. The woman seeking an abortion is exempted from prosecution or civil action, while abortion providers are held to account, according to the bill’s chief sponsor, Republican Arizona Congressman Trent Franks.
Every industrial nation has restricted abortion based on sex-selection, except for the United States at the federal level. Congressman Frank’s bill is premised on the finding that “sex-selection abortion is barbaric, and described by scholars and civil rights advocates as an act of sex-based or gender-based violence, predicated on sex discrimination.” The bill cites a report by two Columbia University economists published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, which examined the sex ratio of United States-born children and found “evidence of sex selection, most likely at the prenatal stage.”
Instead of working constructively to address the real war on females – the systematic elimination of unborn children of the undesired female gender – the pro-abortion crowd dismisses the importance of the issue in the United States and turns a blind eye to the innocent victims of female feticide both in this country and all over the world.
The shadow Democratic Party organization and Obama administration alter ego, the Center For American Progress, claimed in its ThinkProgress blog that Congressman Frank’s bill was an example of Republicans addressing “nonexistent problems” with “outlandish answers.” It labeled a conscientious effort to deal with documented cases of sex selection abortions as “the magnum opus of their 2011 campaign against a woman’s right to choose.”
As reflected in NARAL’s written testimony on the bill, the pro-abortionists are more concerned with accelerating “the advancement of reproductive rights” than they are about dealing with abusive abortions resulting in the most egregious form of sex discrimination. While paying lip service to condemning “gender bias that contributes to pressures to have a child of a particular sex,” they close their eyes to the use of abortion to commit gendercide. Instead, they think that integrating “public education with preventative-health programs” and “promoting fair pay and anti-discrimination policies in employment” are the answer.
Nancy Northup, president of Center for Reproductive Rights, called the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act an “anti-choice” measure that she ignorantly claimed was a “trumped up bill for a trumped up problem.” She went on to falsely characterize the bill as “a cynical and offensive attempt to evoke race and sex discrimination when actually it’s about taking women’s rights away.”
A writer on the Ms. Magazine blog used Orwellian logic to label a measure meant to prevent the deliberate decimation of future generations of women as “anti-woman legislation” because she thinks it interferes with ” bodily autonomy.”
Such left-wing ideologues will not even entertain an honest dialogue on the subject. Instead, they resort to their usual name-calling and intimidation tactics to shut down debate, while diverting public attention to manufactured controversies over access to contraception.
The Left’s hypocrisy regarding the war on women is exposed for all with their eyes open to see. The sad documented reality is that some pregnant women are coerced into submitting to sex selection abortions against their will because of pressure from their family members and their local community leaders who favor the birth of boys over girls. It is occurring right here in the United States of America. The self-proclaimed fighters against gender discrimination are little more than extremist pro-abortion advocates, who are willing to countenance the deliberate destruction of future generations of women to preserve the purity of their dogma of unrestricted abortion on demand for women today.