According to this report, thousands of Indian women took to the street this weekend to protest sex-selection abortion. Good for them. India is described as the heartland of sex-selection abortion and the numbers certainly are disheartening. For example, in 2001, there were 921 girls born for every 1000 boys in India; in some Indian states, the ratio was lower still — 793 girls for every 1000 boys in Punjab. A IDRC co-authored report found 300 girls born for very 1000 boys among high caste urban Punjabis! And census data from 1901 to the present show that in recent years the disparity has been getting worse, not better. One would have thought it was getting easier to be a woman and therefore to raise a daughter in India. But apparently not.
I think that most women, pro-choice or not, realize that there is something wrong with aborting a baby just because it’s a girl. But if sex-selection abortion is wrong, because it undermines the value and equality of girls, isn’t eugenic abortion just as wrong, as it undermines the value and equality of the disabled? Is it worse to have an abortion because you’re expected to bear sons for your husband and family or because this just isn’t the right time to have a baby?
This must be a tricky path for the abortion advocate to navigate. It must be hard to argue that abortion is a purely personal matter when it can result in more than 5 million missing Indian baby girls.by