Give People Choices and They Might Choose!

Mothers would rather abort their daughters than their sons, how sexist!

Ever since Roe v Wade short-circuited the political process and declared abortions to be legal regardless of state laws or local desires, feminists have stridently defended what they call a "woman's right to choose."  They assert that what a woman does with her body is a matter of concern only between herself and her doctors.  In practice, this has meant that women can have abortions pretty much on demand without consulting the men involved.

When the House of Representatives passed their version of Obamacare which prohibited the government from requiring insurance companies to fund abortions, feminists were enraged that the House would compromise "women's rights" in order to gain power over the national health system.  To a feminist, "women's rights" means not only the right to choose an abortion for any reason or for no reason, it also means that someone else should pay for the procedure.

For reasons obscure to us at Scragged, feminists don't seem to have anticipated how their drive for a woman's right to choose would work out in other places.  Overseas women are as fiercely protective of their "right to choose" an abortion as the most rabid feminist could wish, but they seem to be almost exclusively choosing to abort girl babies while hanging on to their sons.

In fact, women are choosing to abort so many of their girl babies that there's a serious woman shortage in most of Asia.  The Economist cover story "Gendercide, the war on baby girls" reports:

IMAGINE you are ... expecting your first child in a fast-growing, poor country. You ... want a small family. But traditional mores hold sway around you, most important in the preference for sons over daughters. ... Perhaps only sons may inherit land. Perhaps a daughter is deemed to join another family on marriage and you want someone to care for you when you are old. Perhaps she needs a dowry.

Now imagine that you have had an ultrasound scan; it costs $12, but you can afford that. The scan says the unborn child is a girl. You yourself would prefer a boy; the rest of your family clamours for one. You would never dream of killing a baby daughter, as they do out in the villages. But an abortion seems different. What do you do?

For millions of couples, the answer is: abort the daughter, try for a son. In China and northern India more than 120 boys are being born for every 100 girls.  [emphasis added]

Asians have preferred sons over daughters for thousands of years.  The Economist spoke of not killing a baby daughter "as they do out in the villages" for good reason.  Before ultrasound made it possible to determine the sex of an unborn child and before abortions became safe enough to be used routinely, Asians routinely murdered unwanted girl babies.

In classical China, the only old-age pension system available was to have enough sons to support you when you couldn't work any more.  A girl joined her husband's family and helped take care of her in-laws; raising a girl and providing her dowry brought no benefit to her parents.  According to Mjngello, David E., Drowning Girls in Ancient China: female infanticide since 1650 (Rowman & Littlefield, 2008) p 21, parents put female infants to death either to save food or to stop the woman from nursing so that she could try again for a son as soon as possible.

Although infanticide was relatively common, it was frowned on.  Chinese literature tells of parents being cursed by the spirits of murdered daughters and of mothers grieving for their lost children.

Even today, Asians recognize that having an abortion can cause a woman to become depressed.  Japanese shrines offer "grieving ceremonies" for women who've lost a baby either though miscarriage or abortion so that they can find peace within themselves.

The stigma attached to infanticide, even when killing unneeded baby girls, was such that normal reproductive processes never became skewed enough to cause enough of a woman shortage to destabilize society.  Today's modern ultrasound technology has allowed women far more accuracy and less unpleasant messiness in choosing whom to abort.

Even though they support a woman's right to choose, the Economist is concerned:

...the cumulative consequence for societies of such individual actions is catastrophic. China alone stands to have as many unmarried young men-"bare branches", as they are known-as the entire population of young men in America. In any country rootless young males spell trouble; in Asian societies, where marriage and children are the recognised routes into society, single men are almost like outlaws. Crime rates, bride trafficking, sexual violence, even female suicide rates are all rising and will rise further as the lopsided generations reach their maturity.  [emphasis added]

Social stability tends to rely on most men being able to marry; women have a noticeably civilizing influence on their husbands.  Desperate men are known to turn to desperate measures.

The woman shortage has created some bizarre and startling effects in the dating game.  A Chinese college student recently posted a notice that she was looking for a boyfriend.  The not-unattractive Zhang Mengqian anticipated that perhaps one or two men might respond.

She had not thought through the implications of one simple statistic: her college has 25 men enrolled for every woman.  Instead of a few potential boyfriends, a mob of thousands showed up.  Prudently, she chose not to go down to meet them lest she be torn into little pieces in the resulting scrum.  Result: one still-single girl and thousands of even-more-irritated single guys.

South Korea, where 117 boys were born for every 100 girls in 1990, is rich enough to import brides from other countries.  By 2008, 11% of the marriages were between Korean men and imported women, exacerbating the woman shortage in their countries of origin.  The resulting mixed-race children are not always seen as "fully Korean" - because genetically, they're manifestly not - and ugly racial incidents have ensued.

Allowing women to freely choose to reduce the number of girls born all over the world was certainly not what American feminists had in mind.  They've been talking about passing laws outlawing abortion for the purpose of sex selection, but they've protested so long and so stridently against any restrictions on abortion that it's hard for them to make a case for restricting abortion in any way.  If you can argue against restricting partial-birth abortions and argue that doctors shouldn't be required to take care of aborted babies who're born alive by mistake, how can you argue against choice on the basis of sex?

In so doing, decades of relentless propagandizing by Western feminists have created a demographic mess dwarfing our American problems with collapsing families: China, India, and the rest of Southeast Asia which suffer most from lack of women have about half the world's population.

When people have the "right to choose," they may not always choose the way our self-proclaimed leaders want them to.  We can't have people choosing differently from what our leaders would approve, now can we?

Maybe, for the sake of World Peace, we need a different slogan: "It's a Child, Not A Choice."

Will Offensicht is a staff writer for and an internationally published author by a different name.  Read other articles by Will Offensicht or other articles on Society.
Reader Comments
Cue the unspoken rationale for a future war? "China needs women"?

March 30, 2010 7:53 AM
We could send them Nancy Pelosi... that'd put the Chinese guys right off women altogether.
March 30, 2010 8:25 AM
LOL, Patience. Brilliant!
March 30, 2010 9:17 AM
No, she'd do no damage at all. Most of those countries have a relatively brisk attitude towards what they consider to be "nonsense from females." They'd whip her into line in a couple of days, no harm done. Ever hear of "honor killing?" Flogging can be quite persuasive.
March 30, 2010 6:09 PM
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