“It was we, the people; not we, the white male citizens; nor yet we, the male citizens; but we, the whole people, who formed the Union…. Men, their rights and nothing more; women, their rights and nothing less” – Susan B. Anthony
(Author’s note: this is not a post about pay equity – it concerns a far more grave issue.)
I caught an article today in the Wall Street Journal titled The War Against Girls by Jonathan Last. It was a book review on Unnatural Selection, by Mara Hvistendahl ($17.81 at Amazon). The review, and apparently the book, echoes comments we’ve made in the past regarding the selective abortion of females, predominantly in India and southwest Asia. No doubt our prior comments were echoes of some other work on the subject – but the article (and presumably the book, which I haven’t read) gives some better statistics, and even considers some further implications of the massive gender imbalance that is forming.
First, the biological statistics. There are more boys born than girls, as a general rule. Men live shorter lives and are more fragile in infancy, so it all washes out even in the end. For every 100 female live births there are between 104 and 106 male live births; and Mr. Last notes “any other number is the result of unnatural events.”
In India that number stands at 112, and 120 in China. These statistics are well known, you can find them on wikipedia (which means they must be right – they’re on the internet!). Mr. Last then quotes some even more interesting numbers. In South Korea, 1989, the number stood at 104 for first births, but grew to 113 for second children, 185 for third children, and 209 for fourth children. Desperate to have a boy, parents would abort subsequent girls (no evidence is presented that the opposite ever happens).
What is more interesting, from the standpoint of analysis, is the claim by Ms. Hvistendahl that “historically, societies in which men substantially outnumber women are not nice places to live. Often they are unstable. Sometimes they are violent.” If she is right, one suspects history may soon repeat itself.
What I find most troubling (though not surprising) is quotations and interviews that she offers with pro-abortion groups, and people like Paul Ehrlich (he of “population bomb” fame). The “earth is getting overcrowded and we have to put a stop to it” crowd still lauds this development. Apparently gendercide is seen as quite a useful tool to control population.
So what shall we do?
Well, obviously we pray. There are millions of girls in India and China (and neighboring countries) who are in grave danger of being kidnapped and forced into marriage or sexual slavery. (Side note: if you’re interested in helping rescue little girls from brothels in India, project rescue is a great way to get involved.)
We’ll pray for these countries as well. If the predictions that huge surpluses of men cause serious violence, then one suspects China and India could be in for some hard times over the course of the next generation. (Couple that with economic woes, and watch out. Information is spotty, but reports are swirling that protests are becoming a regular affair in China, of all places.)
We’ll keep making the arguments. Abortion has served to kill more girls than boys. As an unintended consequence of this, huge gender imbalances have appeared, which puts girls at great risk. It dehumanizes them by turning them into more and more of a commodity – and a high value one at that – increasing the risk of capture, slavery, torture, rape … you name it.
Ideas have consequences. This one, this notion that “abortion is empowering” and a natural right under “reproductive freedom” has caused serious harm to those it presumed to protect.