I linked to this story/study in the Hot Headlines this morning but thought it deserved more attention. The NYT reports on China’s boy baby bias and how “sex-selective” abortion has, in part, played a significant role in the lopsided male-to-female ratio (via Memeo):
BEIJING — A bias in favor of male offspring has left China with 32 million more boys under the age of 20 than girls, creating “an imminent generation of excess men,” a study released Friday said.
For the next 20 years, China will have increasingly more men than women of reproductive age, according to the paper, which was published online by the British Medical Journal. “Nothing can be done now to prevent this,” the researchers said.
Chinese government planners have long known that the urge of couples to have sons was skewing the gender balance of the population. But the study, by two Chinese university professors and a London researcher, provides some of the first hard data on the extent of the disparity and the factors contributing to it.
In 2005 , they found, births of boys in China exceeded births of girls by more than 1.1 million. There were 120 boys born for every 100 girls.
This disparity seems to surpass that of any other country, they said — a finding, they wrote, that was perhaps unsurprising in light of China’s one-child policy.
They attributed the imbalance almost entirely to couples’ decisions to abort female fetuses.
The trend toward more male than female children intensified steadily after 1986, they said, as ultrasound tests and abortion became more available. “Sex-selective abortion accounts for almost all the excess males,” the paper said.
The researchers, who analyzed data from a 2005 census, said the disparity was widest among children ages 1 to 4, a sign that the greatest imbalances among the adult population lie ahead. They also found more distortion in provinces that allow rural couples a second child if the first is a girl, or in cases of hardship.
Those couples were determined to ensure they had at least one son, the researchers noted. Among children born second, there were 143 boys for 100 girls, the data showed.
Legal Insurrection, a blog that notes this is also a huge problem in India, comments:
Attempts to impose sex-selective abortion restrictions in the U.S. have met with opposition. In part this opposition is based on constitutional principles (per Roe v. Wade), but may also be based on the fact that there is evidence that there is no male-gender preference in the U.S. If government could question the motive of a woman in seeking an abortion, and deny access based on that motive, then the right to abortion would be restricted.
Supporters of unrestricted abortion, such as the Center for Reproductive Rights, support China’s efforts to ban sex-selective abortions, based on principles of non-discrimination against women. But it seems as if the CRR and other pro-choice groups are trying to have it both ways. If a woman has a right to choose, then who is the CRR or the government to decide what is the right choice? Or is this Western hypocrisy at its worst, giving women in wealthy Western countries choices of which women in poorer countries are deprived?
This is not unlike liberal gay groups who unconditionally support abortion … except in the event of people aborting babies after discovering (somewhere in the future?) that their baby has the “gay gene.”
All of this goes to show the abject moral bankruptcy of the “strongly pro-abortion” position amongst the hard left. For years, these same liberals (and those before them) have preached that a woman has the right to abort “for whatever reason” – officially, they allege that most women abort due to “health reasons” but unofficially it’s more about supporting that “right” for notably for economic reasons (allegedly can’t support the baby) or convenience reasons (they don’t want a baby around to interfere with their social lives). But when it comes to “sex-selective” abortions and “gay gene” abortions, their arguments suddenly fall flat on their faces. If it’s not ok to abort based on sex and “gay genes,” then why on earth should it be acceptable to abort over financial/convenience reasons?
At least UK “family-planning” groups are consistent. A move last year by a conservative MP to outlaw abortions based on “health abnormalities” like a cleft palate or a club foot was opposed by said groups because, ‘the move could open a legal minefield, raising the question of why other ‘abnormalities’ are not similarly ruled out.’
Let’s hope liberal feminists and other devout abortion supporters here in the US don’t become smart enough to make such arguments. Frankly, I’m not worried, as evidently their desire to see more of “their kind” outweighs their obsession over a woman’s “right to choose.” I’m still trying to determine which position is more self-centered.
- 10/24/07 – (UK) Babies with minor disabilities aborted