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Thursday, March 7, 2013

Gendercide and the Pro-Life Movement

The Atlantic has an interesting article on gendercide - the selective abortion usually of female fetuses because they're female - in some cultures. Balanced and fair, for the most part, the article is not absolutely perfect. I reproduce in the following paragraphs a comment I posted there.

The article raises the notion that the pro-life side should be uncomfortable somehow with this documentary [which the article profiles about the practice of gendercide]. However, the articles does not do a good job as to articulating why. Infanticide IS a significant pro-life issue, although in the US it is not a very common problem because all the states have laws against it. [The article mentions infanticide as an alternative to abortion for gendercide among women who can't get an abortion, and then implies the pro-life movement isn't very active against it.] After all the pro-life side is very active in advocacy against late term abortions where the baby is basically delivered, and in opposing "bioethicists" who are floating the idea of "post-birth abortions."

The comments here [in the article's combox], however, show that the author is right about one thing. The notion of gendercide tends to get sucked into the debate about abortion generally. Both sides would do well to avoid polemics. I personally hold that human beings begin at conception and that is when an individual becomes a subject of natural rights, such as the right to continue living, but I also believe in being civilized in the debate.

Yet, the gendercide and abortion are closely related. Look -- and I encourage pro-choicers to remain calm and think clearly, because I'm not trying to get you mad -- if abortion is ethical and permissible, then a woman doesn't even NEED a reason to get one other than because she wants to. But if she has a reason, that's her personal decision, and SHE can consider sex can as just another genetic trait she doesn't want in her child. Gendercide should therefore be acceptable as well, because after all, it's the woman's choice. Further, it is impossible to know a woman's interior choice - if she wants a boy but has a girl, she can say she doesn't want to be pregnant right now, which is true, and get an abortion for that reason alone. Finally, if a fetus is not a person, then it cannot be a "girl" because a "girl" is a young female person. Therefore, gendercide through abortion is a big non-issue if abortion itself is ok.

Now, if a fetus is not a person, and yet it is nonetheless wrong to abort a fetus because of its FUTURE status as a human girl, then abortion generally should also be wrong because of the fetus' FUTURE status as a human being. And that is the real reason abortion exists - because a human person will be born without an abortion.

Finally, if the notion of coercion to get an abortion does not appeal to the pro-abortion side, and it shouldn't, they really need to do a better job of advocating a woman's choice to keep her baby when she wants to in a more general way.

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