January 25, 2012 (LiveAction.org) - Several countries in South Asia are notorious for killing girls—before or after birth. In fact, it’s considered a “practice” in these countries. Parents who can afford an ultrasound to find out if their baby is a girl and pay for an abortion often do so. Poorer parents just wait until their baby is born. If she’s a girl, she’s killed or left to die alone. The countries participating in this gendercide are China, India, Taiwan, South Korea, Pakistan, and likely more.
The U.N. has reported that 113-200 million girls and women who should be here aren’t. They are “the missing.” Many of these missing girls were aborted or killed after birth. The U.N. specifically attributes these figures to infanticide or girls not getting as much food and medical attention as their brothers or fathers. To put it in perspective, Ram Mashru reports, “India and China are said to eliminate more female infants than the number of girls born in the US each year.”
In 2005, the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) put out a researched document entitled Women in an Insecure World. Although with horrors committed against women such as “honor killings,” acid attacks for refusing a suitor, sexual exploitation, and human trafficking, this document mentions the effect that female gendercide has had on the world. Taking all of these horrors together (with the abortions and infanticide contributing the largest numbers of deaths), here’s what DCAF wrote:
The number of the ‘missing’ women, killed for gender-related reasons, is of the same order of magnitude as the estimated 191 million human beings who have lost their lives directly or indirectly as a result of all the conflicts and wars of the 20th century—which was, with two world wars and numerous other murderous conflicts, the most violent period in human history so far.
A sustained demographic ‘deficit’ of 100-200 million women implies that each year 1.5-3 million girls and women are killed through gender related violence. In comparison: each year, some 2.8 million people die of AIDS, 1.27 million of malaria. Or, put in the most horrible terms: violence against women causes every 2-4 years a mountain of corpses equal to the Jewish Holocaust.
This is horrific, on so many levels. But female gendercide is the natural consequence of “free choice” for all. When people believe that the lives of their children are in their own hands and that they can choose to either keep or kill an already created child, this is exactly what happens. We thought that abortion and “choice” would give us a world where women were empowered and valued to a greater degree. It has given us just the opposite. StopIt is no surprise, given their track record, that Planned Parenthood and NARAL–organizations who claim to be so pro-woman–actually oppose sex-selection abortion bans.
The mindset prevalent in South Asia isn’t a whole lot different from the mindset of abortion supporters in the U.S. Now, I know many of you are going to object to this. Very few Americans actually abort their children based on gender (though it definitely happens). However, what’s the point behind aborting a female child? In South Asia, it’s not convenient to give birth to a daughter. You have to pay a dowry for her; she doesn’t earn you any money (unless, of course, you sell her into human trafficking, but that’s a whole separate issue.) Sound familiar? In American, if it’s not convenient for us to have a baby; if the baby will cost us too much money, we just kill it. Same problem; same answer.
Now, granted, there are far more problems in South Asia related to the killing of little women than we have here in the U.S. For example, some mothers are in fear of their own lives if they do not produce a male heir. Other women fear that, since their government only allows them to have one child, only a son can provide for them in their old age. Do these reasons justify the abortions or infanticide of girls? No. They don’t. But, we can admit that any woman who keeps her daughter in spite of these circumstances is a very brave person.
What’s doubly sad is that female gendercide often includes women killing women. So much for women’s empowerment. Mothers—or their women friends—are usually the ones to perform an abortion if they can’t afford a doctor. Mothers are often the ones to strangle or otherwise murder their daughters after birth. Women killing women. What a sad world “choice” has brought us.
Be on the lookout for “It’s a Girl”, a documentary coming out later this year that discusses this widespread tragedy of killing girls before and after they are born.
Reprinted with permission from the Live Action blog