(Editor’s note: The following text is the Message from the Catholic Organization for Life and Family on the occasion of the 2013 National March for Life)
Let us put an end to Female Foeticide in Canada
Every year 100,000 unborn Canadian children are extinguished before they have the opportunity to look into their mother’s eyes, to cut their first tooth, to take their first step, or to extend their arms in a gesture of unconditional love. The fact that we continue to tolerate this squandering of human life speaks volumes about our priorities as a nation.
The truth is that we have become a people whose highest value is that of “choice and autonomy”. But, we must ask ourselves, whose choice? Many who defend the so called “right” to abortion justify the horrifying practice by telling themselves that abortion is little more than the simple removal of a “clump of cells”.
When confronted with the reality of sex selective abortion all but the most hardened among them are given pause. Why? For two reasons: First, because, even in one’s own mind, it is impossible to perpetuate the myth that an unborn male or an unborn female, however small, is merely a “clump of cells” and secondly, because, at the end of the day, we all know that some choices are intolerable!
Nearly seven years have passed since an article in the Western Standard, by Andrea Mrozek, alerted Canadians to the fact that sex-selective abortion is being actively practiced in our country. In some Canadian cultural communities, for every 100 females brought to term, roughly 120 males are born (as compared to the biologically predictable 106 males for every 100 females).
The ironic truth is that in Canada and other developed countries the same ultrasound technologies which have heightened our appreciation of the humanity of the unborn child are being used to identify and target females. In other instances, involving assisted reproduction, female embryos are selectively destroyed while their male siblings are implanted. In Canada, the “war on girls” is fueled by deeply held cultural biases, which favour and privilege male heirs, and advanced by technology.
If there is one thing to be learned from the tragic reality of sex-selective abortion in Canada, it is that the cause of life will be victorious only when we have created a culture which upholds the dignity and value of all human life. The individual or couple, who chooses to abort their female child precisely because she is female, clearly knows that they are not dealing with a “clump of cells”. Would the same individual or couple contemplate aborting a male child?
Despite what some claim, the abortion debate has much more to do with the value we assign human life in and out of the womb than it does with the question of when or if human life exists before birth. A culture of life is one which assigns the same value to each and every human life — to those in the womb and to those approaching death, to those in robust health and the gravely ill, to every male and every female.
A culture protects that which it values. In a culture that values males more than females, unborn females are more at risk for abortion. The overwhelming majority of Canadians are offended by the thought that a female could be targeted for abortion just because she is, in fact, female.
Let us march in the name of equality, in the name of female equality and of human equality. Let us march knowing that Gendercide will end only when we abandon the notion that our needs and desires are in competition with those with whom we live and work, with those who require our assistance, or whom we carry in our wombs. See you on Parliament Hill on May 9th! Together, we will march for Life!
COLF is co-sponsored by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Supreme Council of the Knights of Columbus