Three abortion groups admit sex-selective abortion a problem in U.S.

Until now pro-abortion groups have opposed state and federal bans against sex selective abortions by simply denying they exist, for instance Jezebel only six days ago:

[I]n the U.S., there’s no evidence or noteworthy numbers to indicate that women are having abortions based on the sex of the infant….

Apparently, abortion industry leaders have decided they can no longer carry on the ruse. Public opinion is so persuaded against sex-selective abortion, the other side must have decided they have to enter the conversation in order to remain players and try to influence the outcome.

The first to fall was Guttmacher Institute in its Spring 2012 Policy Review, published sometime after May 1:

There is some evidence – although limited and inconclusive – to suggest that the practice may also occur among Asian communities in the United States….

[T]wo studies using 2000 U.S. census data to examine sex ratios among Chinese-, Indian- and Korean-American families found that although the ratio for first-born children in such families was normal, there was evidence of son preference in second- and third-order births, if the older children were daughters.

Then yesterday fell RH Reality Check:

Son preference, missing girls, sex selection: We may seek to label these Chinese or Indian issues, but they exist here in America. And with anti-choice crusaders desperate to destroy Planned Parenthood Federation of America, America’s leading provider of affordable reproductive health care for women, the purportedly spreading practice of sex-selective abortion is back in the news….

However, as birth order rises, apparently so does selection – at least, in certain ethnic groups. With U.S. 2000 Census data, researchers investigating Korean, Chinese, and Indian communities found that, after one girl, parents have as many as 1.17 boys per girl the second time. With two girls at home, this goes up to 1.51 boys per girl for the third child. These skewed ratios aren’t present among other ethnic groups in America.

Finally, NARAL in an email alert and petition drive launched today conceded:

Sex-Selection abortion is a real problem – and it needs to be addressed.

Of course, none of these groups think sex-selective abortions should be banned. But what is it they say, acknowledging a problem is the first step toward solving it?

[Graphic via RH Reality Check]

50 thoughts on “Three abortion groups admit sex-selective abortion a problem in U.S.”

  1. So what is banning sex-selective abortion going to do to fix the underlying issues of gender inequality in those communities where it is common? Absolutely nothing. As usual, the “pro-life” movement (ineffectually) attacks the symptoms of a problem and ignores its causes completely. Instead of trying to solve the deeply-ingrained gender inequalities that directly lead to sex-selective abortion in many cultures, “pro-life” activists promote meaningless symbolic legislation.


  2. Well, well, well.  Just moments ago, they were still whining that sex selective abortion was cultural and that we had no business interfering with the cultural standards of other people.  Listen to that change of tune!  Listen to that change that was brought about when a young pro-life woman SET THE TONE FOR THE CONVERSATION.   That’s how it should be, folks.   The younger generation makes me so proud to be human!   We need to keep the pressure on, through activism, through prayer, and all other peaceful, democratic means. 


  3. Oh, now they care?  Now it’s important that girls are being killed for being too female?  Now that matters?  I know y’all remember “The War On Baby Girls” from The Economist.  And back when it came out, I did some reading on what the other side had to say about it.  They said this.  As per the comments section, the consensus seems to be that as long as sex-selective abortions are freely made choices, it doesn’t matter that they are promoting the most vicious destruction of women for being women in human history.
    Honestly, these crocodile tears from the so-called “pro-woman” side just make me mad.  Where was their compassion when Chen Guangcheng was fleeing for his life, blind, across China to tell the world about the missing girls there?  If they cared, they would’ve cared all along.


  4. Exactly, joan.  Because pro-lifers supposedly don’t do enough to address the “underlying causes” of sex-selective abortions, it’s perfectly okay if Planned Parenthood et al. reluctantly* do a few every now and again and oppose every legal restriction on the practice.

    * “Reluctant” isn’t really what you get from the latest video, but Planned Parenthood did fire the employee (for reasons still unknown).  So I’ll toss them a bone, at least until the other videos are released.

    On a more serious note, I find it difficult to fathom that virtually unlimited access to abortion with gender determination technology itself isn’t an underlying cause.  Wouldn’t these things increase the stigma associated with having a girl (since it can be easily prevented), which would in turn make misogyny more prevalent, which would in turn increase the demand for sex-selective abortion?  This wouldn’t be unlike the case of babies with Down’s syndrome.


  5. “So what is banning sex-selective abortion going to do to fix the underlying issues of gender inequality in those communities where it is common?”

    While the “pro-life”  movement opposes sex selection abortion, they have no problem with patriarchal, misogynist social structures that, as you say, produce the gender inequalities. The anti-choice movement is based on the fear of  female empowerment. Access to birth control and abortion breaks the cycle of male supremacy. It’s very threatening to the political and religious power structures that are based on suppression of women. Hence, the effort of the “pro-life” movement to relegate women to their “traditional” roles of happy handmaidens. Rather than concern for “life,” the ideology of the “pro-life” movement, as articulated by Andrea Marcotte, is all about “fear and control.”  Laws prohibiting sex selection abortion are just another way to question the motivation of women who seek to control their reproductive organs and that’s a hallmark of a society that thrives on “ingrained gender inequalities.”



  6. Protip: Citing Amanda Marcotte (it’s Amanda, not Andrea) when debating with pro-lifers is a guaranteed way to get yourself laughed out of the room.


  7. From the publication that Ms. Stanek quotes:

    “This anti-choice measure dressed as an anti-discrimination bill…further exacerbates inequities and diminishes the health, well-being, and dignity of women and girls by restricting their access to reproductive health care. We represent the women and people of color this bill purports to protect, and we are announcing our unequivocal condemnation of it.”18  


  8. “Citing Amanda Marcotte (it’s Amanda, not Andrea) when debating with pro-lifers is a guaranteed way to get yourself laughed out of the room.”

    So I made typed the wrong name. Nice to know that you guys are so perfect. Care to debate on substance? 


  9.  “debating with pro-lifers is a guaranteed way to get yourself laughed out of the room.”

    You do realize that your street theater, outside Planned Parenthood, is, on some levels, considered to be quite comical and rather outre.


  10. From the NARAL mail:

    There is no question that it’s wrong for a woman to be pressured to have a child of a particular sex. Sex-selection abortion is a real problem – and it needs to be addressed.
    But the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act proposed by anti-choice leaders is an unworkable and divisive measure. The bill could:

    Subject a doctor to five years in prison for failing to determine if sex is a factor in a woman’s decision to choose abortion.
    Threaten any medical professional who does not report even a suspected case of sex-selection abortion with a one-year prison sentence

    And what happens to the women who gets caught wanting a sex selection abortion? Will these women add to the already straining prison population. Or should they just wear a scarlet letter.


  11. Even from the deep, dark halls of my paper-grading dungeon, I have strength enough to say:  “Don’t feed the trolls, y’all!” No matter how rich the irony in their comments (up to Monty Python level, at times), no matter how outrageously they contradict themselves in the same comment (or paragraph, or sentence)… resist, resist! Let them alone, and perhaps they’ll heal, in time…

    Back to the dungeon…


  12. And unless Planned Parenthood is operating in the four states that prohibit sex selection abortions, they have NO right to deny a woman seeking an abortion for ANY reason including sex selection. So keep wringing your hands and pray for your PRENDA which ain’t gonna happen. Even if it passes in the House (not likely) there’s no way it will get the closure votes in the Senate. 


  13. Happy grading, Paladin!   

    I’m super delighted that the troll(s) are writhing over this whole issue.  I’m even more delighted to watch the abortion advocates duke it out with each other and disagree in their own comments (from which pro-lifers are almost always excluded).  The trolls’ “new” tac is just an old one: ‘you can’t be pro-life unless you adopt each and every child on the face of the planet.’  ‘You can’t be against sex selective abortion unless you first fix each and every gender inequality on the planet!’  ‘Until you fix each and every problem that humans do and might face, then you must less us keep trying to murder our way to prosperity!’

    LOL!!   So, is this a good time to remind Gloria and her ilk how they threw all women under the bus when they gave up on the ERA after 1972 because in Jan. ’73  Roe V Wade gave them the illusion of progress??   Excuse me, but I still want equal pay for equal work, but the ilk were more interested in killing off human children.


  14. Ugh, Paladin… It’s so tempting when you see these crimes against logic :(


  15. Wait, sex-selective abortion is a problem?  But, I thought women should be able to abort for any reason.  If you say that sex-selective abortion is a problem, aren’t you *gasp* passing judgment?   What’s going on, pro-aborts?

    While the “pro-life”  movement opposes sex selection abortion, they have no problem with patriarchal, misogynist social structures that, as you say, produce the gender inequalities
    Sounds like you need to educate yourself on the pro-life movement.  Learn to think for yourself, instead of letting PP and NARAL do it for you.
    “The anti-choice movement is based on the fear of  female empowerment.”
    What’s “the anti-choice movement”?  Is that a new name for the pro-abortion movement?


  16. OH, I just LOVE IT when the “patriarchal” and “misogynist” gets pulled out.


    PS– what’s NOT patriarchal or misogynist about fighting for the right to kill unborn females.


  17. How reassuring it is to see the pro-abortion folks wallering in their hypocrisy for a change. How long have pro-lifers been reminding them that they are advocating the killing of the very minorities they strive to protect once they breathe air on their own. 

    Daddy by choice (at conception) to a beautiful 22q11.2 deletion kid. 


  18. All the proaborts I’ve confronted on this issue have unanimously run to the ‘girls are undervalued’ card. You can thank radical feminism for undervaluing them in the first place-you wanted your ‘all nine months any reason’. Ask them how sex-selective abortion is ‘lifesaving medical care’ that should be funded with your tax dollars, and watch them really get ugly. Uglier than usual, that is. Gonna be fun watching them spin their way out of this one. Because the war on women! LOL.


  19. @ Navi:  :)  Trust me, I know.  But at least, if you don’t feed them, you’d spare me my own embarrassing self-inconsistency of “liking” your troll-food comments!  (Ditto for you, Ninek & Courtnay!)

    Oh, and the papers say “hello”, too, by the way…


  20. What can be said to someone who claims to be pro-woman sees no prob with aborting female fetuses because they’re female…

    At least NARAL gets that there is a problem… now finding a way out of that problem will violate at least two dogmas of the abortion defender:
    1- judging that some reasons to abort are bad
    2- admitting that (shock!) fetuses have gender, and are human unlike a blob or mass or tumor or whatever dehumanizing term they’ve hid behind in the past. 

    Why can’t they just admit that abortion stinks? 


  21. “Why can’t they just admit that abortion stinks? “

    Because they are severely allergic to the truth. 


  22. “Oh, JDC, why are you so pithy and awesome? “

    It’s a mystery, Alice. I’ve noticed my best comments are when I just right my immediate reaction to something and don’t over-think it, which tends to cause me to ramble. I find you tend to be awesome whether pithy or not. :)


  23. I preferred the pro-choice movement back when they just didn’t seem to know any better. “Blobs of tissue”, et al. Now they’re defending killing girls with eyes wide open.
    They’re downright scary and the Nazi / sadistic slaveholder comparisons are more apt than ever.


  24. Again I have to ask, what’s the problem?

    Sorry PA folks, but you can’t have your cake and eat it too. Why is sex selection any more unacceptable than any other “reason”? Why is it more unacceptable than partial birth abortion, which you defend?

    Well PA folks, the gods answered your prayers when abortion was legalized. Problem is answering the prayers of humans is the gods’ favorite way of punishing the human race.


  25. joan 6:43pm

    If you’re at least as old as I am, you will recall that abortion was going to create equality. Now women of every social status, in every culture, and every economic level will have complete freedom of choice and reproduction. Now women can be better educated, have smaller families, and enjoy more freedom. I mean, look at the howling when efforts are made to curb financial support of abortion here and overseas.

    As I said in my previous post joan, the gods answered your prayers. Maybe the more popoular and up to date adage is: be verrrrrry careful what you wish for….you might get it.


  26. Why is it assumed that sex selection abortion only targets females? Most couples seeking PGD or microsort want girls. Why would that same trend not apply to abortions?

    One reason is that people who accept abortion as an acceptable form of sex selection are from cultures which have a very strong son preference such as those in Southeast Asia. Sex selection abortion of girls is pandemic in these places. Studies have shown that westerners tend not to have strong sex preferences and rarely would consider abortion for sex selection. However, in western countries procedures such as PGD or sperm sorting are considered more acceptable forms of sex selection and therefore attract a different type of “customer” than does abortion. I have read that the push for girls in these settings is largely driven by the mother’s desire for a daughter. Women in traditional cultures most always must be submissive to the wishes of her husband and his family.


  27. :)  Hi, Carla!  And well done, in your victory over the urge to feed the trolls!  (There should be a pro-life merit badge for that, or something…)


  28. Re: targeting boys: what’s your point?  Not to be outraged because boys die too?
    This is one  of the many reasons abortion needs to end.


  29. I just wanted to add that I am personally against all forms of sex selection and any other “designer baby” technology. The fertility industry is way out of control in the United States and we need some common sense regulation. Interestingly, PGD and sperm sorting is illegal in many Southeast Asian countries and there has been a growing trend of their citizens coming here for “sex selection tourism”. In other words they skirt their own country’s laws by coming to the United States where those same sex selection procedures are perfectly legal.


  30. :)  Courtnay, they say that admission is the first step…

    Actually, I know of no 12-step programs for troll-feeders, anyway.  Never mind!


  31. While the “pro-life”  movement opposes sex selection abortion, they have no problem with patriarchal, misogynist social structures that, as you say, produce the gender inequalities. The anti-choice movement is based on the fear of  female empowerment. Access to birth control and abortion breaks the cycle of male supremacy. 

    What a total crock.

    These Asian societies and their brutal cultural practices and “patriarchy” have nothing to do with the Western tradition that birthed the value of the individual which is the the most liberal value! Pro aborts are not liberals.  Pure and simple as that.  They merely hide behind the great liberal values to cover their evil.  There is nothing liberal about killing kids and there is nothing liberal about these Asian cultures and we liberals have always opposed such crap.  Even now these creepy proaborts don’t care about human rights for women or children or workers in China, India, etc.  They are anti western which is the equivalent of anti liberal.  


  32. Access to birth control and abortion breaks the cycle of male supremacy. 

    No it doesn’t.  It defines it.  The practical effect has been the increased objectification of all but the most socially privileged women.  

    Access to education increases gender equality, not access to birth control.  

    If you are going to try to impersonate a liberal, at least study up a bit on what we believe.  Sheesh.  


  33. So what is banning sex-selective abortion going to do to fix the underlying issues of gender inequality in those communities where it is common? 

    Joan, do you think that this gender inequality – which is a social construct – will be made anything but worse by translating it into literal, demographic inequality?

    Women’s rights – in the US, in most societies – would never have advanced without women there fighting for them. It is not society that changes for people – it is people who change society. Without those people, who will effect the changes we all agree must occur?


  34. While the “pro-life”  movement opposes sex selection abortion, they have no problem with patriarchal, misogynist social structures that, as you say, produce the gender inequalities

    Sorry, but I have a big problem with patriarchal, misogynist social structures.  And as for “female empowerment” I want women to be all they can be.  I just don’t think that we should have to destroy our own flesh and blood to reach our goals.


  35. I’m a wife, mother, pro-lifer, devout Roman Catholic Christian, and I use Natural Family Planning. Not a single one of those things ever made me feel any less feminine or less empowered. In many cases it made me feel EMpowered and MORE feminine :-)


  36. Access to birth control and abortion breaks the cycle of male supremacy. 
    Roe V Wade was decided by nine men. Vast majority of abortionists are male. Next strawman?


  37. I am probably older than most you you fine ladies,  and I suspect you are all well educated, which is wonderful.  However, I find it a little much to take in all the stuff I’ve read this evening, ie: Patriarchal Misogynist societies, empowerment of women, male supremacy, liberal etc.  I understand you, unlike myself, have your fingers on the pulse of both the political and the feminist viewpoints, but I wonder why we can’t view this for simply what it is, evil. Is murder not an evil act?  Is it not evil to abort a child simply because she’s a female and not a male?  How can a woman wish for power when she kills the child that would have become a woman like herself?  this whole debate boggles my mind.  And it probably boggles my mind because I’m 70 years old, and I come from a time when men stood when a woman entered a room, when having a child was a time for joy and a blessing no matter it’s sex.  Of course there were social problems back then much like today, but their complexity was far less.  I have no intent on insulting anyone, but it does worry me that God is watching,  and a price will be paid for the 1,500,00 children who are murdered each year.


  38. Hi, Marge,
    Well… do remember that the comments in question are not the result of rational thought (and I do not say that lightly or callously), but of a purely reactionary sort of “mental tape-recorder” in the mind of some of our habitual pro-abortion trolls (CC and joan, along with some others), where the “play” button (with pre-recorded screed, full to the brim with pseudo-revolutionary, professional-agitator clap-trap about “misogyny”, “patriarchal”, “oppression”, and scattered other terms stolen from Marxist speeches) is pressed automatically when confronted by something they dislike (which is most of the time).

    Summary: our trolls babble a good deal, especially when something stirs them up; pay it no mind.  :)


  39. MQ, you (and a few others) really do need to let me take a few lessons in pithy, incisive brevity from you!  :)


  40. I hope this question comes up in the 2012 presidential debates.  How many times will Obama stutter and stammer during his response if it does? 


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