“We have a couple coming in for a sex-selection abortion,” [my clinic director] said. “The fetus is a girl, and their culture prefers boys. I want to know if you will be able to work with them without judging or being negative. Be honest. If you can’t be their advocate, I will. I need to know by four o’clock.”…

I knew that the pro-choice thing to do would be to say yes, that I would work with them. Still, I said no. I said I could not participate in an act that was a direct expression of cultural misogyny….

[Our clinic director] explained that this woman knew she wanted her abortion… in order to save herself and her husband from being ostracized by his family when they returned home… because, in her culture, girls were not valued, and she didn’t want her baby to be a not-valued member of society….

In cultures where there is very strong son-preference, being stuck in the “female” gender box means being devalued, seen as an expense, a liability to one’s family and community. And one of the only ways to become more valuable as a woman is to produce a son….

This is where I failed the couple in our clinic; I failed to see them as constrained by a sexist society that had them, their families, and their community — in short, their entire support system — trapped….

If Lila Rose (who releases the sting videos) and anti-abortion rights politicians are really concerned about gender imbalance resulting from girls’ being “targeted” by abortion, they need to step up now and work to end sexism, globally. They need to work against any system that puts human beings in gender boxes and work toward a world based on the principle of full gender equality.

Lila Rose… is doing nothing to end sexism in the U.S. or in the world.

~ Eastern Illinois University professor Jeannie Ludlow, RH Reality Check, June 26

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