Advocacy

Beat Sex-Selection Through Education: A Great Read For Your Weekend

An article published on Reality Check’s website, points out that sex-selection and misogyny are not a problem among Asians alone. Traditional preference for sons might be more obvious, and therefore easier to criticize among Asian families, but sex ratios are skewed among American families as well. Unfortunately, these numbers have presented anti-choice people a new argument against abortions.

But as the authors point out, abortions are hardly to blame. Many families with first-born females use artificial reproductive techniques (ART) to choose male embryos and call the practice “family balancing.” The authors’ sarcastic comment – “Doesn’t that sound much better than sexism, eugenics, or designer babies?” – makes you wonder if some methods are condoned because they seem more “dignified.”

In fact, such practices are common among rich Asian families as well. Chinese and Indian women fly to Bangkok (and sometimes to the U.S.), where some clinics offer sex-selective-in-vitro-fertilizations. This means a woman can choose to have a male embryo planted in her uterus, but feel like she did the right thing because she avoided abortion. In fact, the apparent “dignity” in such methods stigmatize abortion even more.

The rising popularity of such methods only demonstrates that sex selection will not disappear once abortion is banned. In fact, it will spell disaster for women. While the poor will be driven to choose unsafe methods of abortion, the rich will choose ART. This could mean more women will die from the lack of health care, and more boys will be born wherever advanced medical techniques are made available.

As the authors of the article say then, “Empowering families, communities, and societies to root out biases and alter their own behaviors without shaming, blaming, or curtailing the rights of women is our only real hope of tackling this issue.”

Read the article on Reality Check.

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