A question for pro-abortion people

There was an article in the NY Times last week about some advertisements for sex-selection services in publications that serve the Indian immigrant community here in the US. What these services seem to be providing is abortions for those who are carrying children of the undesirable sex. Abortions for the use of sex selection are outlawed in India but apparently are legal here in the US. When I was reading about this I wondered how those who are in favor of legal abortions feel about this. Should it be outlawed because it values the lives of females less than the lives of males? Or is it just fine because it is the woman’s choice and no one should be able to interfere with her “right” to an abortion?


Here is the abstract from the NYTimes article the full article requires payment to read.:


Being pro-choice is not synonymous with being an ignorant, a-moral jack-ass. It also does not make one an advocate of ignorant, a-moral jack-asses at large.

I am pro-choice, but I think that in a perfect world there would be no abortion, no unwanted babies, and no preferential treatment for boys. However, in many countries, girl babies are still routinely aborted, abandoned, or killed due to a desire for sons. Of course this practice is especially prevalent in China where only one child is allowed. In Pakistan, parents will often continue to have children until a boy is produced, leading to families of eleven girls and one boy.

Seeing as the ratio of boys to girls in China is steadily growing, I believe that such societies will eventually arrive at a stage where the number of boys is significantly higher than the number of girls. When these boys reach marriageable age, their parents will find themselves desperately searching for suitable brides for their sons. The parents of these brides will be able to demand enormous dowries for their daughters’ hand in marriage. Eventually, it will be considered lucrative to have daughters, not sons.

It’s all about money, anyway… parents believe that daughters leave the family to join their husbands’ families, whereas sons carry on the familial name, contribute to the familial earnings, etc.

Note that the imbalance will make China’s one-child policy even more effective as a means of population control.

It is sad that there are cultures in which people would abort female fetuses just because they are female, but we may as well allow women to misuse their authority to abort in that fashion, since female infanticide is far from unknown. Instead of interfering with their abortion rights, I’d like to see some money and effort go into a PR campaign highlighting just how miserable the sons in such cultures are gonna be if there are few women to be found and the culture’s males forced to fight over them.

(stupid parent people!!!)

QuickSilverDoes that mean you are against this practice and think it should be outlawed?
If so so far you seem to be alone so far.




“I may not agree with why you’re having an abortion, but I will defend to the death your right to do it.”

There are exceptions, naturally. But if we start questioning the morality of a person’s decision to have an abortion. If we (and who are “we” anyway?) decide “that’s a pretty stupid reason to have an abortion” then we are just substituting our judgment for theirs. How is that pro-choice?

puddleglum, I can understand why pro-lifers would be against this practice and would think it should be outlawed. But don’t they believe that all abortion should be outlawed anyway?

Someone who is pro-choice, on the other hand, believes that, up until a certain point in its development, the destruction of a foetus is not equivalent to the murder of a human being. So why would a pro-choice person want to oulaw the abortion of females, or outlaw abortions based on any specific belief or desire? Obviously someone who has an abortion, does not want to carry a child to term, so why should anyone care what the reason is for this decision?

You either think that abortion should be illegal, or you think that it should be legal. You could even say that it should be legal only in cases where the mother’s health is jeopardised. But how can you judge people’s reasons for wanting an abortion? What about those people who are just selfish and don’t want to waste twenty years raising a child?

I believe that in the perfect world there are no unwanted children. And I am only pro-choice in this world because I believe that the birth of an unwanted child is unfair to that child. Obviously, these girls in China are unwanted. Many times, they are not aborted, but left in garbage cans to die of exposure. I recently watched an interview (on either CNN or BBC, I don’t remember which) of a Chinese woman who tries to save these babies. You should have heard the bitterness in her voice as she described how one child’s clothes were stolen and she was replaced in the garbage to die. If anything, the practice of favouring sons is even more reason for legal abortion.

If you want to start a debate on abortion, you don’t need to mask your intentions by bringing the Chinese into it…

Since when does the possibility that a right will be abused give reason to take away that right? And furthermore, who in the world is “pro-abortion”?

While I do find the idea of aborting a fetus because it’s not the prefered gender abhorrent, I’m unwilling to deny the right to abortions to every woman simply because an incredibly tiny minority will choose to abort for reasons I disagree with. I am pro CHOICE. That means I will always defend a woman’s right to choose, no matter how poorly-based (in my opinion) her decision.

If you’re suggesting that abortions remain legal except for cases like these, how could that ever be controlled? At best, we could ask all women who desire an abortion, “Why do you want to abort this fetus?”, and hope they give an honest answer. And no matter what the answer, it still wouldn’t be anyone’s business but that woman’s.

In countries where female children are unwanted, I would rather see female fetuses aborted than female children mistreated or abandoned. Not that I want to see either, but a lesser of evils . . .

Well presumably one could refuse to let parents know their children’s gender until birth. That would eliminate the possibility of gender-based abortion.

Of course I agree with Beadalin and Eve. If the parents would have aborted the child, they probably won’t be greeting it with open arms when it comes.

Besides, I’m sure that many of the lesser-educated parents would, in the absence of pre-natal gender testing, simply confer with a village elder, religious leader or quack to find out what their child’s supposed gender was and abort based on that. Which might satisfy feminists, as boy foetuses would undoubtedly be unwittingly aborted along with girls, but is that what pro-lifers really want?

If you are pro-life, if you believe that embryos have souls from the moment of conception, if you believe that they can feel pain, then shouldn’t you be against ALL abortions?

I am anti-abortion in all cases but I was just asking to get a perspective from those who are pro-abortion. When I read of this article it struck me that there were those who called themselves feminists and were outraged that things like this went on. I noticed the discrepancy and wondered how widespread this attitude was amoung those who are pro-abortion.
It seems that some misunderstood the article to be talking about what is happening in China or India. It is addressing the prevalence of this practice in the US amoung certain ethnic populations.

Feel free to donate how ever much you think it is worth to you personally, but don’t raid the US public trough. Okay? These boy will have at least three other options: buggery, masturbation, or abstinence. They could find a meaningful life with any one of three choices available to them. It is only cultural bias that says they’d be miserable without a woman.

I’d call myself “pro-abortion.” Maybe I’m probably the only person on the planet to accept that label willingly and emphatically. I see great value in the pro-choice view, allowing women to choose, but vastly too many women are choosing “birth” and contributing to overcrowding and overpopulation. Unless more women don’t start choosing a non-birth option with their free will, then I’d like see to mandatory abortions or other means of reducing live births enforced. I’d rather not go down that road, I shudder at the thought of an American Government with that much power, but it might be inevitable unless trends change. If someone can show that a different method of birth reduction would be more effective and cost less, then I’d champion that first.

While options other than abortion might be more palatable to most people, I think if free “no questions asked” abortions were available to women of all ages, this would reduce the number of live births by the greatest amount with the least cost. Is there a cite for that? Nope. It is just the way I figure things would pan out.

There are three reasons way I would support aborting a female fetus over a male one. First, it is the parent’s choice and I don’t have the moral authority to tell them that it is wrong or right, so whatever they choose it okay with me. Second, a greater population of males over females will probably help reduce population growth. Third, this is a voluntary procedure—voluntary is infinitely preferable to mandatory. It is better to let people do the right thing on their own, then only take action to correct wrongdoing.

That’s your choice. I’ll defend your right to have this opinion and practice it in your own life without interference from those who differ on the subject.

Get it, puddleglum? If you want to have an intelligent debate it would be best if you took a less militant tone. Otherwise, people will be more likely to write you off as raving fundie and this thread will quickly spiral into a shouting match rather than a cogent set of arguments. But that’s just my advice to you. Feel free to ignore it if you like.

They can call themselves born again martians if they like. Doesn’t make it true or reflective of all feminists, or born again martians for that matter.

Okay, I’ll take on the mantle too – I’m pro-abortion.

I believe that if someone is old enough to (legally) have sex and get pregant, then they should have the final say-so over what happens to that fetus growing inside of them. It is not the government’s business, the church’s business, the community’s business, or anyone else’s business. It is strictly up to the pregnant woman (and the fetus, whom she is representing as the parent and legal guardian).

If a woman wants to have an abortion, then that’s her responsibility and her right … but she is also obligated to shoulder the repercussions of that decision. If she wants an abortion because she knows she can’t properly care for a(nother) child, then I applaud her for her insight. If she wants an abortion to perform gender-selection, I think it’s rather yucky, but that’s a weight for her karma.

QuickSilver I have said nothing militant in any of my posts. I use the term pro-abortion because I believe it is more descriptive and that reasonable intelligent people such as us should have no need for euphemism.
Pyrrhonist I am shocked at your post but I enjoyed your use of of the word buggery, it always gives me a chuckle.

I don’t see a discrepancy here. Feminism, loosely put, is the political belief that women should have the same freedoms and obligations as men, and should be treated with the same amount as respect as men. Therefore, it makes sense for feminists to decry both the social systems that make boy children more valued than girl children, as well as laws that would deprive a woman of full control over her own body. In other words, the feminists in question aren’t horrified that the woman getting abortions, but that these women are getting abortions in accordance with a belief that they shouldn’t bear girl children.

You might also want to keep in mind that not all feminists are pro-choice.