American Life League

It is very hard to make a moral argument against terminations for sex when you can have abortions for any reason.

                                                            Dr. Mitchell Golbus, UCSF Medical School.

Anti-Life Philosophy.

Neither statistics nor records exist to document the occurrence of gender selection abortions in the United States. The idea of gender selection abortions is a myth.

                                                               'Religious' Coalition for Abortion Rights.[1]

The Ultimate Sexual Discrimination: Femicide!

The abortion mentality has finally presented Neofeminists with an ethical Gordian Knot.

The shrill and relentless insistence of the NARAL and NOW types for abortion on demand for any reason has inevitably led to convenience abortions on a massive scale.

And perhaps the ultimate in 'convenience abortions' is the selective killing of perfectly healthy unborn women solely because of their sex in other words, the ultimate sexual discrimination has been brought about by the Neofeminists themselves.

Syndicated columnist Mona Charen has correctly pointed out that "Abortion on demand has given birth to boys on demand."[2] The irony of this situation has not been lost on pro-lifer activists, who secretly smile as they watch NOW, NARAL, and other pro-abortion groups futilely attempt to untangle themselves from this insoluble dilemma.

The Background of Sex Selection Abortions.

Changing Attitudes.

In 1973, American abortion pushers achieved victory beyond their wildest dreams abortion on demand for any reason whatever, and unlimited Federally-funded free abortions for poor women. At this time, only one percent of geneticists believed that abortion for sex selection was morally acceptable, and this small minority generally kept their opinions to themselves for obvious reasons. Abortion for selection of the baby's sex was recognized and criticized by many doctors even before the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision of 1973.[3]

By 1988, the number of geneticists approving of sex-selection abortions had jumped to 20 percent, and this trend shows no signs of abating.

The New Andrologists.

Dozens of sex-selection clinics have sprung up all over the United States since the mid-1980s. These clinics offer amniocentesis solely for the purpose of determining the preborn baby's sex by the 18th week of pregnancy. Chorionic villi sampling (CVS), a newer fetal diagnostic technique, can be used to detect fetal gender as early as eight weeks' gestation.[4] Most of these same clinics, 'coincidentally,' of course, offer abortions for babies of the 'wrong' sex.

So a brand-new medical discipline has sprung up in response to public demand: Andrology. Those doctors who specialize in determining the sex of children are called andrologists.

Doctors who perform sonograms, but who abhor the practice of sex-selection abortions, say that it is common for pregnant women to lie in order to obtain an amniocentesis just to find out the gender of their preborn babies so they can abort.[5]

Perhaps the medical "advance" of sex-selection abortion will itself be rendered obsolete by further advances in the near future. Physiologist Ronald Ericsson of Gametrics Ltd. in Sausalito, California has developed a technique by which it is possible to separate the X and Y chromosomes in human sperm with a 75 percent accuracy rate. Many scientists predict that this method will be refined to the point where parents will be able to select the sex of their children with 100 percent accuracy by the year 2000.[4]

Of course, this type of questionable 'business' can be colossally lucrative. As of September 1987, Dr. Ericsson had franchised 65 sperm separation clinics throughout the world for about $10,000 apiece. The cost per sperm separation procedure is about $2,500 in 1993 dollars.[6]

The Demographic Impacts of Sex Selection.

These technologies will undoubtedly have a colossal impact upon our country's population demographics.

According to the results of a recent survey of a very large group of people who were willing to employ sex-preselection methods, 91 percent of the women and 94 percent of the men polled stated that they would like their firstborn baby to be a boy.[7]

Researcher Dr. Roberta Steinbacher said that

I asked people if they would use the [sex selection] method if it were available and about one quarter said they would. I then asked the members of this second group which sex they would prefer, and 91 per cent of the women and 94 per cent of the men said they would prefer their firstborn to be a boy. I think this overwhelming preference for firstborn males would, if widely carried out, institutionalize a second-class status for women because of their ranking in the birth order.[7]

Dr. Steinbacher's survey confirmed other polls that showed that the American preference is predominantly for firstborn males, and that the resulting sex ratio for all children (including subsequent births) would be as high as 122 boys to 100 girls. In fact, other studies have shown that women said that they preferred boys by a ratio of 126 to 100.[8] Dr. Linda Fidell of California State University even found that 85 percent of women college students, who have been subjected to the full range of Neofeminist propaganda, said that they wanted their firstborn child to be a boy.[9]

If such sex preselection could be accomplished without a messy and morally questionable abortion procedure, it is quite possible that our population gender balance could be thrown seriously out of kilter especially considering that the kind of people who would 'special-order' their children are the same type of people who would probably have only one child in the first place.

Invention is the Mother of Necessity.

The creation of a 'andrological' technology invariably leads to a greater and greater demand for it the principle that "invention is the mother of necessity." The American public is being led to believe that one or two [or no] children are sufficient for happiness, and that so-called "gender-balanced" families are desirable. Nobody wants to get "stuck" with two children of the same sex this is very 'nonprogressive,' and connotes a certain backwardness and an old-fashioned unwillingness to take advantage of the beneficent cornucopia of the God of American Technology.

Popular publications are presenting this technology to the American public in attractive packages, and are making it appear desirable and eminently obtainable. For instance, The Saturday Evening Post's October 1988 article entitled "New Ways to Choose Your Baby's Sex" described various natural and unnatural methods that tinker with the reproductive process in order to produce a child of a specific sex.

If such methods do not work, of course, there is good old abortion as a backup, and then you can try, try again.

Conflict and Comedy.

The reaction of Neofeminist groups to the practice of gender selection is interesting to say the very least. Some groups, like the 'Religious' Coalition for Abortion Rights, simply do what they do the best cram their heads into the sand and simply deny that a problem exists; "Neither statistics nor records exist to document the occurrence of gender selection abortions in the United States. The idea of gender selection abortions is a myth."[1]

Other groups, such as the National Organization for Women (NOW), have denounced the practice of gender selection, and have even managed to push through a law in one state forbidding amniocentesis to determine a preborn baby's sex. Not surprisingly, their arguments against sex-selection seem to be borrowed directly from a Right to Life pamphlet.

Any port in a storm.

But Neofeminist attempts to ban sex-selection abortions are doomed to failure, because the retort given by the moneymakers (the abortionists) is predictable, persuasive, and, for once, totally agreeable to pro-lifers: How can the NOW condemn these abortions when it has pushed so long and so hard for abortion on demand? After all, the 'contents of the uterus' aren't human, aren't alive, aren't persons. They're just 'blobs of tissue,' right? How can 'blobs of tissue' have a gender?

So what difference does it make?

Curiously, an article by a member of the stridently pro-abortion American Medical Association (AMA) stated the pro-life position on gender-selection abortions best;

A sad irony now confronts the feminists who fought so hard and so long to make abortion on demand legally available. Abortion is increasingly being used to end the life of healthy unborn infants just because they are not of the sex their parents prefer. And almost all of the unborn babies being aborted for no reason except that they are of an unwanted sex are female ... It's a Pandora's Box of potential trouble and it was abortion, with the insistence on the legal right to eliminate human beings unwanted for any reason, that opened the lid first.[10]

Commenting upon a related issue, Kim Gandy of the National Organization for Women, when she learned that teenage rape is increasing, complained that "Our children are learning that it is acceptable to victimize women."[11]

Why should this be surprising?

It is a great contradiction for the Neofeminists to wholeheartedly support free abortion on demand, promiscuity, homosexuality, and what they quaintly call freedom of expression (i.e., hard-core and violent pornography), and then object to something that is a natural part of this conglomeration of immorality: rape!

Sexual gratification has now been completely separated from procreation and is seen by the Neofeminists as a sacred "right," so sacred that it is even permissible to kill or wound in pursuit of it.

Why shouldn't a few unbalanced men see it the same way?

Femicide: A Worldwide Phenomenon.

What we would have in the next generation, then, would be about 90 percent boys and 10 percent girls. That would destroy everything for man his basis for emotion, for life, everything would be destroyed.

Professor Nikolai Dubinin, Chief of the Soviet Institute of General Genetics.[12]

Why Femicide?

It is no secret that many societies place a much higher value on male children than on female children. In China, baby boys are greeted as a "big happiness;" baby girls are a "small happiness." A traditional Hindu bridal blessing says "May you be the mother of a hundred sons." Indian parents blow horns, have big parties, and give the midwife a large tip if she delivers a boy. If she delivers a girl, she guiltily slinks out the back door.[13]

In China, India, and many other Eastern countries, there is far more emphasis on the extended family than there is in the West. It is natural for children to care for their parents when they are no longer able to care for themselves. Therefore, boys are seen as an asset because they guarantee that the parents will not become destitute or be abandoned in their old age. Boys are also able to labor in the fields if they stay with the family.

On the other hand, girls are considered liabilities because they require a dowry and then leave the family to care for their husbands and children. The prejudice against women in these societies is pervasive and extreme in many instances. Women must endure conditions unheard of in the West.

The result of this attitude is quite predictable. In China, Korea, and India, the abortion of girls has exploded. In 1985, the world sex-ratio average for newborns was 102.5 boys per 100 girls; in Korea it was 117 to 100. The situation in Korea became so intolerable that it is now illegal for doctors to reveal the gender of preborn babies to parents in that country.[4]

Abortion > Femicide.

It is no coincidence that two of the world's leaders in abortion China and India also are in the forefront of committing and rationalizing femicide.

In some areas of these countries, the average lifespan of newborn girls can be measured in minutes. As soon as their sex is known, they are immediately drowned or strangled.

Steven Mosher, the China cultural expert who first exposed that country's program of coercive abortion, sterilization, and contraception, states that

It is primarily the first-generation Chinese, the South Koreans and the Chinese who repopulated in Malaysia and Southeast Asia who are the offenders. It is those ethnic groups, rooted in the Confucian culture that has a male bias built into its very core, that says little boys are precious and little girls are worthless.

Femicide in the PRC.

The Chinese one-child program has inevitably led from abortion to female infanticide. Since boys are valued more than girls, female infanticide (femicide) is common in China. Even the March 3, 1983 People's Daily admitted that "The butchering, drowning, and leaving to die of female infants has become a grave social problem." This "problem" was widely reported in the American press as early as 1977.[14]

It is now not at all uncommon to find Chinese towns with populations of more than 10,000 persons where little girls are almost nonexistent. For example, Jin Mingai, mayor of Daijiawan village, claimed that "There is no infanticide here. The peasants would never drown their own daughters." However, there are no girl children at all under the age of twelve in his village, which has a population of 7,500.[15]

China's newborn male-to-female sex ratio was about 1.085 in 1981, compared to the historical Chinese ratio of 1.06. This means that there was a 'shortfall' of 232,000 baby girls in 1981. The Chinese sex ratio climbed to 1.110 in 1983, for a 'shortfall' of 345,000 baby girls for the year.[16] In light of the fact that amniocentesis, sonography, and other means of detecting fetal sex before birth are almost unknown outside the largest Chinese cities, it is obvious that the vast majority of these 'disappearing' girls are killed at birth, when their parents discover their sex.

The 1983 sex ratio remained about the same until 1987, and then rose to 1.125 in 1989 and dropped slightly to 1.113 by May of 1990. The Chinese census also revealed that the sex ratio for first children is about 1.060, and the sex ratio for second and later children is about 1.140.[17]

This means that about 3.5 million baby girls were killed at birth due to their gender in the People's Republic of China in the last decade alone.

Kang Ling of the Secretariat of the All-China Women's Federation estimates that, by 2010, there will be 40 million males of marriageable age who will be unable to find wives as a direct result of this mass femicide.[17]

Beijing's China News Service has also announced that 93 percent of unmarried adults in Beijing (Peking) are men. Single men outnumber single women by a million in the 29 to 49 age group in Beijing alone. Men's prospects for marriage, of course, are even bleaker in the rural areas, where female infanticide is most prevalent.

This is only one ghastly aspect of the wonderful new world that the Neoliberals are dreaming of: The world where they will have complete control. This is the ultimate result of losing respect for God and for the lives of the most wonderful of His creations, human beings. This is what the Neoliberals so passionately desire for all of us.

Femicide in India.

We in the United States need only to look to India to see the future of infanticide in this country.

Girls are considered to be a burden in many areas of India for several reasons. They leave the home when they marry and their parents, when old, therefore have nobody to care for them. Girls also require a substantial dowry in order to be considered desirable for marriage.

This is no mere anecdotal phenomenon restricted to just a few backwards, savage villages. In virtually every country of the world, women outlive men and outnumber men by about three percent. However, in India, men outnumber women by 24 million, leading to the highest percentage of men in the world. These figures suggest that at least one million female infanticides occur in India every year.

Haryana State, in north-central India, has a population of 16.3 million. It also has India's most skewed sex ratio at 1,144 males of all ages for every 1,000 females of all ages. If this current ratio applies to new births, this would mean that about 15,000 abortions for sex selection (exclusively to kill preborn girls) take place every year in Haryana State alone.[18]

According to a 1990 UNICEF report, which almost certainly understates the magnitude of the slaughter, a minimum of 300,000 baby girls are killed annually by exposure or choking, the methods of "choice."[4]

Shushila Gopalan, a member of Parliament, stated that "We are living in a country with a strong sex bias against women. In Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Rajasthan [states], baby girls continue to be killed after birth ... and now killing female fetuses has become big business."[19]

The attitude of Indian families that murder their newborn girls is identical to that of pro-aborts in the United States. As one 26-year old woman told India Today; "If I and my husband have the right to have a child, we also have the right to kill it if it happens to be a daughter and we decide we cannot afford it. Outsiders and the Government have no right to poke their noses into this."[19]

This is absolutely classic pro-abortion Newthink, and shows that this type of warped 'reasoning' is not peculiar to the United States. The baby girls are usually killed by forcing them to inhale coarse rice grains. In other cases, husbands plant a poisonous madar plant upon learning that their wives are pregnant. By the time the wife delivers, the plant will be ready to kill the baby if it is a girl.

This Indian cultural bias against girls appears not to be restricted to the subcontinent; at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, more than 90 percent of all pregnant Indian women give birth exclusively to boys.

It is not clear what demographic or sociologic effects a preponderance of men will have on the Indian economy or society. The only certainty is that the divergence between the male and female populations will accelerate if trends and conditions remain as they are now in India.

Finally: An End to Female Infanticide
Outside the Womb, at Least.

The Shift from Postnatal to Prenatal Killing.

Despite its current prevalence, female infanticide in China and India appears to be on the verge of being stamped out. The cause is not the elimination of sex discrimination or a more enlightened and progressive attitude among men. The cause is amniocentesis and abortion. The 'birth defect' of femaleness can now be detected before birth, and this defect can be effectively and efficiently remedied.

As the abortionists say, this is much more aesthetically pleasing than the dirty and bothersome task of strangling a struggling newborn baby with your bare hands and burying her cold, bruised little body in the parched ground.

It is a sad and tiresome fact that abortionists are cut from the same bolt of rotten cloth the world over. Seeing a glorious opportunity for a few thousand quick rupees, these 'champions of women's rights' immediately set up amniocentesis clinics all over India, and advertised with slogans like "Better 500 rupees now than 500,000 later," referring to the contrasting costs of abortion and a dowry at a later date.

Dr. Jaswant Singh of the Rohtak Medical College says that "The doctors who are doing this [amniocentesis and abortion] have stopped all other kinds of medicine. This is all they are doing. They are making a lot of money."[18]

Condemnation from the Left. Indian Women's rights organizations have banded together under the umbrella group "Forum Against Sex Determination and Sex Pre-Selection." A study performed by the organization in Bombay found that more than 99 percent of sex-selection abortions were performed on girls. In the country as a whole, more than 90 percent of all women who received notice that their babies were girls aborted them.[20] Horrified by these statistics, Indian Neofeminist groups condemned abortion for sex selection as a "Frankenstein monster," and began to push for a ban on amniocentesis clinics nationwide.

The language used by Neofeminists opposing sex-selection technology is virtually identical in India and the United States. In our country, comical remarks by pro-abortion groups trying to have it both ways provide continuing amusement for pro-life activists. For example, Francoise Jacobsohn, president of the New York National Organization for Women, said that "I think sex-selection abortion is a horrifying symptom that women are still being ignored and disregarded as human beings in virtually every society in the world. The real issue in question here is not abortion, but the treatment of women."

Notice that "The real issue is not abortion" (Of course not. It never is). To admit that the real issue is abortion would be psychic death to pro-aborts. It is interesting to note that Jacobsohn had nothing at all to say about the more than 750,000 unborn women who die every year in this country at the hands of abortionists and that many of these baby-killers are themselves female!

But the Indian pro-abortion protests were doomed to failure. The sneering response from the abortionists in both the United States and India was totally predictable and, for once, right on the mark. The baby-killers made the pointed statement "You women pushed for abortion for any reason twenty years ago, and you got it. Now you want to begin putting restrictions on it. You're as bad as those right-to-lifers."

The women's rights groups had no logical reply to this rejoinder, because none existed.

Approval by the Pro-Aborts.

Of course, many pro-abortionists have no objections at all to sex-selection abortions. If they did, they would be displaying "inconsistency," which is anathema to the anti-life mentality. As shown by the quotes in Figure 85-1, Planned Parenthood (who else?) and other radical pro-abortionists heartily approve of the selective slaughter of preborn baby girls.


... once the state of the fetal diagnostic art moves from second to first trimester, so abortion falls within the menstrual extraction period. Planned Parenthood will increasingly connote planning the sex as well as the spacing of offspring.

Dr. Elizabeth B. Connell, president, Planned Parenthood National Medical Committee. "Boy or Girl: Now Choice, Not Chance." Medical World News, December 1, 1975. Quoted in Lisa Andrusko. "What Are "Sex-Selection" Abortions?" National Right to Life News, March 14, 1985, pages 3 and 10.

Abortion for sex selection in the eighth month may not be good, but that is for people themselves to decide.

Richard Cohen, Washington Post columnist. Quoted in Lisa Andrusko. "What Are "Sex-Selection" Abortions?" National Right to Life News, March 14, 1985, pages 3 and 10.

Alarm over the prospect that prenatal diagnostic techniques, which permit identification of fetal sex and facilitate abortion of healthy but unwanted female fetuses has led some to urge their outright prohibition. This article argues against that response ... conditions in some societies may sometime render excusable the inclination to abort certain healthy female fetuses ... care must be taken to resist ethical imperialism which projects one country's values onto other communities existing in different circumstances.

Bernard M. Dickens, "Prenatal Diagnosis and Female Abortion: A Case Study in Medical Law and Ethics." Journal of Medical Ethics, September 1986, pages 143 and 144.

I would never use it, and my wife and I would never use it. However, to deny such a test raises serious questions such as, is the geneticist imposing his personal bias on someone else?

Dr. M. Neil MacIntyre, Professor of anatomy and human genetics at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland. Quoted by J.L. Lazarevic. "Ethics Bug Scientist in Child Sex Choice." The Pittsburgh Press, February 29, 1976, page B-4.

Notice how the last two authors whose quotes are listed in Figure 85-1 use standard pro-abortion slogans to justify even the most insupportable "terminations." The last quote is nothing more than the old "personally opposed" copout, and the second-to-last quote is simply the tired "don't foist your morality off on me" slogan dressed up to operate on an international scale. According to Dickens, it is all right to flood developing countries with IUDs, injectable abortifacients, and abortion technology, but it is "ethical imperialism" to suggest that it might be wrong to kill children just because they are girls.

Strangely, this attitude conflicts with the views of many other pro-aborts, which demonstrates the depth to which the anti-lifers are divided on this issue. An author in the Alan Guttmacher Institute's Family Planning Perspectives recognized the economic principle of scarcity vs. value even as applied to human beings when she said that

When there are proportionately few women (a high sex ratio), their status will be low, but when there is a relative surplus of women (a low sex ratio), their status will be high. According to this hypothesis, when women are in short supply, men will tend to keep them under tighter control by prizing virginity until marriage, emphasizing monogamous relationships, and placing high values on the roles of mother and homemaker ...[21]

The Fundamental Principle.

The essence of the pro-life position regarding sex-selection baby-killing was summarized quite competently and accurately by writer Jo McGowan in the February 28, 1989 issue of Newsweek Magazine;

Which abortion is not 'selective?' The handicapped fetus of the mother who only wants a perfect baby, the third child of a mother who only wants two, the unplanned baby of a mother who wants total control of her life all of these can be 'selectively' aborted ... Perhaps from the undeniable truth that it is wrong to kill a baby simply because it is a girl, will emerge the larger truth that it is wrong to kill a baby at all.

References: Sex-Selection Abortions.

[1] 'Religious' Coalition for Abortion Rights. Propaganda pamphlet entitled "Words of Choice." 1991, Washington, D.C., page 4.

[2] Syndicated columnist Mona Charen. "Sex-Selected Abortions Hard to Defend." The Oregonian, January 6, 1989, page B5.

[3] Eve Glicksman. "Breeding for Gender Encourages 'Shopping Mentality.'" The Oregonian, June 18, 1991, page B7.

[4] For example, see Dr. Morton A. Stenchever's letter entitled "An Abuse of Prenatal Diagnosis" on page 408 the July 24, 1973 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. This letter is available as Reprint #2004 from the Institute of Society, Ethics and the Life Sciences, Hastings-on-Hudson, New York 10706.

[5] Jeremy Knox, M.D. "Doctor's Dilemma: Abortion if Fetus is Wrong Sex." Boston Globe, August 11, 1976, page 1.

[6] Toronto Globe and Mail, September 23, 1987. Also see the Canadian Press Dispatch, September 1, 1987.

[7] Richard Lyons, op.cit., Roberta Steinbacher, "Futuristic Implications of Sex Preselection," in Holmes,, (editors), The Custom-Made Child? Women-Centered Perspectives. New Jersey: Human Press, 1981. A much earlier study on sex ratio preferences is discussed in S. Dinitz, R.R. Dynes, and A.C. Clarke. Marriage and Family Living, 16,128 (1954). Also see the Toronto Globe and Mail, June 18, 1984.

[8] Charles F. Westoff and Ronald R. Rindfuss. "Sex Preselection in the United States: Some Implications." Science, May 10, 1974, pages 633 to 636. This article is available as Reprint #2003 from the Institute of Society, Ethics and the Life Sciences, Hastings-on-Hudson, New York 10706.

[9] The results of Dr. Linda Fidell's survey of 710 women undergraduates can be found in The Toronto Sunday Star, June 1, 1980.

[10] "Signs of Trouble Ahead." American Medical Association News, November 22, 1976.

[11] Glenn Ellen Duncan. "Baby Girls: The Latest Abortion Victims." Catholic Twin Circle, March 12, 1989, pages 4 to 7.

[12] Professor Nikolai Dubinin, Chief of the Soviet Institute of General Genetics. Quoted in John Cotter's pamphlet entitled "Where have all the little girls gone?"

[13] Robert Stone. "Women Endangered Species in India." The Oregonian, March 14, 1989, page B7.

[14] For example, see Jay Mathews. "Chinese Said to Determine Sex of Fetus, Abort Females." The Washington Post, March 1, 1977, page A11.

[15] Jin Mingai, mayor of Daijiawan village, whose children are all boys. Quoted in Nicholas D. Kristof, New York Times News Service. "Birthrates in China Beg Question: Where Are the Girls?" The Oregonian, Sunday, June 23, 1991, page A14.

[16] Michael Weisskopf. "China's Birth Control Policy Drives Some to Kill Baby Girls." The Washington Post, January 8, 1985, page A1.

[17] "China's Population Policy is Proving to Be Effective." Beijing Review (English Edition), November 6-12, 1989, pages 42 to 44.

[18] Edward A. Gargan, New York Times News Service. "Ultrasound Changes Face of Third World." The Oregonian, December 15, 1991, page A20.

[19] Shushila Gopalan, member of the Indian Parliament, quoted in the Toronto Star, June 23, 1982.

[20] R. Rao. "Move to Stop Sex-Test Abortion." Nature Magazine. November 20-26, 1986, page 202.

[21] E.G. Stockwell. "Sex Ratios, Women's Status." Alan Guttmacher Institute, Family Planning Perspectives, November-December 1987, page 239.

Further Reading: Sex-Selection Abortions.

Marc Lappe. "Choosing the Sex of Our Children: A Dream Come True or ... ?"
The Hastings Center Report, February 1974. Also available as Reprint #2002 from the Institute of Society, Ethics and the Life Sciences, Hastings-on-Hudson, New York 10706.

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This is a chapter of the Pro-Life Activist’s Encyclopedia published by American Life League.

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