29 March 2006

Tough Choice

I came across a story in the news today that first made my skin crawl, then made me mad as hell. So of course I have to share it with you.

This MSN article about the first Indian doctor to be jailed for performing sex-selection (meaning "kill all the girls") abortions made me sick.
Female children frequently require large dowries — cash and gifts given to the groom’s relatives by a bride’s family — and often receive medical treatment and education after male children.

Some ultrasound clinics used to advertise with the slogan: “Pay 1,000 rupees now for a test, rather than 100,000 rupees later.”

National imbalance
Nationwide, the number of girls per 1,000 boys declined from 945 in 1991 to 927 in 2001, according to the 2001 national census. In wealthy Haryana state, the census showed 820 females for every 1,000 males.

The past two decades have seen the birth of nearly 10 million fewer girls than would otherwise have been expected, nearly all presumed by researchers to have been aborted, according to the Lancet, a leading British medical journal.

I have been pro-choice for as long as I have been able to understand the concept of abortion, so I can imagine an anti-abortion person saying "What's the difference between killing all babies and just killing girl babies?"

To me, not allowing abortions and only aborting girls are two ends of the same spectrum. It isn't about abortion, it's about denying women the right to control her own body - or to live in a body at all.

I'm mad, but I'm also sad, imagining what is in the deepest hearts of the women who had the abortions. They have had the experience of being women in a culture that doesn't value women, and they must have hated it bad enough that they can make it okay to say yes when the doctor asks them if they want to abort their girl.


J.R. Kinnard said...

Wow, that's some really sick and painful stuff. It certainly gives new meaning to the term 'second-class citizen'.

“Pay 1,000 rupees now for a test, rather than 100,000 rupees later.”

That's about the most cynical, hateful thing I've ever read.

Christina said...

I saw that too, and I agree that it is so sad. I just can't understand why people would do something like that.

I agree with you, how awful must a woman's life be to make the choice not to bring her daughter into the world?

MrsFortune said...

I've always felt the same way about abortion - if any government can forbid it, they can also require it. I'm not sure which is worse but the effect is the same, as you said, a woman's body is not her own. Very sad.

noncommon said...

i don't know what to say about this. it's wrong. but it's also wrong that women in these societies have nothing to live for. seriously. they aren't afforded the simple, basic right to have spirit. so, i'm torn. is it sick and wrong to perpetuate the thought that women are a burden, worthless, disposable? absolutly. but might it be a small blessing for these spirits to not have to suffer through this existence. i'm a believer that spirits move on, and if this was not the time and place for this spirit to come, then it just waits for the right time.

IzzyMom said...

I can't even begin to form a comment on this. It's such a vast and horrid topic. Maybe I'll come back and post after I've processed it a bit more.

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