By Dave Andrusko
My apologies for not getting to this earlier. We are producing the latest digital edition of National Right to Life News and time got away from me.
In her first paragraph San Francisco Chronicle columnist Debra Saunders captures the what–Insanity? Double standard? Pretend outrage?—of a proposal by Supervisor David Chiu to make San Francisco the first American city to oppose any ban on sex-selection abortions.
“It apparently has not occurred to him why no other city has chosen to do so,” Saunders observes.
Why would a liberal’s liberal like Chiu make this an issue? It’s not as if the bill banning sex-selection abortions, offered by Assemblywoman Shannon Grove, was on the verge of passage. The proposal died in committee in May on a 13-6 vote.
Chiu argues such laws are based on racial (indeed “racist”) stereotypes (more about that below) and beyond that (you guessed it) are “designed to limit access to abortion, not gender-based feticide,” in Saunders’ words.
Chiu and others (such as the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum) base their case on two faulty premises.
But before we get to those, a quick reminder that several years back Journalist Mara Hvistendahl, author of “Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls, and the Consequences of a World Full of Men,” estimates that sex-selection abortions have “claimed over 160 million potential women and girls — in Asia alone.” The number is no doubt much higher now. And she is no pro-lifer, by the way.
Okay, #1. In a classic example of pro-abortion diversionary rhetoric, the aforementioned National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum offers some “myths.” Myth No. 2 is that “India and China are the only countries where male-biased sex ratios exist.”
But, of course, no one has ever said that, and the paper that contained these myths “doesn’t identify who made that bogus claim.”
Why are China and India the best known examples? Because the numbers of sex-selection abortions are astronomically high and because as a consequence the sex ratio between men and women has been completely thrown out of whack with horrific society consequences.
#2. Chiu told Saunders in an interview last week, “There is no evidence that sex-selective abortions are happening in the United States. The legislative bans are based on racial stereotypes. We shouldn’t be passing laws that could potentially cause doctors to not provide care or consider turning women in to authorities for these laws.”
Saunders responded, “No evidence? In 2011, Sunita Puri, then a UCSF [University of California at San Francisco] medical resident, published a study on sex-selection abortion; 65 Indian immigrant women participated in the study, and 24 said they had sought abortions because they were carrying girls. Common sense tells you it is happening among native and immigrant families, and among all ethnicities. China is associated with female feticide because its one-child policy led many families to choose that their one child be a boy. India also has a high ratio of boys to girls, but the phenomenon also occurs in the Balkans and Armenia.”
And Grove made a terrific point to Saunders. Not only have the United Kingdom and Australia outlawed sex-selection abortions, so, too, have China and India. “Are all these countries’ laws motivated by racism?”
Saunders suggests Chiu may have higher political aspirations and is trying to outflank another pro-abortion liberal. The problem is his potential rival would vote to ban bans on sex-selection abortion.
Her conclusion is perfect:
“Civil rights activists who rightly look at genocide with horror nonetheless suggest that San Francisco take a step back from condemning wholesale femicide. Soon San Franciscans will find out if City Hall is so afraid of offending politically active Asian women’s groups that it dismisses as racism any effort to curb a practice that aborts millions of little girls.”