On Sex Selective Abortion

Now, get past that wrenching feeling in your gut and tell me why sex selective abortion seems so wrong.

If you can’t, then it’s time to take a long hard look at your worldview.

If you’re counting on an emotional reaction to tell you this is wrong, then you’re counting on a chimera that will soon fade over time. Just as we have “gotten used to” abortion over time, we will “get used to,” sex selective abortion —if we live with it for long enough.

On what, then, should we based our outrage at sex selective abortion? Because abortion is being committed unfairly, for something the child can’t choose? How is this different than aborting a child because they have some disease, or some genetic problem? Do we really think there should be affirmative action in abortion clinics? That just as for every male athlete we must have a female one, for every female abortion, we must have a male one?

No!

On what, then, should we base our objection to sex selective abortions?

Let’s start here: By choosing to abort girls and not boys, we are saying boys are worth more than girls. But there is only one way to justify this train of thought —by arguing that people have no intrinsic value outside their sex. This is the nub of the problem with sex selective abortion, isn’t it? That ultimately it can only be justified in a world where people are only valued for their external qualities, their sex, or the color of their skin, or their heritage.

So sex selective abortions are wrong because they violate the intrinsic value of the person by treating a person as no greater than their gender.

Then why are abortions right in the first place?

If the little girl in the womb is a person who shouldn’t be aborted simply because of her sex, then how is the little girl in the womb who’s aborted because she’s not convenient right now any different? Doesn’t abortion, itself, presuppose that these little blobs of tissue aren’t people? Doesn’t abortion, itself, presuppose that the value of a person is only found in the value of that person to other people? That if your life is somehow inconvenient to others, you simply shouldn’t be allowed to be born? Is what we’re truly objecting to the statement by a mother that a little boy is more convenient than a little girl? More desirable?

Our modern worldview has tied us in a knot this time. How can we, as a culture, outlaw same sex abortion without taking a long hard look in the mirror, without rethinking our entire concept of what being a person means?

Or maybe it’s time to reconsider our entire postmodern, relativistic worldview —sex selective abortion is just the tip of the iceberg.

Comments are closed.