The worst form of discrimination against women in our time is one that is virtually ignored by feminists.
The abortion industry has long billed itself as a champion of women’s rights. Almost thirty years ago, the head of the National Abortion Rights Action League, or NARAL, told The New York Times that “Abortion is the guarantor of a woman’s right to participate fully in the social and political life of society.”
But as Cathy Ruse pointed out recently at the Daily Signal, abortion is being used right now to keep millions of women from participating in life, at all.
By some estimates, there are as many as 160 million girls and women missing worldwide because of sex-selective abortion. Modern technology that allows parents to find out before birth whether they’re having a boy or girl, coupled with traditional cultural preferences for boys, results in nothing less than “gendercide”—the systematic killing of female babies over males. And it’s not just happening overseas.
Newsweek reported last year that sex-selective abortions are on the rise right here in the U.S. One study by Columbia University found that Chinese, Korean and Indian parents on their second pregnancy gave birth to 117 boys for every 100 girls. For third children, the ratio shot up to a staggering 151 boys for every 100 girls.
The culprit, says Newsweek, is sex-selective abortion. So-called “family planning” clinics like those affiliated with Planned Parenthood are helping women kill their unborn daughters. You’d think organizations that pride themselves on protecting and empowering women would want this to stop, but you’d be wrong.
Last year, after the state of Indiana passed a law banning sex-selective abortion, a federal district judge granted a permanent injunction against the law at the request of—you guessed it—Planned Parenthood. In the name of ending discrimination against women, this abortion giant is literally making sure fewer women exist.
This is beyond perverse.
Even worse, pro-choice and feminist support for gendercide remains virtually unflinching. Back in March, when Arkansas enacted a ban on sex-selective abortions, the American Civil Liberties Union complained that the law prevents women from “obtaining abortions that they want for whatever reason,” even, apparently, if that reason is preferring boys over girls.
As Ruse remarks, “Modern abortions politics has done strange things to our culture.” Those who claim to be advocates for women turn a blind eye to the single greatest form of discrimination against them.
Now occasionally, a pro-choice feminist will let slip how he or she really feels about gendercide. That’s what happened back in 2011 when Pulitzer finalist Mara Hvistendahl published a book called “Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls, and the Consequences of a World Full of Men.” In it, she decries systematic discrimination against female fetuses, but comes up short of blaming the real culprit: abortion.
Reviewing the book in The New York Times, Ross Douthat observed that the problem of gendercide puts pro-choicers in a “distinctly uncomfortable position.” They insist “that the unborn aren’t human beings yet, and that the right to abortion is nearly absolute.” But this leaves them “struggling to define a victim for the crime [they’ve] uncovered.”
As pro-lifers, we need to continually point out this glaring inconsistency in the pro-choice worldview. To anyone not sold out to abortion-on-demand, it’s obvious that the sex of a baby is not a legitimate reason to kill her.
Of course, there’s never a legitimate reason to deliberately kill a baby—in the womb or out. But the 160 million missing girls worldwide should convince many that Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry—far from empowering women—have become the greatest perpetrators of their extermination.
John Stonestreet is President of The Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview and BreakPoint co-host.
Editor's Note: This piece was originally published by BreakPoint.