NRL News

“A Global War Against Baby Girls”

by | Jan 13, 2012

By Dave Andrusko

Nicolas Eberstadt

National Right to Life News Today has carried any number of stories about a deeply disturbing development which is both hideous in its own right and threatens almost incalculable dangers for nations around the world: sex-selective abortions.

As good an overview of this terrible discrimination against baby girls as I’ve ever read appears in the current issue of the journal, “The New Atlantis.” The opening paragraph of Nicolas Eberstadt’s admittedly long essay catches the breadth, depth, and width of this lethal animus against females.

“Over the past three decades the world has come to witness an ominous and entirely new form of gender discrimination: sex-selective feticide, implemented through the practice of surgical abortion with the assistance of information gained through prenatal gender determination technology. All around the world, the victims of this new practice are overwhelmingly female — in fact, almost universally female. The practice has become so ruthlessly routine in many contemporary societies that it has impacted their very population structures, warping the balance between male and female births and consequently skewing the sex ratios for the rising generation toward a biologically unnatural excess of males. This still-growing international predilection for sex-selective abortion is by now evident in the demographic contours of dozens of countries around the globe — and it is sufficiently severe that it has come to alter the overall sex ratio at birth of the entire planet, resulting in millions upon millions of new ‘missing baby girls’ each year. In terms of its sheer toll in human numbers, sex-selective abortion has assumed a scale tantamount to a global war against baby girls.”

Since I am really hoping you will read the piece (at (, let me make just one other point.

Mass “fetal feticide” started with China’s coercive “One Child Policy” whose trademark is forced abortion and coerced sterilization. But this grotesque sex discrimination has now migrated. As Steven Mosher, an expert on the topic and President of the Population Research Institute, wrote recently, “sex-selective abortion in China and other Asian countries has reached epidemic proportions.“

One of Eberstadt’s important reminders is that sex-selective abortion does not require “a  draconian state-run population-control program.” Cultural preferences for males, an overall declining population, and the availability of “easy and affordable abortion and prenatal sex diagnostics” together “permit parents to engineer the sex composition of their families — and by extension, of their societies.” is a great read. You will find his final point especially intriguing—there has been “one country thus far that has managed to return from grotesquely imbalanced SRBs [Sex-ratio at birth] to normal human ratios”–and his explanation why.

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