The slaughter of unborn and baby girls throughout the third world is receiving greater attention, reaching the level of the United States Congress, the European Parliament, and the United Nations. But concrete actions to outlaw the practice are thwarted because they cannot but conflict with a “woman’s right to choose.”
Sex-selective abortion is no longer confined to the third world. It is now a reality in more advanced countries. On April 17, 2012, in the article Gendercide is Here, CalCatholic documented the practice right here in California:
“Continuing a trend identified for prior years, several California counties had abnormally low female-to-male birth ratios among Asians in 2010, a development that was associated with the proliferation of keepsake ultrasound centers that offer gender-determination services…For several years, Lin has been examining birth-gender ratios (female births per 1,000 male births) to investigate if commercial access to 4D keepsake ultrasound studies could be facilitating gender-specific abortion among Asians in California.
“In 2010, (Dr. G. Sharat Lin) presented research at the AIUM meeting that hinted at a relationship between keepsake ultrasound and birth-gender ratios in the state….Lin found that Asian ethnic groups in the county who were known to have a traditional gender preference for boys had clearly lower female-to-male birth ratios than those Asian ethnic groups who did not have a preference…. Statewide, Asians have had the lowest birth-gender ratio (considered to be less than 930 female births per 1,000 male births) among ethnic groups in California from 1995 to 2010.”
In 2012, Congressman Trent Franks sought to make the sex-selective abortion illegal in the U.S. with the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act, but it was unable to pass congress. The bill needed a two-thirds majority to be fast tracked and although it passed 246-168 on a mostly party line vote, that did not meet the required threshold. The U.S. is not alone among first world countries in failing.
On October 8, 2013 the European Parliament adopted the Gendercide Report by Greek delegate Antigoni Papadopoulou with 567 votes in favor 37 against and 54 abstentions. What “adopted” means is not exactly clear: the report condemned the practice of sex-selective abortions but offered no legislative remedies whatsoever. As National Right to Life News reported: “…it fails to support legislative measures to stop any and all abortions that are based solely on the child’s sex and appears to issue an exemption for those sex selection abortions based on the mother’s ‘choice’.”
The United Kingdom is not part of the European Union. But the country is confronted with the same issue. And on October 7, 2013 the day before the EU’s parliament adopted the Gendercide Report, the Daily Mail reported that Keir Starmer, the UK’s director of public prosecutions “declared that nothing in abortion law prevented a woman from terminating her pregnancy because she did not want a girl.”
Three days after that, on October 10, 2013 the Catholic Herald UK reported that in Australia a Catholic doctor, Mark Hobart, faces sanctions for refusing to abort a healthy 19-week-old girl and for refusing to send the parents to another doctor who might have performed the abortion. Simon Caldwell wrote “The Melbourne-based medic is being investigated by the Medical Board of Australia and also by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency – the Australian equivalent of the General Medical Council – and he could lose his license to practice medicine anywhere in the country.”
One of the first in California to bring awareness of the issue have been Gino and Nyna Caputi. The Caputis are Catholic Bay Area filmmakers, who have been working on a movie called Petals in the Dust, which documents sex-selective abortion and female infanticide in Mrs. Caputi’s native India. The couple was motivated following their experience in trying to adopt a baby girl from India. At that time they were surprised to find that in the part of India they were visiting, there were no baby girls to adopt. They had all been killed. As Mrs. Caputi researched the issue and learned more about the practice of sex-selective abortion and gendercide, she decided to act.
In 2010 Mrs. Caputi established the Global Walk for India’s Missing Girls. This year’s walk will be held on Saturday, October 26 in 25 cities spread out over five countries. The San Francisco walk will begin at 11:00 a.m. at City Hall, and will proceed to the Ferry Building. For more information, visit www.petalsinthedust.com and click the Take Action link.