The case of Chinese pro-life activist Chen Guangcheng has drawn international attention to the plight of women and baby girls under China’s One Child Policy. Prior to Chen’s very public struggle with the Chinese government, many Americans were unaware of the forced abortions and sex selection abortions taking place on a daily basis in China.
Unfortunately, targeting baby girls for abortion is not just limited to China. Efforts to ban abortions done exclusively on the basis of the unborn child’s gender are making headway in the United States and polling shows Americans strongly oppose such abortions.
A new poll conducted by the Lozier Institute found that 77% of respondents would support the enactment of laws prohibiting abortion in cases where “the fact that the developing baby is a girl is the sole reason for seeking an abortion.” Illinois, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma and Arizona already have laws on the books which prohibit this practice, according to the Lozier Institute.
Pro-life attorney Anna Franzonello took Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry to task on this issue in a Washington Times editorial writing, “When it comes to feminist goals, working to end sex-selection abortions should be common ground for all sides. It is a real war on women, costing the lives of girls simply because they are girls. While mainstream American values reject gender-based killings as patently offensive, in this war on women in the womb, Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry are on the side of abortion-trumps-all.”
When Congressman Trent Frank (R-AZ) sponsored a bill to ban sex selection abortions, abortion advocates not only opposed the bill in great hysteria but also denied the very existence of sex selection abortions. Nancy Northup, President of the Center for Reproductive Rights, called it a “trumped up bill for a trumped up problem.” Meanwhile at the pro-abortion blog Jezebel, a writer called sex selection abortions “a problem rampant only in its rampant nonexistence.”
In the debate over Oklahoma’s ban on sex selection, Mary Spaulding Balch, State Legislative Director for the National Right to Life Committee, said, “So-called ‘pro-choice’ feminists will show their true colors if they oppose sex selection abortion bans since the world knows ‘sex selection’ is code for ‘search and destroy’ unborn females.”
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Despite the virtue of equality that the United States heralds around the world, it remains one of just a few Western nations not to prohibit abortion when based exclusively on the gender of the unborn child, according to the Center for Genetics and Society. Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom all have laws banning sex selection abortions.
If Chen Guangcheng could take on the Chinese government on the issues of sex selection abortion and forced abortion, there is no reason why the United States should not take steps to outlaw the same discriminatory practices. With international attention focused on the issue of sex selection abortion and with polling showing a clear consensus of the American people supporting its prohibition, now is the time to act.