Canadian Women Use Sex-Selection Abortions at Alarming Rate

International   |   Adam Cassandra   |   Apr 20, 2012   |   10:20AM   |   Ottawa, Canada

A new study released this week by researchers in Canada suggests that women of Indian origin living in Ontario are likely using prenatal screenings to determine the gender of their children and are aborting their female babies out of a preference for males.

“Our findings raise the possibility that couples originating from India may be more likely than Canadian-born couples to use prenatal sex determination and terminate a second or subsequent pregnancy if the fetus is female,” according to the study published on April 16 by the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Researchers in the study said that on average there are 105 males born for every 100 females, but among Indian-born mothers having a second child, the ratio was 111 males to 100 females, and it jumped to 136 males to 100 females for the third child.

While researchers found that the male to female ratio of children born to women who had more than one child was significantly higher among those from India, immigrants from South and East Asia in general were more likely than their Canadian-born counterparts to give birth to a male infant.

The study, which was led by Dr. Joel Ray, a physician at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, also cited previous research showing a preference for males among Indian born women, and suggested that cultural factors may contribute to the skewed gender ratios.

“An interesting finding in our study was the difference in the male:female ratios between parous women born in India and those born in Pakistan. Although they are neighbouring countries, India is a secular state, whereas Pakistan is an Islamic state in which abortion is religiously prohibited.”

Joseph Meaney, director of international coordination for Human Life International (HLI), was not surprised by the study’s findings. Meaney travels around the world giving presentations on sex-selective abortion, or gendercide.

“The Canadian study highlighted the fact that abnormally few girls were born to mothers from India or Korea. This correlates with the well documented fact that sex-selection is most practiced in the Far East,” said Meaney. “China and India are at the epicenter of the crisis with tens of millions of missing girls.”

“Evidence from multiple sources is mounting that the global scourge of sex-selection abortion, the use of modern technologies to determine the gender of the preborn child and eliminate those of the undesired sex, is occurring in Canada, the USA and Europe,” Meaney said.

Meaney cited the research of noted demographer Nicholas Eberstadt to point out that the gendercide phenomenon is global, with examples of nations on all continents displaying birth ratios skewed in favor of boys.

“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,” wrote Eberstadt in the Fall 2011 issue of The New Atlantis. “In terms of its sheer toll in human numbers, sex-selective abortion has assumed a scale tantamount to a global war against baby girls.”

“In the USA there is strong evidence similar to that recently found in Canada pointing to sex-selection abortion of girls with immigrant parents from China, India and South Korea,” said Meaney.

A 2008 study examining “male-biased sex ratios” among U.S.-born children of Chinese, Korean and Asian Indian parents based on the 2000 U.S. Census found that the ratio of male to female births exceeds the biological norm.

“We interpret the found deviation in favor of sons to be evidence of sex selection, most likely at the prenatal stage,” wrote the authors of the study.

According to Meaney, scientific research is now backing up and stirring the debate on what pro-life advocates have known for a long time – that abortion discriminates against women.

“Pro-lifers have equated abortion with discrimination against women for a long time, but demographers are now providing concrete scientific proof for those assertions,” he said. Note:  Reprinted with permission from Human Life International’s World Watch forum. Adam Cassandra is a Communications Specialist at Human Life International.