Column Claims Sex-Selection Abortion is a “Parental Right”

Opinion   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 24, 2012   |   3:03PM   |   Washington, DC

A new opinion column claims sex-selection abortion is a “parental right.” The logic, if you will, goes something like this:  if abortion is a right and selecting the gender of a child via reproductive technologies is a right, then selecting gender via abortion is also a right.

To quote from the column, at “PolicyMic:”

[I]f the arguments for reproductive freedom are strong enough to justify preventing or terminating a pregnancy, then surely they’re strong enough to justify women choosing the sex of the children they will raise. If compared, it’s rather easy to see that the arguments made in support of sex selection are essentially identical to those made in defense of abortion.

There’s no doubt that we need to consider the difficult ethical questions that arise as our ability to manipulate nature improves. But making ominous predictions and restricting personal choice shouldn’t be a part of that discussion, at least not without evidence. And in the case of sex selection, the critics have failed to provide any sound reason why the practice should be banned.

Wesley J. Smith, a noted pro-life blogger and attorney, also noticed the column and commented on it:

I have noted often that creating the abortion license also led to a perceived fundamental right to not only have a baby, but the baby one wants.  And some have said I was nuts, but can there be any real doubt that abortion  helped turn procreation into a consumer activity and undermined unconditional love of offspring?

And now, sex selection is being pushed as a “right,” precisely because killing fetuses is a perceived right. This is just garbage ethics, which is what happens when you reject human exceptionalism, which sex selection by definition, does.

Earlier this year, Democrats in the House of Representatives prevented passage of a bill that would ban sex-selection abortions. The legislation needed a two-thirds vote and Democrats voted overwhelmingly against the legislation after President Barack Obama and Planned Parenthood came out in opposition.

With a 246-168 vote, the bill did not obtain the two-thirds majority necessary to pass. Republicans voted for the bill on a 226-7 margin while Democrats opposed banning sex-selection abortions on 161-20 vote margin.



Tom McClusky, Senior Vice President for Family Research Council Action (FRC Action), had the following to say: “We are deeply saddened that the U.S. House of Representatives would vote to keep sex-selection abortion legal in this country. That anyone on either side of the political aisle would vote against a bill preventing gendercide in the United States is profoundly troubling. Given that CDC data suggests sex-selection abortion is occurring in our country, and a recent undercover video released this week by Live Action showing Planned Parenthood’s willingness to facilitate a sex-selection abortion, the American public cannot ignore this sexist practice.

“But because of lobbying by Planned Parenthood and the White House, the bill to protect against sex-selection abortion failed. We applaud the 246 Members on both sides of the aisle who voted for the bill. We thank Rep. Trent Franks and the Republican leadership for holding a vote on this legislation to ban this tragic and discriminatory practice. We will continue to work with them to pass this legislation in the future, so that pre-born women across the nation will be protected from gendercide and sex discrimination,” McClusky concluded.