International Day of the Girl Child Ignores Sex-Selection Abortion

International   |   Marie Smith   |   Oct 11, 2012   |   10:42AM   |   Washington, DC

Today, October 11, the world celebrates the first ever “International Day of the Girl Child” but too many commemorations will ignore the violence of sex selection abortion as the three most dangerous words in the world continue to be “It’s a girl.”

The United Nations resolution designating the day is designed to end the cycle of discrimination that prevents girls from receiving an education, having access to health care and a nutritional diet and eliminate the violence and abuse that impacts their lives. But the cycle of discrimination will only be broken when the very first act of violence against a girl— identification and destruction in the womb through sex selection abortion—is eliminated around the world.

Sex selection abortion is the beginning of gendercide. Sex selection abortion considers the lives of the youngest of females to be without worth or value. Sex selection abortion is gender based violence against the most defenseless of girls.

There ought to be universal cries against sex selection abortion on this day and everyday but the most strident pro-abortion activists allow this discrimination against girls to continue adhering to unconditional support for abortion on demand. Even if it means baby girls die because they are not boys.

This was evident during debate in the US House on the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (PRENDA) that would ban abortion based on the unborn child’s sex when hardened pro-abortion Members opposed the bill and President Obama expressed his opposition to the measure to protect girls in the womb from the discrimination and violence of sex selection abortion.

However, enforcement of laws against sex selection abortion is taking place globally including in India which along with China is suffering the consequences of 200 million missing women and girls, according to the Unite Nations, due to a cultural preference for boys and the one child policy in China. Many of these “missing” girls were killed through abortion.

While sex selection abortion often appears in Asian countries and ethnic groups in the United States, sex selection abortion is not an Asian invention. It did not originate in China, in India, in Vietnam or in Taiwan but was exported from the United States as a means of population control.

In her book Unnatural Selection, author Mara Hvistendahl traces sex-selection abortion back to meetings in the United States in 1969. Sex selection was described as “an effective, uncontroversial and ethical way of reducing the global population”. It would result in fewer girls, fewer mothers, and fewer future children.

And it did.



The consequences are unnatural birth ratios today in affected countries creating new social problems with grave implications for the future including increased sex trafficking, tens of millions of men who cannot find wives, aging populations with few daughters and daughters-in-law to care for elderly family members and fewer workers resulting in unprecedented challenges for governments.

As the world celebrates the “International Day of the Girl Child” there must be a consistent respect for the life of a girl beginning right from the start—in utero— if her life is to be valued later in life so she can attend school without fear of violence and abuse or so she is not forced as a child into an too early a marriage. True equality for girls with boys begins when both are welcomed in the womb and at birth and protected in law. Note:  Marie Smith is the director of the Parliamentary Network for Critical Issues.