Planned Parenthood Strategy Responsible for India’s Sex-Selection Abortions

International   |   Jeff Sagnip   |   Sep 11, 2013   |   5:39PM   |   Washington, DC

The promotion of sex-selection abortion as a population control strategy, crafted in the United States by Planned Parenthood, the Population Council and others and then exported worldwide, has resulted millions of missing girls in India, China and elsewhere, a congressional human rights panel was told at a Sept. 10 hearing.

Congressional testimony by Mara Hvistendahl, a correspondent and contributing editor with Science Magazine, pointed out that “Sex-selective abortion following ultrasound scans is by far the most common means of sex-selection worldwide.”

In her book, Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls, and the Consequences of a World Full of Men, Hvistendahl has written that there are over 160 million females ‘missing’ from Asia’s population, alone.

Rep. Chris Smith, who chaired the House foreign affairs human rights committee hearing on “India’s Missing Girls” said, “That’s more than the entire female population of the United States of America. Today, the three most dangerous words in India and China are: it’s a girl.”

“Sex-selection abortion is cruel and discriminatory,” said Smith. “It is violence against women. Most people in and out of government remain woefully unaware of the fact that sex-selection abortion is a violent, nefarious and deliberate policy imposed on the world by the pro-abortion population control movement—it’s not an accident. Lawmakers in India, the United States and worldwide must defend women from this vicious assault.

“By shining a light on what is happening in India with its missing girls, we hope to move toward a world where every woman is valued and respected because of her intrinsic dignity, and where every child is welcomed regardless of his or her sex,” Smith added.

Sabu M. George, Ph.D., a researcher and member of India’s Campaign Against Sex Selection, who flew in from India to testify, said that “rampant sex selection has resulted in genocide.”

Matthew J. Connelly, Ph.D., Professor, Columbia University, testified that it was in the 1960s, that Planned Parenthood’s head of research, Steven Polgar, first urged biologists to find a method for sex-determination in utero. Likewise Bernard Berelson, then president of the Population Council, put forward in a 1969 article how sex selection coupled with abortion was a relatively “ethical” means to control population should it ever be necessary to go “beyond” voluntary methods of family planning.

Connelly testified how the Population Council also sent the head of its biomedical division, Sheldon Segal, to New Delhi to instruct Indian doctors how to determine the sex of the unborn child while publically advocating sex-selection as means to control population. He shed light on the policy decisions made by non-governmental organizations such as Planned Parenthood and the Population Council, funded by foundations such as the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations, and by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and their impact on the present crisis in India and other countries such as China.

“It was development professionals who first promoted sex-selective abortion as a potential solution to what they saw as the population explosion,” said Connelly, author of Fatal Misconception: The Struggle to Control World Population.

In like manner in her book Unnatural Selection, Hvistendahl said, “By August 1969, when the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the Population Council convened another workshop on population control, sex selection had become a pet scheme….Sex selection, moreover, had the added advantage of reducing the number of potential mothers….if a reliable sex determination technology could be made available to a mass market,” there was “rough consensus” that sex selection abortion “would be an effective, uncontroversial and ethical way of reducing the global population.”

Jill McElya, a human rights lawyer with the Invisible Girl Project, drew a direct link in her testimony between what she termed “gendercide” – the killing of young girls in the womb and after birth – and trafficking of women. One step to address a root cause of trafficking, she suggested, is requiring our State Department to report on what countries such as India and China are doing to protect the girl child in the womb and on sex ratios in countries where the girl child is especially at risk, just as we require reports on trafficking.

Smith noted that “Sex-selective abortion and female infanticide have led to lopsided sex ratios. In parts of India, for example, 126 boys are born for every 100 girls. This in turn leads to a shortage of women, which then leads to trafficking in persons, bride selling and prostitution,” said Smith. “Perhaps the best figures we have concerning the magnitude of the problem come from India’s 2011 census figures, which found that there are approximately 37 million more men than women in India.”