European Parliament “Condemns” Gendercide, Sex-Selection Abortions

International   |   Marie Smith   |   Oct 10, 2013   |   6:33AM   |   Washington, DC

The European Parliament approved a report–Gendercide: the missing women?–that condemns practices that destroy the lives of women and girls, including sex selection abortion and infanticide.

The report by MEP Antigoni Papadopoulou recognizes that sex selective abortion is a form of discrimination and violence against women and girls and that family or societal pressure on women to pursue sex-selective abortion is considered a form of physical and psychological violence.

The Gendercide Report of Mrs. Papadopoulou was adopted on October 8th by 567 votes in favor 37 against and 54 abstentions.

The report acknowledges that forced abortion and sex selective abortion are global concern and calls on the European Commission and all relevant stakeholders “to take the necessary legislative or other measures to ensure that practicing forced abortions and sex-selective surgery to terminate pregnancy without prior and informed consent or understanding of the procedure by the women involved is criminalized.”

However, it fails to support legislative measures to stop any and all abortions that are based solely on the child’s sex and appears to issue an exemption for those sex selection abortions based on the mother’s ‘choice’.

The report recognizes the lucrative nature of sex determination and supports the prohibition of advertisements for sex selection services. It calls on the European Commission and Member States to “identify clinics in Europe that conduct sex-selective abortions, provide statistics on this practice and elaborate a list of best practices for preventing them”.

Overall, passage of the report expresses the concern of the European Parliament for practices that devalue and destroy the life of a girl child, before and after birth, and that are the reasons why the three most dangerous words in the world today are “It’s a girl!” Note:  Marie Smith is the director of the Parliamentary Network for Critical Issues.