Conservative Party Leadership Hopefuls Say Canada Must Address Problem of Sex-Selection Abortions

International   |   Erin Parfet   |   Dec 13, 2016   |   1:14PM   |   Ottawa, Canada

Sex-selection abortions that target unborn baby girls are a massive problem across the world, but they are not illegal in Canada or the U.S.

Hopeful Conservative Party leaders in Canada say they want that to change.

“I believe it is wrong to end a pregnancy based solely on the belief that a baby girl is worth less than a baby boy,” Pierre Lemieux, candidate for prime minister in Canada, told the Canadian Free Press. “As a father of four daughters, this issue is particularly close to my heart and I stand with those Canadians who have serious concerns about gender-selective abortion…”

Canada has some of the most permissive abortion laws in the world. In 1969, Canadian mothers could only consider abortion if carrying the baby proved to directly threaten her health or safety, according to Canada’s National Abortion Foundation. However, these abortion laws were deemed unconstitutional in 1988, resulting in Canada having virtually no federal or provincial regulations on abortion. Abortion is not only completely legal but also funded by the taxpayers, with the exception of Nova Scotia.

In Canada, 4,472 “missing girls” were reported in the past 20 years due to sex-selection abortions and infanticide; the practice is more prevalent in populations where the parents are foreign nationals from India, according to reports in BioEdge and the Canadian Medical Association Journal. According to the reports, there was a more natural balance of male and female demographics among Canadians and most other immigrant populations.

However, liberal abortion laws and abortions because of gender preferences are not unique to Canada.

According to the Population Research Institute, United Nations statistics report 100 million girls missing worldwide due to sex-selection abortions, infanticide and other abuses. Some may have been abandoned, drowned, maimed, or sold into sex trafficking, but more are believed to be aborted, the report continues.

Statistics in sex-selective abortions around the world cite a daily average number of 1,756.3 abortions for China, 2,332.6 abortions for India, 318.9 for Pakistan, and 101.4 for Vietnam for the years 2000-2014. This translates into 7 in 100 girls in India being aborted simply for gender-related motivations, and 9 in 100 girls in China being aborted because of being female. Based on the 2000-2014 data, one abortion occurs every 18 seconds based on sex-selection.

All Girls Allowed reports there are 37 million more men in China than women and 1 million abandoned infants annually, most of whom are female. Even in feudal China, baby girls were left in gutters to die, other reports say.

Despite the illegality of sex selection abortions in India under the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act in 1996, the practice is still widespread: India reports 12 million missing girls, according to the Independent. But even in the western world, the practice is a $1,000,000 per year practice, the report continues.

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According to the Center for Genetics and Society, 36 countries have specific laws prohibiting sex-selection abortions for “social” or “non-medical reasons,” with 25 of those countries being in Europe; however, only five countries worldwide prohibit sex-selection for any reason. Several states in the U.S. also ban the discriminatory practice, but there is no federal prohibition on sex-selection abortions.

Other reports cite skewed male to female populations in Singapore, Taiwan, the Balkans, and the former Soviet Union. The Charlotte Lozier Institute reports that the United States is not immune to the sex selection trend, especially in but not limited to Asian populations within the country. Yet the abortion numbers are hard to track with the current system.

Clarke Forsythe told the Lozier Institute:

The U.S. abortion data and reporting system, unlike many other countries, relies completely on voluntary reporting. No federal law requires the reporting of abortion numbers, complications or deaths.

Even the most basic statistics about abortion — for example, the annual number in the United States provided by the CDC — is based entirely on estimates, and is therefore vulnerable to human error. How reliable can the annual number of abortions be if California, which used to report approximately one-quarter of all abortions across the nation annually, hasn’t reported its data to the CDC for several years?

The Economist reports:

Xinran Xue, a Chinese writer, describes visiting a peasant family in the Yimeng area of Shandong province. The wife was giving birth. “We had scarcely sat down in the kitchen”, she writes (see article), “when we heard a moan of pain from the bedroom next door…The cries from the inner room grew louder—and abruptly stopped. There was a low sob, and then a man’s gruff voice said accusingly: ‘Useless thing!’

“Suddenly, I thought I heard a slight movement in the slops pail behind me,” Miss Xinran remembers. “To my absolute horror, I saw a tiny foot poking out of the pail. The midwife must have dropped that tiny baby alive into the slops pail! I nearly threw myself at it, but the two policemen [who had accompanied me] held my shoulders in a firm grip. ‘Don’t move, you can’t save it, it’s too late.’

This discriminatory practice is occurring worldwide. It’s occurring in Canada and the United States for profit, for greed, and for selfish reasons. And this horrifying practice must stop.