Pro-life advocates placed thousands of small pink flags Saturday in two cities to remind Canadians that the country does not protect girls from discriminatory sex-selection abortions.
The pro-life organization We Need a Law organized the pink flag displays in Langley and Chilliwack, British Columbia, along with several pro-life MPs, The Aldergrove Star reports.
“‘It’s a girl’ is a death sentence for some pre-born children, because Canada has no abortion law and has done nothing to condemn the practice of sex selective abortion,” pro-life advocate Stephen Vandergriendt said.
Yorkton-Melville Conservative MP Cathay Wagantall introduced a bill earlier this year to ban sex selection abortions across the country. Her “Sex Selective Abortion Act” (Bill C-233) would add language to the Criminal Code to prohibit a medical professional from performing an abortion “if the reason is the sex of the pre-born child.”
“If just one girl is aborted simply because of her sex, parliamentarians must act,” Wagantall said in a statement. “Thankfully, Canadians of nearly all beliefs are united on this issue, with 84 percent stating that sex-selective abortion should be illegal. This is reasonable common ground that every member of parliament must thoughtfully consider.”
On Saturday, fellow MPs Tamara Jansen and Tako Van Popta joined Wagantall and other pro-life advocates to raise awareness about the discriminatory practice.
“It was a privilege to join her in shining a light on this misogynistic practice,” Jansen wrote afterward on Facebook. “I believe politicians of all political stripes should be willing to stand up for women and girls, and oppose this practice.”
Wagantall said thousands of Canadians have signed a petition in support of her legislation. She encouraged people to keep spreading the word about the need for a sex-selection abortion ban.
“Often, those I speak to are in disbelief that a country like Canada would permit this type of abortion. Canada must do better,” she said.
Sex-selection abortions are legal in most of the United States as well as Canada, despite strong evidence that millions of girls are missing due to the discriminatory practice.
Research published in 2016 found evidence of sex selection abortions in Canada. Mike Schouten, director of WeNeedaLAW.ca, wrote at the time: “With a focus on Indian communities, the researchers found a skewed ratio of boys to girls that cannot be explained by chance. While this study singles out a particular cultural group in Canada, sex-selective abortion is legal for anyone, at any point, as is all other abortion in Canada.”
In Asian countries, the discrimination is particularly bad. Research published in the PLOS ONE journal earlier this year estimated that as many as 6.8 million girls could be missing from the population in India by 2030 due to sex-selection abortions. And in China, numerous reports have highlighted how men are struggling to find wives because so many girls were aborted before they were born.
Less is known about the actual number of missing girls due to sex-selection abortions in the U.S. and Canada.