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« What Is Wrong With This Picture? | Main | Petroleum and Prevarication »

January 11, 2006


One thing that I think is worth noting--and I don't have a source on this, but I'm fairly certain I read it maybe a year or so ago--is that in a parallel situation (female infanticide in China as a result of the economic factor you mention combined with the governmental de facto mandate to only have 1 child per couple), the population shift has eventually made female babies the *more* valued commodity. That is, parents now want girls because people are going to need to get married and reproduce and if 80% of your marriage-aged people are male, well, supply and demand makes having girls desirable.

I suggested in a comment on a conservative blog that the current selective abortion in India is *less bad* than the infanticide in China, which I think you have to accept if you hold that abortion is not wrong or murderous. See:

Tigtog (see for her blog) responds:

"Why should feminists have a problem with decrying sex-selective abortion? I fail to see why supporting unrestricted access to safe, legal abortion as a basic principle means that one is prevented from criticising how some individuals/cultures abuse the procedure.

As Joe points out, without abortion of female fetuses you merely end up with an equivalent number of female infanticides. The problem is the culture that devalues women and the traditions that make daughters a financial burden and sons a sort of pension plan. It takes time to subvert such iniquitous traditions, even in the age of globalism."

I think her comment sums it up rather nicely. The underlying problem is clearly, as PIAW also notes, the cultural bias and conditions which make having a female baby both undesirable and pragmatically problematic. (Although I do *strongly* disagree with PIAW's contention that pharmacists should be allowed to refuse to dispense drugs because of moral objections.)

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