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Abortion, Feminism, Gendercide, Sex-Selective Abortion

Why do some Feminists want you to have access to sex-selective abortions?

So, a few days ago our MP’s voted against an amendment to our current Abortion legislation which would have made it explicitly clear that performing an abortion on the basis of gender would be illegal. Fiona Bruce who tabled the amendment suggests her clause has two aims, ‘first, to state with absolute clarity that UK law prohibits sex-selective abortion, second, to provide the Government with an opportunity to develop guidance and regulations aimed at tackling the problem‘. You may intuitively think that there is nothing controversial about that amendment, you would, however, be wrong. It sent some pro-choice feminists into a frenzy of action and scaremongering, and if there’s one thing the pro-choice community are good at it’s scaremongering. This case was no exception.

It’s ironic and disheartening that some women’s rights groups are so ideologically blind, that they find themselves defending a position that doesn’t extend to protecting young humans being killed based solely upon their gender, mostly females. Worldwide it is suggested that there are now over 100 million missing girls because they are either aborted, killed or neglected. These same people suggest that opposing the amendment will actually better protect and empower women. Nonsense.

The pro-choice feminist Sarah Ditum is an example of the moral confusion endemic to modern feminism, she wrote an article in NewStatesman arguing that feminists ought to oppose the ban on sex-selective abortion. Let’s have a look at some of the points she raises and see how persuasive they are.

Ditum begins her polemic by attaching a picture of Fiona Bruce delivering a petition against same sex marriage, what this has to do with making sex-selective abortion is anyone’s guess. I suppose it fits the make believe narrative that people who oppose abortion for some reason must be nasty people. She begins by bringing up the subject of male violence and femicide, I agree with her that it can be a tough topic to raise. But I have no problem acknowledging and condemning male violence against women, and also thinking that making sex-selective abortion illegal is a good thing. Male violence against women is still a serious problem that I don’t see improving anytime soon. With the ease of which young boys can access and view violent pornography (it’s hard to learn how to treat women properly when you have absorbed copious hours of porn that teaches you women exist to satisfy your sexual desires), absent fathers (after all, how can a boy learn how to properly treat women without a father figure to lead by example?), a culture of male violence and the rise of ‘ladism’. It’s hard to not be cynical.

Bans on sex-selective abortions don’t work. Ditum uses India and Taiwan as examples of where legislation against sex-selective abortions is already in place, but hasn’t been effective. However, no one is arguing that making something illegal stops it happening at all, nonetheless, it will stop some people from breaking the law. A few problems with the comparisons with India and Taiwan are that sex-selective abortions were already rife in those places prior to changes in legislation.Women were already viewed less favorably than men in there, and so it is not at all surprising that the legislation alone has had little or no impact. In the UK sex-selective abortions are not common practice, nevertheless, with a rise in immigration comes a rise in different cultural ideals and worldviews and so the demand for sex-selective abortions could increase. A change in legislation would make it clear to everyone that performing an abortion based solely upon the sex of the human fetus is illegal and morally wrong.

The India comparison is especially poor because current Indian legislation completely contradicts the equality of both men and women: women rarely inherit anything which they are legally entitled to, have no right to marital property, and the rape of your estranged wife carries a lesser punishment than the rape of any other woman. Whereas, UK legislation has reinforced the equality of men and women for decades, supporting the claim that they ought to be treated equally throughout their existence. Therefore, to claim that a ban on sex-selective abortions won’t work here because it hasn’t worked in India is nonsense.

We have had the right kind of egalitarian legislation in place for quite some time, and it provides a sound legal basis for making sex-selective abortions illegal. There is a similar problem with comparing the UK with Taiwan, we are culturally and geographically miles part, and it would be simplistic, ignorant and naive to compare our cultural views of women to India or Taiwan. We have our own problems, but we do not have the ‘extreme femicidal culture that fatally devalues women‘ that Ditum correctly observes exists in those places. I don’t find her comparisons with India or Taiwan to be at all analogous to the UK. It may be the case that the legislation against sex-selective abortion doesn’t have a huge impact on its own (Fiona Bruce acknowledges this much) in a misogynistic culture without accompanying egalitarian changes to their laws. However, sometimes it’s just sensible to deal with a little problem before it becomes a bigger one.

Sex-selective abortion in the UK is rare. This is true, sex-selective abortion is not rife in the UK but they do happen and they are on the increase. I think the CPS made a serious mistake when they ruled that convicting the doctors that offered sex-selective abortions was ‘not in the public interest’. What sort of message does this send out to the general public? This also goes against the argument given by a number of MP’s like Yvette Cooper who argued that under the current legislation sex-selective abortions are already illegal. If sex-selective abortions are already illegal under the 1967 Act, then why weren’t they prosecuted, and why weren’t those same MP’s previously arguing that they should be?

Making sex-selective abortions illegal will turn women into criminals. Ditum suggests that the amendment to the current legislation would ‘criminalise’ women who procure sex-selective abortions. It does no such thing. No new criminal offence is created and those legally responsible for upholding the law are the authorising doctors, not the women who procure them. It will certainly not turn women into criminals as Ditum claims, it’s just more uninformed preaching to the pro-choice choir. Nor has any group or individual who supported the amendment suggested that men who assault women should not feel the full force of the law. A number of organisations and groups from both sides of the abortion debate who support the amendment are dedicated to helping women who experience abuse or have been coerced by a partner into having a sex-selective abortion.

It will stop women gaining access to an abortion for a sex-related congenital disorder. These concerns were raised by the pro-choice organisation Antenatal Results and Choices, Fiona Bruce herself has said that this claim has no basis in reality. This would have been made clear in the presentation and wording of the amendment. This was simply another smear tactic to encourage MP’s to be wary about voting for a change to the Abortion Act, and it is tactics like this that seemed to have worked.

It’s a clandestine way of giving the unborn greater rights at the expense of women. Ditum suggests that because Bruce uses the phrase ‘unborn child’ that this somehow equates with granting the human fetus the legal status of a person. It does nothing of the sort. It in no way gives the unborn humans the legal rights of a person which is why a number of pro-choice organisations and individuals support the amendment. It would simply make it illegal for doctors to offer or perform abortions on the basis of ones gender. Unborn child is simply a colloquial term for an unborn human, it’s only controversial in the pro-choice community because they prefer to hide behind terms that make it emotionally and intellectually easier to kill unborn members of the human community. Most damning for her criticism is that the 1967 Abortion Act already refers to the fetus as a ‘child’ in 1 (d).

Savita Halappanavar. I’m surprised Ditum brought up the tragic death of Savita Halappanavar in Ireland in her article as if this supports her case, Ireland is one of, if not the safest place in the world to give birth. Contrary to popular belief, Savita’s death had nothing to do with not having access to an abortion. The HSE inquiry pointed out that her death was due to very poor and ineffective management of her sepsis, which was the cause of her death. Savita died because she received poor medical treatment, and not because she didn’t have access to an abortion. Her unfortunate death was the catalyst for much clearer legislation and a number of improvements to the care of critically ill pregnant women.

Sadly we know because of leaked emails that Irish pro-choice organisations and individuals were made aware of Savita’s case before all the facts were fully known and the story broke to the media. They exploited her case by asserting that if legal abortion was available she may not have died. This simply isn’t true, but why does truth matter when you have an ideological axe to grind?

What this decision tells us is that the government has no intention of enforcing the law on abortion, the truth is that we effectively have abortion on demand which is why around 200,000 abortions take place each year in the UK. If our MP’s can’t even agree that killing members of the human community because of their gender is wrong then it just demonstrates how much work we have to do.


About @Nicodemus

I'm a Holmesian Christian, a former atheist, university lecturer and a husband of one wife.


13 thoughts on “Why do some Feminists want you to have access to sex-selective abortions?

  1. I am slightly afflicted by bible fatigue these days. I’ve read the bible. Why should I continue to read it, a bit each day?

    However, today my random revision came up with this: “All things … whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, even so do ye also unto them: for this is the law and the prophets.” [The Lord Jesus Christ, quoted in Matthew 7:12.]

    The contemporary “equality” principle is thus seen first to have been a Christian principle long ago. It follows, logically, that men and women have always been equally important, and that pregnant mothers and their foetuses have also been equally important.

    The entire abortion industry has always been at loggerheads with the “equality” principle. Logic requires every sincere egalitarian to rage against that industry…

    This is so obvious that I find it pitiable that somebody should use such concise logic to try to embarrass feminist pro-aborts. Being a feminist or a pro-abort has always been so illogical, for anybody who respects Jesus’egalitarian Golden Rule that using logic against people like this is surely a strategy doomed to fail.


    Posted by John Allman | February 26, 2015, 3:46 am
    • Hey John,

      You asked why should we read the Bible a bit each day? Because it’s good for us and is a means to know God better.

      I agree that Bible does a tremendous job at laying down the foundations for male/female equality and its a shame that Christians throughout history did such a terrible job of living consistently with it. I love Galatians 3:28, an especially powerful passage on the ontological equality of all human beings.

      I’m a bit confused to why my post leads you to pity me? Is it because I didn’t quote a Bible passage? Don’t we both worship the God who is the source of reason and logic with Jesus himself being the Logos?

      I disagree I don’t think all pro-choice feminists are impervious to logic not is attempting to reason with them doomed to fail, it may not succeed in persuading many but it may challenge someone.

      As usual thanks for taking the time to read and comment πŸ˜‰


      Posted by @failedatheist | February 26, 2015, 10:58 am
      • My comment was a little tongue-in-cheek, and longer than it needed to be. Sorry to have distracted you from the main point, that opposing all abortion is a no-brainer.

        This moral panic about sex-selective abortions is like expressing indignation that Dr Josef Mengele was a sexist and an ageist. When selecting who was to be gassed on the day of their arrival at Aushwitz, and who was to be put to work, he was notorious for putting women and children to death at once, and putting men to work.

        Putting a female foetus to death, because her mother does not want a daughter, is no more or less morally abhorrent than putting to death a foetus of unknown sex, because his or her mother does not want a child at all. It is macabre discussion to be having.

        If abortion is a wrong against the foetus, it shouldn’t be allowed at all. If it isn’t a wrong against the foetus, then it doesn’t matter if some girls are aborted because of their gender, and some boys are aborted because of theirs, because nobody’s rights are being infringed by any abortion.

        I oppose abortion because I look at abortion from the foetus’ point of view. To oppose sex-selective abortion, but not to oppose abortion, is to strain out a gnat whilst swallowing a camel. I still don’t think that there is any point in trying to reason with anybody who welcomes abortion. They haven’t got any ethical common sense, when thinking about abortion.


        Posted by John Allman | February 26, 2015, 11:49 am
      • John,

        sure I appreciate that, but at the very least we should aim to (as a democratic state) make sure that the laws we have in place are actually adhered to, or there is little reasons for having them. As I said previously (and as you should know by now) I agree with you that abortion is morally wrong but that shouldn’t stop us trying to win the smallest of victories which might result in less unborn humans being killed for any reason.

        I appreciate your thoughts as usual!


        Posted by @failedatheist | February 27, 2015, 2:27 pm
  2. I find the logic used by pro-choice advocates on this matter to be remarkably consistent: abortion for ANY reason. There is no logical reason, in their figuring to limit abortion. The “genie is out of the bottle” and putting one part back in makes no sense. That is why those who are against abortion have to be equally consistent and rigid in their logic. This is not a place where there is any middle ground.


    Posted by jakecole0171 | February 26, 2015, 5:53 pm
    • Jake,

      thanks for taking the time to comment. The problem is that UK law doesn’t actually allow abortion on demand even if that were the position of every pro-choice advocate (which it isn’t). If abortion were only performed legally we would see a dramatic drop in the level of abortions in this country which is why it is an obvious starting point and should be an immediate goal for the pro-life community.

      There are a number of illogical reasons they may want to limit abortion, for instance I’m sure you’re heard the slogan ‘keep abortion safe and rare’. You then have to ask the question, if it is a fundamental good, why should it be rare?

      My problem is that pro-choice advocates aren’t often consistent or honest enough about their positions and its implications. We have serious struggle on our hands to educate the public and our MP’s.


      Posted by @failedatheist | February 26, 2015, 6:57 pm
  3. “it’s just more uniformed preaching”

    Should be ‘uninformed’ I think?


    Posted by Discuss | February 26, 2015, 10:22 pm

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