Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Sex selective abortions?

The Hill: House to vote on bill penalizing abortion based on sex of child
The legislation looks to ensure there are no gender-based abortions by authorizing fines and prison terms of up to five years against doctors who perform these abortions, and requires health professionals to report suspected violations of the law.
I remember a time not so long ago when the Republicans championed themselves as job creators. Heroes of main street! Saviors of the middle class! I mean, don't they have better shit to do than to worry about a nonexistent problem?

Okay, maybe I'm wrong. Maybe women are having sex-selective abortions to the extent that boys are beginning to vastly outnumber girls. I mean, that's what the Republicans want to do, isn't it? They want to be the knight in shining armor, protecting all of those female fetuses from the scary, evil abortion doctors.

Let's go look at some Census Bureau charts [pdf]! In 2008 there were 2,173,000 live births of male babies. 2,074,000 were female. Also note that the sex ratio of 105 males per 100 females is consistent from 1980-2008. Huh. That doesn't sound like a terribly big difference, does it? I'm going to go ahead and hazard a guess that virtually no women in the US are using abortion to select the sex of their children. *gasp!*

Another problem with this legislation is that the sex of a fetus is determined in the 19th-20th week of pregnancy. In essence, we're being told that women are waiting through five months of nausea, back pain, abdominal cramps, water retention & swollen ankles, headaches, weight gain, and fatigue (and I'm only talking about the fun stuff!) before they decide to abort because girls are just that icky.

I'm calling bullshit.

This is just another salvo in the ongoing war on women. Every doubt, no matter how small, about the "purity" of a woman's intentions throws a roadblock in her way to getting appropriate abortion care. How long are doctors and health care clinics going to put up with this shit before they simply give up? They could face five years in prison for simply doing their jobs-- believe me, if I was an abortion provider, I'd think long and hard about changing careers if legislation like this ever managed to get passed.


  1. Sex selective abortions are a problem in China and India, and there seems to be evidence that they also happen in some groups of immigrants. But the solution, of course, isn't to outlaw the abortion but to empower women.
    Yet the only thing Republicans can think f is to give women some good reasons not to spawn another generation of women.

  2. Exactly. This might be a very small issue in the States (in all honesty, I'd be surprised if it was since it's not easy to get an abortion here), but the problem isn't abortion in-and-of itself, but misogyny driving women to make this choice.

    A couple of things pop to mind:
    1) If a woman really doesn't want to raise a girl, should we force her to, regardless of her reasoning?
    2) I love how Republican stalling tactics have focused exclusively on MY rights. Funny that.

    1. (Oh god, do I have nested comments? Crap crap crap, can I turn them off?)