INDIA - ‘National Girl Child Day’ against selective abortions and female infanticide [AN]

One girl in 13 does not reach the age of six. A member of the Pontifical Academy for Life says that “socio-cultural factors” are at the root of gender discrimination. The Catholic Church adopts strategies to “protect and promote girls.”

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I’m shocked that sati is still practiced. There’s a story about the British being repulsed by the practice and ordering it abolished. “But, it is our Indian custom,” said some. “Very well,” said the British official. “It is our custom, however, to hang men who murder women. So we shall build a gallows next to every funeral pyre, and each to his own custom.”

Sati is when a widow throws herself (or is herself thrown) on to her husband’s funeral pyre. The practice was made illegal under the Raj but still occured into the 1980s in some parts of the country.

National Girl Child Day is aimed at addressing different problems: sex-selected abortions, girlchild infanticide, and maternal and child abuse/neglect that results in millions of daughters never living to see their fifth birthdays.

Luna

This shows what a huge nerd I am, but this brings to mind a quote from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

I think the Klingon Empire (i.e. Indian society) is dying, and it deserves to die.
-Dax

I know that sounds harsh, but it seems so ridiculous that they are doing this to themselves. The Chinese can at least say (for the most part truthfully) that their messed up demographics have been forced on them by the communist government, but no one is forcing the Indian people to do this. They simply hate their women (specifically their daughters) that much.

Thanks to what the Indians are doing, in another generation or so Indian society will be gone or changed beyond recognition.

If a woman has a right to choose to abort, then she has a right to choose for any reason. It is wrong to criticise the reason. It’s her body after all. If she chooses because the baby was conceived under the wrong Zodiac sign or because she wants to attend college and doesn’t want a baby or because she only wants a boy - these are all valid reasons if we accept that it’s the woman’s choice and no-one else’s.

If people feel so offended by sex selective abortion but not offended by abortion for non-sex selection reasons their opinion is irrelevant and it’s mere moralistic sophistry.

If one finds abortion wrong for one reason, it should be wrong for all, and it should be legislated against, with the necessary legislation for child support, possible adoption, assistance, less sexualisation of women in media, etc. Of course I can understand a situation where a pro-life person wants to change these peoples’ minds to at least reduce abortion - for each life is a life saved, even if abortion is restricted for feminist morality it’s still less abortion. I can understand that, but I think pro-choice people who condemn these women are being hypocrites and are wrong in this case under their own morality. The life of a girl is worth the same as the life of a boy, hence no abortion should occur at all.

Most PR Chinese will tell you that their government is the best thing ever. People there, for the most part, even many of the dissidents, appreciate and like their government. Some want reforms but not to the level of total freedom. PRC needs to maintain stability to avoid civil unrest, but the Chinese populance could change the regime. It’s just that they’re too content with it. China has 1000s of years of history and during that time many huge overthrows of power occurred when the rulers became too oppressive.

Any abortion is wrong, no matter the reason. This however illustrates the irrationality and incoherence of the pro-choice feminist position. I must also say that the first feminists were anti-abortion, or so I heard, as abortion was seen as a tool of man’s control over woman.

How could you possibly know that?
China has no freedom of the press, and keeps out (or at least heavily restricts) foreign media’s access to the country.

Its not that simple, as stories like this one make clear, Indian women are often pressured or even outright forced by their husbands and other family members to abort when their pregnant with a girl.

Sure there is some coercion but that I find less serious an injustice then killing of innocent life.

But in America, pressures of colleague and society also influence women to abort. Most women in America would not abort but for financial, education, emotional, peer pressure reasons. Many women are scared of being single mothers - what to do? Oh abort.
Many women want to go to college - what to do? Oh abort. Many want a career - abort. And so on. In USA and the West, men often do force women to “take care of it”.

Apparently there is a fight over whether laws are to be passed which force doctors to show the ultrasound to the mother prior to the abortion. This is also pressure from the pro-abort crowd to dehumanise the baby, because if the mother sees that it’s not a blob of tissue but a body with a head, beating heart and so forth, she may no longer go through with it.

Anyway this would not be an issue at all, if abortion was made illegal because sanctity of life from conception onwards was recognised based on pure empirical fact. Perhaps abortion was forced on India by people who don’t really understand the underlying social dynamics, but wish to reduce India’s population at any cost, because Indians are poor and don’t have blonde hair and blue eyes.

Because I met many Red Chinese in South Africa and had very close conversations with them. They don’t think like Westerners. They’re also highly educated. And history of China does show us that too oppressive governments get changed very quickly in a very bloody fashion.

The problem is that it oftentimes not the woman’s choice to abort female fetuses. She’s pressured - by her husband, his family, or her family - to terminate her pregnancy so she can get pregnant again with a boy. If she refuses - and I have a nurse friend who worked with a maternal and infant health NGO and has seen this first hand - she’s kicked out of the family if she’s lucky. If her own family won’t take her in, which is common, she ends up on the streets as a beggar or in a brothel. If she’s not so lucky, she’ll have what’s euphemistically termed a “kitchen fire”; she’ll be immolated by her husband’s family so that he’s now free to marry another woman who is willing to make lots of sons for him.

A problem that’s just as big as these quasi-forced abortions is the medical and nutritional neglect of daughters so that too many of them die before they are old enough to go to school. Families won’t pay to get them vaccinated or to take them to the doctor if they’re sick. Sons will receive hospital/clinic medical care; daughters get herbal concoctions if they’re lucky and nothing at all if they’re not. Boys get the best fruit, veggies, and meats; girls get what’s left over, if anything is.

Luna

No, it’s all connected: lack of female empowerment, sex-selected abortions, female infanticide, higher female childhood mortality rates. All of it is tied back to women being seen and treated as second-class citizens in some parts of India. Once women start attaining basic human rights, get more and more empowered, aren’t seen as burdens or chattel, I’d bet my retirement account that sex-selected abortion rates and girl child infant mortality rates will go down.

I think India going in the right direction with National Girl Child Day, but they also need to work on the other end of the age spectrum and work on getting rights and protecting females who’ve survived infancy.

Also, I think a good many American women would take extreme umbrage at your blanket assertion that our goal in society is to advance our careers. I don’t know where you got that, but you’re wrong.

Luna

As happens in the US

Exactly. And in the West it may not even be sex selective. It’s just “take care of it” honey, or “you know we can’t afford a (another) child right now”.

The problem here is ABORTION first and foremost.
Second problem is of course coercion whether violent or not. But the Abortion proponents around the world don’t really care that coercion (subtle or overt) will occur most of the time.
Not to mention that abortion decisions are often emotional and people may not think clearly. One does not sign for a credit card this way or a bank loan. But abortion is ok and one is free enough to have one done, even based on a split second decision.

Doc: You’re pregnant. Congratulations.
Patient: Ugh, I want an abortion.

That’s it!

Imagine:
Customer: I want to buy a new car/house!
Bank: Sign here, your money is waiting!

I think another issue here is that modern, Western secularists see everything in terms of individual rights and decisions. But in India, from ancient times, decisions are taken in family groups, involving the parents/parents in law or the family patriarch (or matriarch). The importance is given foremost to the family group and not individual members. In such a case, if I’m right about India, the issue of the woman’s pregnancy is really an issue of her family and not just herself. And if abortion is allowed per se for her and their choice, even if their choices don’t match with what our secular expectations are like, we have to (reluctantly) accept them.

Of course one could say that’s moral relativism, but I mentioned secular expectations above. In our secular nations we do ALLOW abortion. So I don’t think the issue is one of moral relativism but of different loci of control among families in that ancient society. They just kill their children for different reasons to us. One does note that Asian societies tend to be more collectivist and conformist than Western ones.

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