1.30.2007

Millions Aborted

Having tackled war in recent posts, let me turn to another
inflammatory topic: abortion. I am pro-life, although not militantly
so that I would justify violence and murder in the defense of my
position. (How ironic is it that there are some that are?)

Anyway, I wanted to share a couple of articles I've read recently
that hopefully add something to the pro-choice / pro-life debate.
According to Jonathan Last's column last weekend
(http://www.philly.com/mld/philly/news/columnists/16561108.htm), 48
million babies have been aborted in the last 30 years. (By the way,
the baby boom generation numbered 75 million babies.) 48 million
aborted babies represents about a quarter of the babies that were
conceived in this country. Last goes on to quote a few other stats
that show that the kinds of abortions that pro-choice folks like to
cite as examples of why abortions should be legal are few and far
between, and the vast majority are simply situations in which abortion
is seen simply as another form of contraception.

The Grey Lady featured a piece on China's growing gender imbalance:
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/23/opinion/23russell.html.

This is of
personal relevance to me, since the party line is that all of us
Americans adopting Chinese girls is taking a generation of females
from China. Except that, as the article points out, the supply of
adoptable Chinese girls has been steady if not diminishing, even as
the demand for adoptable Chinese girls has exploded (partly because of
people realizing China's adoption program is well-run, partly because
people are having more fertility issues and are therefore adopting in
greater numbers, and partly because other popular countries' adoption
programs are falling apart).

The real loss of girls can be explained by the country's one-child
policy and its elevation of sons over daugthers. Some of those
undesired and illegal daughters end up in orphanages and get adopted
by Americans, but that number fell from 8000 in 2005 to 6500 in 2006.
But the vast majority were aborted: 70% of China's 7 million abortions
each year are of girls. (I shudder at the thought that my daughter's
biological mother probably entertained the possibility of abortion
before eventually deciding to bring her baby to term.) That's 50
million baby girls every decade.

We can talk morality and philosophy and society all we want, and
indeed that is usually the context for our nation's abortion debate.
I think it's wrong, you think it's right, and we can talk politely
about it or rant and rave about it. But let's remember that, both
here in this country and all over the world, we're talking about
millions and millions of babies, mostly girls, who are brought into
being but not able to see the light of day. In my mind, we as a
planet are worse off for their loss.

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