Jonathan Abbamonte: Sex-Selective Abortion and the Lost Girls of Asia

For most expectant moms and dads, hearing the words “It’s a girl” is a cause for great joy. New parents will often begin busying themselves by decorating the baby’s room in pink and deciding between girl names for their new daughter.

But in many parts of the world, due to culturally-rooted son preference, daughters are often selectively aborted simply because their parents had wanted a boy instead.

In many Asian cultures, sons are valued to carry on the family name, receive inheritance, to perform important religious funeral rites, or to care for their parents in sickness and old age.

In generations past, most parents desiring a son would simply have more children. Others, however, resorted to nefarious methods of sex selection such as female infanticide, abandonment, or neglect.

But after ultrasound testing became widely available in Asia several decades ago, couples practicing sex selection began switching to abortion. The practice of sex-selective abortion spread like wildfire in places like China, India, Vietnam, Taiwan, South Korea, the Caucasus, and the Balkan Peninsula. Over the past several decades, millions of girls have been lost to sex-selective abortion worldwide.

In India alone, I have found that approximately 15.8 million girls have been eliminated through sex-selective abortion and other forms of prenatal daughter elimination since 1990. To put that in perspective, that is roughly the equivalent of the population of Portugal and Finland combined.

In China, the number of girls lost to sex-selective abortion is undoubtedly even higher.

Additionally, millions more girls have also been lost even after birth as a result of abandonment and neglect. Due to a low regard for the life and dignity of girls, parents often place lower priority on daughters when providing access to food, health care, and immunization, a practice which causes an unusually high number of female infant and child deaths in countries where son preference is common.

As a result, countries such as China and India are now facing serious imbalances in the numbers of men and women. Millions of men will be unable to find wives in the coming decades. By 2030, there will be 28 million men of marrying age in China than women of marrying age, according to U.N. population data.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Jonathan Abbamonte