Sunday, April 06, 2008

Is it right to choose the sex of your child?

Does the "right to choose include choosing to eliminate unwanted
daughters?" This question has played on my mind for a while now.

I have always been one who believes in the "right to choose" with certain strict clauses.Having had the unfortunate opportunity of researching female infanticide in rural areas of India, as part of my college studies, I know and understand the terrible things that happen to women who bear female children, their day old female infants and the female fetus.

Having said that, it was very interesting to see this op-ed in the
Boston Globe today by Jeff Jacoby titled "Choosing to eliminate
unwanted daughters" --
"Population experts have documented for years the use of abortion for
sex selection in regions of the world where sons are more highly
prized than daughters.
The problem is particularly acute in Asia, and especially in China and
India, the world's two largest countries.
The natural sex ratio at birth is slightly male-biased at roughly
1.05-to-1, meaning that about 105 boys are born for every 100 girls.
But in China the current ratio at birth is about 120 boys per 100
girls - and in more prosperous parts of the country, such as Guangdong
and Hainan, the imbalance has reached an even more lopsided
In India, census data from 2001 show that among children younger than
6, there are just 927 girls per 1,000 boys. There too, the greater the
prosperity, the greater the discrepancy: In the high-income state of
Punjab, notes Joseph D'Agostino of the Population Research Institute,
there are only 793 girls for every 1,000 boys. He cites a report by
UNICEF, which calculates that "7,000 fewer girls are now born in India
each day than nature would dictate, and 10 million have been killed
during pregnancy or just after in the past 20 years."
There is nothing new about the high cultural premium placed on sons in
developing countries. What is relatively new is easy access to cheap
ultrasound scans for determining the sex of an unborn child, and the
availability of inexpensive abortions for parents who don't want a
baby of the "wrong" sex."

Read the full editorial at--

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