Selective abortion and infanticide based on gender is not a new idea. The ancient Greeks and Romans were known for gender-based infanticide and exposure, and in modern times the Chinese one-baby policy has all but institutionalized gender-based abortion. But now it is suddenly coming much closer to home as earlier sex identification of a fetus affords the same convenient option to all parents, and statistics begin to show similar discrimination patterns in “progressive” nations in the West such as Canada.
But the ironies abound. The same feminist movements that have ardently supported a woman’s “right to choose” now find themselves in support of a practice that enables stealth discrimination against women throughout the world. In response they must now insist that to selectively kill female fetuses is an “extreme” and discriminatory practice. The readily apparent duplicity is astonishing. Why should the act of feticide suddenly become wrong when we know the baby’s gender? Female feticide is wrong not because we are saying to women, “we don’t want you,” but because we are saying to the human being, “we don’t want you.” It is hypocrisy of the worst sort to suggest that it is fine to practice feticide as long we don’t know the gender of the fetus, but the moment we do, it suddenly becomes wrong.