Tuesday, July 3, 2007

A Modest Proposal [Serge]

I was intrigued by this post at the RH reality blog addressing the problem of sex selection abortions in India (HT JivinJ). I am interested in reading all of the author's future posts on this topic, and her take is quite an improvement from that blog's past attempts at this topic. It seems the defender of abortion rights has a challenging set of principles to address that are very much opposed. For instance, the pro-abortion choice position states:

1. The fetus that a woman carries is not a human person.
2. Because of #1, the fetus has no rights, including the right not to be killed for any reason.
3. Therefore, women should have the fundamental right to procure an abortion for any reason they see fit.
4. Once they are born, human beings are human persons, and thus should not be intentionally killed for any reason.
5. Therefore, infanticide is wrong

The author also addresses the "overpopulation" problem in India, and surprisingly seems to support the coercive two child policies that have drawn much criticism. Not willing to compromise on her pro-abortion choice argument, she understands her dilemma in regards to sex-selection abortions. She states:

While the agency of the woman in choosing to keep or terminate a pregnancy is unquestioned, how does one deal with this if it means termination of a pregnancy because of sex? And this is truly the irony of the situation: an argument meant to empower women and their bodily sovereignty can so easily be used to hijack the idea of agency for the woman while also wiping out a fifth of the female population of the country.
I can't wait to see how she intends to reconcile these two opposing arguments. I don't believe it is possible. However, I have a proposal that I believe solves this dilemma. My solution is completely consistent with the pro-abortion choice position. It also addresses the other two issues here: it will help to avoid infanticide as well as help with the population problem in India. I believe this proposal is so consistent with the pro-abortion choice position that I challenge anyone to come up with an argument that does not use pro-life principles to refute it. It is very simple.

The government should encourage sex-selection abortions!

If sex selection abortions in India became more widespread, it would not only confirm a mother's right to choose abortion, but would also help "solve" the infanticide and population problems. Infanticide would be decreased because there would be no reason to wait until the child is born to get rid of them. A mother, after considering the personal and financial burdens of having a girl child, could kill her before she reached the "personhood" stage. The fact that she does not have identical burdens if she carried a male child should have no bearing on her choice. The so-called "need" for female infanticide would then be averted.

Similarly, the population issue would be addressed, not be coercive means, but by natural biology. With less women available to become mothers, there will eventually be a natural decline in births, and thus a natural decrease in population over time. Furthermore, the women who were lucky enough to survive the prenatal period would be free to have as many children as they wish - without government coercion of any sort. True reproductive freedom at last!

One may object to the social ramifications that would result from such a skewed male/female ratio, but I believe this objection would be out of bounds. After all, pro-lifers have for years pointed out the negative social ramifications from legal abortions, only to have our concerns dismissed in favor for the "fundamental right" for abortion. The same should apply here.

Of course, as one who is committed to the intrinsic value of human life, this "modest proposal" is abhorrent to me. Sex selection abortions are wrong for the same reason all other abortions and infanticide are wrong: they intentionally kill a innocent human being. However, I await to see how our opponents respond to this. Simply stating that "it is complicated" will not do.

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