The Canadian Parliament Rejects a Sex-selective Abortion Ban
Selective abortion has come up in my comments before as a point of interest/conflict/etc. Time for another chapter in that!
According to the United Nations, “around 140 million women are believed to be ‘missing’ around the world – the result of son preference, including gender-biased sex selection, a form of discrimination.” Ten years ago, UN agencies, including the OHCHR, UNFPA, UNICEF, UN Women and WHO issued a position paper condemning the elimination of girls.
The UN Population Fund declared last year that sex-selection had terrible consequences for societies. “The rise in sex selection is alarming as it reflects the persistent low status of women and girls. The resulting gender imbalance also has a damaging effect on societies. Instances of increased sexual violence and trafficking have already been linked to the phenomenon.”
Nonetheless, in one of the head-scratching inconsistencies of modern politics, this week the Canadian Parliament voted overwhelmingly against a bill banning sex-selective abortions.
I disagree with the characterization as inconsistent, because it ignores the holistic stance of the politicians: this is consistency on abortion, seemingly the one unchanging lodestone of political affiliation, and it is only inconsistent if one views the pre-born/fetus as deserving rights. The politicians against the ban, presumably, do not, and thus there is no conflict with their views on women and minorities. If one does, however, the inconsistencies appear extreme: privileging the women of today prevents tomorrow's from being born, and reduces their rights/value/etc.
It was opposed, of course, because it's viewed as the "thin end of the wedge."
BioEdge has a strong belief in human dignity, including that of the pre-born (their editor is Catholic, which shows, but the organization isn't... "officially" Catholic). Conveniently this great post covered in the latest QC roundup is likely a good description of BioEdge's position.
For more on the Canadian topic: From 2016, a study showing sex-selective abortion does occur in Canada (though researchers caution that it's not that common, because the immigrant population is relatively small compared to India, which banned the practice in 1994). Here's an op-ed from last fall with some polling suggesting a slight majority of the population would support such a ban. Another article on the voting pattern of the defeated bill.
I am slightly surprised that none of the articles had opponents of the bill decrying it as racist (given the phenomenon is almost entirely Indian/Asian/SE Asian), as there almost certainly would be in America (case in point) (perhaps I just missed them).
Additionally, a privacy angle - Canada does not require a reason for abortion to be provided; for this bill to be anything more than symbolic that would need to be required, or they'd rely on profiling (flagging a watchlist for Indian couples with two daughters?) (likewise, the Masterpiece Cakeshop guy could've just lied or stayed quiet about why he wouldn't make the custom cake).
Canadians, or Canadian-observers paying more attention than I do: anything I missed that might affect this post?
Because of the particularly... vehement and "sticky" position of so many on abortion, it does provide an excellent working example for looking at consistency, inconsistency, values-conflicts, the propagandization of language, and more.