This post was originally written for The Abortion Gang.
Anti-choicers are always trying to trick pro-choicers into saying something that makes them look bad. One such example is when anti-choicers bring up sex-selective abortions. “If you support girls/women, how can you support sex-selective abortions!?!” they ask (Don’t get me started on the fact that you cannot abort a woman. Physically impossible). They don’t ask these questions because they’re interested in reducing sex-selective abortions; they’re just interested in making pro-choicers seem coldhearted.
But what if they did want to reduce sex-selective abortions? How would they go about doing that? Pro-choice, of course, already has the answer: Feminism.
Sex-selective abortions happen because the pregnant woman’s culture favors one sex over the other- usually, male over female*. For instance, in China, families will abort a female fetus or abandon a female infant because they want a male infant. Males stay with the family, and carry on the family name while females are married off to another family and basically lose their birth family. For this reason, males are valued higher than females. And for this reason, sex- selective abortions occur.
This is where feminism comes in. Feminism says that both sexes are equal in value and worth. Men and women, with their differences and similarities, are not better than one another but standing on an equal plane. If feminist ideas were to become culturally normal, sex-selective abortions would not occur. Families would value and appreciate a fetus they wanted regardless of its sex. Not only would this apply to fetuses, but to children as well; families would be just as glad to have a daughter as they would be to have a son.
On top of that, feminism would give the opinions of women equal weight to men. Who knows- maybe women in China and other countries don’t want to have sex selective abortions, but their culture pressures them into that decision? Supporting feminism would support women who choose to not have a sex-selective abortion.
So next time an anti-choicer asks you what you think of sex-selective abortions, ask them right back: “What are you doing to prevent sex-selection?” Then ask them to support feminism, so that males and females will be valued equally.
* I understand there are other situations involved such as intersex –this post is a simple overview. I welcome others to write about the issues of feminism, sex-selection and intersex.
Reflecting on Privilege
2 years ago