Gendercide, abortion and hypocrisy of the pro-choicers

15 January 2014

There was a lovely little ultrasound picture of a foetus to illustrate the Independent’s splash today about the incidence of sex-selective abortions in Britain. According to the paper’s analysis of ONS statistics, the incidence of second daughters among immigrants from Pakistan and Bangladesh and possibly those from other countries such as India isn’t quite the same as in the population at large. Either immigrants from these groups are, more than the rest of us, having child after child until they have a boy or they are simply aborting second pregnancies where the foetus is a girl in order to ensure their next child is a boy: most probably, according to a statistician used by the Indie, the latter. The cull of pre-natal girls could have cost between 1,400 and 4,700 lives. So, parts of some immigrant communities, Pakistanis and Afghans, have plainly been unaffected by the egalitarian norms of the host culture, in which the wrongness of aborting girls, qua girls, is one of the few things to unite pro-lifers and feminists.

But the sweet picture of the foetus is a reminder of the hypocrisy of pro-choicers on this one. You can just imagine what the Indie – or indeed any of the liberal pundits – would have to say about any attempt to curtail the abortion laws as they stand; actually you don’t have to imagine – just pick up on the paper’s coverage of Jeremy Hunt’s modest and sensible criticisms of the time limits on abortion in an interview just after he took up the job as Health Secretary; it was stinging. As for Steve Connor, the paper’s science correspondent, when asked on Women’s Hour whether he’d favour outlawing sex specific abortion he said: ‘Well it’s not for me to say, I’m just a hack’.

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Which leaves us with the conundrum: if you’re a feminist it’s absolutely fine to abort a foetus who’s a girl so long as it’s not done because it’s a girl. But if you abort the same foetus on the grounds of gender, it’s an offence against all right minded people and will feature as a moral no-no on Women’s Hour. Look, I’m against gendercide too. But isn’t there something funny going on here?

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Show comments
  • James Morris

    They insert a tube into the womb attached to a vacuum,
    to suck the foetus out.
    The Abortionist is blind (he knows not what he does)
    so he has to search about.
    Oftentimes the little body tears apart:
    legs, arms, intestines, heart.
    With this procedure he is also blind.
    He must find the head-
    which he must decompress, crush,
    small enough to fit through the cervix.
    But the first thing he finds-
    is usually an arm or leg.
    So a slow dismemberment takes place.
    Sometimes he rips off the little face.

  • StephanieJCW

    Abortion should be permissable for any reason.

    It’s a private matter between a woman and her doctor.

    • ceruleanblue777

      Does the father have no say in the matter?

  • Eddie

    It is absurd to discuss this issue without mention the M word.


    This is their culture. Girls cost money in dowries and are generally seen as baby machines to marry off aged 15 to a first cousin – often 2 or 3 times her age and in Pakistan. This is the precise reason why the school achievement of Muslim girls in the UK is so bad – their oppressive culture (female-run too in the home) steers and even forces them to fail at school. If they refuse to an arranged marriage, they are forced into one, and/or sent abroad – and if they still refuse, they are killed and disposed of like household waste.

    It is high time the left especially – but all involved in the worship of diversity and multiculturalism that our whole political class indulge in – to wake up and speak the truth here. It is in no way racist or ‘Islamophobic’ to do so.

    In fact, it IS racist to apply different standards to people because of their skin colour of culture – which is exactly the situation now. If whites behaved like Pakistani/Bengali Muslims in the UK, it would not be tolerated. So why is this backwardsness and savagery tolerated if done by those with a dark skin and a minority religion?

    • David Kay

      Islam trumps genocide

  • andy_gill

    Import third-world people, get third-world culture. We really have to stamp out these alien practices, and assert the British way of life. Those who don’t like it are welcome to return whence they came, which would be a relief for all concerned.

  • itbeso

    There is no choice for these women. they are being abused by a misogynistic culture/religion. This is an abortion debate only in that women are once again not being given a free choice.

    • MrsDBliss

      So women are always innocent victims?

    • Eddie

      A misogynistic culture/religion in which in the home, it is women – mothers, aunts – forcing girls into marriage, to suffer FGM, to abort girl babies.
      A red herring to blame nasty men, I’m afraid, or to argue the nonsense that all women are innocent because they live in a culture created by men.

  • zanzamander
  • Daniel Maris

    The whole issue is discussed, including by Melanie, as though there is nothing connecting immigrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan…when we all know there is.

    Part of the problem is that there is no aggressive teaching of our values in schools.

    Children should be taught that it is wrong to abort foetuses purely because of their gender and tell them that if they ever hear of such practices within their families, they should tell the authorities. Same should go for FGM, forced marriages, electoral malpractice and so on.

    • Sipu

      ‘Children should be taught it is wrong to abort foetuses’. Full Stop.

      • Daniel Maris

        Well that’s not our common cultural view, as enshrined in law. Argue for the change in law if you wish.

  • newname

    I don’t think there is any hypocrisy involved (and this is not the first time I’ve seen anti-abortion writers attempt this argument). What pro-choicers are shocked at is that people want to have an abortion for gender reasons – not that they can do so. It’s the cultural attitudes that need tackling, not the right to abort.

    • Ridcully

      Do you believe that women shoul;d have the right to have abortions on the basis of their unborn child’s gender; yes or no?

      • newname

        Did you not understand what I wrote? Of course they should have the right. I just wish they didn’t have the attitudes that make them want to and that’s generally a cultural thing.

        • ceruleanblue777

          Do you think it’s right or wrong, in your opinion, to abort a female fetus because it’s female?

          • Eddie

            Apparently, in the UK and the US, mothers are doing the opposite – aborting boy foetuses because they want girls.

            • StephanieJCW

              Where did you read that?

        • ceruleanblue777

          Why do you wish they didn’t have those attitudes?

        • StephanieJCW

          “Did you not understand what I wrote? Of course they should have the right. I just wish they didn’t have the attitudes that make them want to and that’s generally a cultural thing”

          Exactly my stance. I may disagree with the reasons someone has an abortion (and I can think of precious few situations where I would consider having one) but I respect their right to have one.

          • ceruleanblue777

            What reasons for having an abortion do you disagree with?

    • ceruleanblue777

      Why should the cultural attitudes be tackled? Is there something wrong with them, in your opinion?

      • StephanieJCW

        The attitudes that says men are superior to women? Yes I think such attitudes are wrong.

        • ceruleanblue777

          Well, I was asking newname, but that’s ok.

          So you think cultural attitudes that men are superior to women are wrong. Do you think aborting female fetuses, a direct result of those attitudes, is wrong?

  • fitz fitzgerald

    Again, one ponders why the Anglosphere’s successful culture is allowed to be undermined by East Asia’s peasants …

  • mhjames

    If women have the right to choose to have an abortion, the grounds on which they choose is irrelevant. That’s what having a ‘right’ means: you don’t have to justify doing what you’re entitled to do.

    • MrsDBliss

      We don’t have a right to chose in this country.

  • David Kay

    they’re breeding for jihad

  • Pootles

    This is a good, short piece, Melanie, but the dreadful irony you’ve highlighted isn’t the only one. We are constantly told that the UK is an ageing society, yet as a society, we abort hundreds of thousands of young people, which are then ‘replaced’ by mass immigration, which we apparently need because …. there are not enough young people. As a society, and a country, we are just f****d up.

  • Paddy Briggs

    I think that this is a good challenge to all of us who are pro-choice. Essentially those of us taking this position respect any woman’s right to choose whether or not to proceed with a pregnancy to full term (within the limits of what the law says about the number of weeks beyond which termination is prohibited except for medical reasons). The moral position, which I share, is that a woman may have multiple reasons for not wanting to have a baby and we should respect her decision. She doesn’t have to give the reasons for the abortion to be allowed to proceed. But what if one of those reasons (the main one) is that she doesn’t like the gender that the baby will be if it is born? That reason does not have to be legitimised any more than, say, the reason that “A baby will ruin my career” or “My financial circumstances don’t allow me to have a baby” … or whatever.

    The idea of aborting a healthy foetus solely because it is a girl fills me with repulsion. But then I don’t find some of the other reasons particularly tasteful either! But the right to choose is the right to choose, I suppose, even if some of the reasons given for a particular choice strike one as tasteless, or worse.

    • Andrew Kennedy

      Of course women have the right to choose what to do with their bodies, but the time to exercise this right is at the conception (which leaves rape as a problem, morally huge but statistically small). Once a third party (the unborn child) becomes involved then it is no longer their choice alone.
      Contraception is free; if you don’t want a baby, don’t do things that create babies; conversely, if you really want to do those things, then be an adult and accept the consequences.

      • Paddy Briggs

        That is not the question at issue. Our society has accepted a woman’s right to choose. We are not going back to a world where abortion is prohibited – the reasons why that would be wholly unacceptable are well known and don’t need to be restated here. The issue raised is whether there are “good” and “bad” reasons for having an abortion. I’m not in a position to make that moral judgment although I’ve made it clear that I deplore gender choice as a reason. But I can’t and don’t preclude it and don’t want women to be interrogated as to the reasons for their choice. The right to choose is the right to choose.

        • MrsDBliss

          No, our society hasn’t accepted a woman’s right to choose. The legislation originally introduced didn’t introduce a woman’s right to choose, it talked of severe consequences if the pregnancy continued. Unfortunately this also involved mental distress and it is this part that has been abused.
          I think you find an awful lot of people, even if they agree with abortion in severe circumstances, don’t for career/social reasons.

          • Paddy Briggs

            You make a fair if legalistic point. Ipso Facto our society HAS accepted a woman’s right to choose though…

            • MrsDBliss

              We’re is your evidence for that statement? Actually the only people who I know in everyday life who use that expression are men. The majority of women I know speak of grave necessity.

      • StephanieJCW

        And being an adult and accepting the consequences can also mean aborting the foetus. It’s not for you, or me to tell a woman what she must and must not carry within her womb.

        • Andrew Kennedy

          Well, no. Taking responsibility is generally taken to mean accepting it for yourself rather than passing consequences on to a third party (such as the foetus).

  • brossen99
  • Alexsandr

    Malanie, you have to understand that equality has to have a hierarchy. So in this case the right of the unborn is trumped by the immigrant culture. Also, we see the rights of women being trumped by Sharia law.
    How this hierarchy is established and agreed I don’t know. Would be a good research project to establish the full ordered list.
    I wonder where white, indigenous, employed, heterosexual males are on the list.

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