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Man’s View on Sex Selective Abortions

Man’s View on Sex Selective Abortions

An Indian woman clutches her neck and giggles nervously as she describes how she strangled eight of her newborn daughters to death. “Women have the power to give life and take it away,” she says.

Sex Selection GirlI am neither a pro-life-right-winger nor a pro-choice-left-winger. Actually I have no wings. Being wingless helps me stay grounded close to what is right and good although for your information both pro-choice and pro-life activists believe that forced abortions are not a choice.

Actually I support abortions, especially when they are medically deemed necessary to save the life of a mother, or when a pregnancy is a result of a rape. However, abortions, when solely performed to abort female foetuses in favour of male foetuses, I consider immoral, unethical and criminal.

In my lexicon, if a fetus was considered a person and its abortion was illegal, sex selective abortions would be considered a 1st degree murder, as it is performed with full knowledge of the gender of the fetus, and with clear motive to dispose it off permanently.

There already is an imbalance between the male and female population. Every year, more male babies are born in the world than female. Given the international gender demography, sex selective abortions are contributing to an acute shortage of women in India, and are responsible for several social evils.

According to a UN report, “There’s a large-scale trafficking of girls from the North-East India. These girls are brought to Haryana for forced marriage and bonded labour.” Letting people abort female foetuses at will is legalised “gendercide.”

I also view sex-selective abortions as a harbinger of what might have been for those, who don’t escape the brutality before birth – spousal abuse, gang rapes and honour killings.

Sex selective abortions are not an Indian issue. They are a global issue. On April 22, 2009, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton condemned forced abortions and forced sterilization in China. She, during a Congressional Hearing, before the House of Foreign Affairs Committee, stated that these practices are an egregious interference with women rights.”

Of the 64,641 abortions performed on Canadian women in 2010, as reported by The Canadian Institute for Health (CIHI), how many of them would you consider to be gender-based after you factor in the increasing Asian and South Asian population, which prefer boys over girls?

Every year in the month of August, sisters celebrate Rakshabandhan (a festival of sisters- brothers bonding) with great enthusiasm. Sisters tie a band of protection on the right hand wrist of their brothers, and seek their vow to protect them in need. Every year a generous exchange of sweets and cash between sisters and brothers occur, but every year we also read in papers about cases of domestic violence and murders, though lately I have not heard of any honour killings, and thank God for that.

As of this year, I would like to add a new tradition and practice to make the bond between men and woman stronger and keep them committed to each other. I propose “Husbands tie Raksha bands on the wrist of their spouses as a vow against domestic violence.” And let Canada become the birthplace of this blissful tradition.

Sex Selection 2But don’t be shocked if I told you that men are not the only perpetrators of this crime. Women contribute to it as well. Here is a segment from It’s a Girl, a documentary filmed in China and India by director Evan Grace Davi.

An Indian woman clutches her neck and giggles nervously as she describes how she strangled eight of her newborn daughters to death. “Women have the power to give life and take it away,” she says.
I would urge all parents, teachers, social reformer-activists, and women, who support same sex unions, to rise up and speak out against sex selective abortions and participate in educating the public on the gravity of the issue.

I was thrilled to read the Governor of the Bank of England Mr. Mark Carney has been thinking to put women back on British pound notes. It will be a great honour for women. But I also believe that putting women on pound notes will be nothing more than window dressing until people like him in high places will not start digging deeper into the reasons why women are treated the way they are, and what can they do to eliminate those reasons.

Political speeches on status of women will not improve men’s attitude towards women until we instantly remove those officers from their direct supervisory responsibilities, who are alleged to have sexually assaulted their staff. You cannot suck and blow at the same time. Adding a few more women to the Cabinet does not cut it.

92% Canadians are against sex selective abortions. Given the numbers of abortions in Canada, I also appeal to the Government of Canada to re-examine the existing abortion laws and amend them to restrict sex selective abortions, and extend the Rights and Freedoms to the unborn females — to be born alive.

By Dr Suresh Kurl

Dr. Suresh Kurl is a South Asian Community Activist, a retired Registrar of the BC Benefits Appeal Board and an Ex-Member of the National Parole Board.

One comment

  1. This is a great article!

    This issue was highlighted very strongly in a movie called “Lessons in Forgetting”. It won the National Award in India under the English Movies category and also won the rare to happen support of United Nations Public Fund! It is now showing in several film festivals across the world.

    I was lucky to get this movie here and we did a free screening a few weeks ago. We will be doing more screenings and I would like to invite all of you. Please email me at sunnypgt@gmail.com if you are interested.

    (Sunny Prabhakar)

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