858 Women. 1,000 Men.
I recently read a Reuters story on Yahoo! News that is headlined: "'Wife-sharing' haunts Indian villages as girls decline." The article is another startling reminder that abortion's global decimation of the female population is devastating for born and unborn women alike. Though I've already blogged on the subject of gendercide and female feticide in recent months, it's a topic that's worth revisiting. This is no small problem, and the increasing frequency of wife-sharing abuse is another concrete example of the catastrophic social toll abortion is taking in Asia and Africa.
If this is all new to you, take a look at Abort73's Abortion and Gendercide page for some background. Around the world, because of a common cultural preference for sons over daughters, there is a growing gender gap that currently sits somewhere in the range of 100-200 million. A recent study from the British medical journal, Lancet, estimates that up to 12 million girls have been selectively aborted in India over the last 30 years. This is not the total number of girls who were aborted. This is the total number of girls who were aborted for the simple fact that they were girls. In the Baghpat district, which the Reuters story examines, there are now 858 women for every 1,000 men. Among children, the rate is even worse: 837 girls for every 1,000 boys. This has resulted in "rising incidents of rape, human trafficking and the emergence of 'wife-sharing' amongst brothers." Unless something is done, says the director of a local children's charity, "women will constantly be at risk of kidnap, rape and much, much worse."
But what is to be done? The article closes with a quote from Neelam Singh, the head of an Indian NGO:
The real solution is to empower girls and women in every way possible. We need to provide them with access to education, healthcare and opportunities which will help them make decisions for themselves and stand up to those who seek to abuse or exploit them.
These are good aims in the abstract, but it all depends on the content of the education and healthcare being provided. Nicholas Kristof, who co-authored Half the Sky, wrote an article for The New York Times last Wednesday which opened with the assertion that climate change, poverty, and civil wars can all be eliminated through family planning, and he blames American Christians for not being willing to foot the bill for family planning around the globe. There are two issues here. First, family planning is much more than birth control, as evidenced by the consistent refusal to divorce abortion from birth control. Planned Parenthood is synonymous with family planning, and they're also synonymous with abortion. Family planning advocates love to criticize those who oppose abortion for not getting on the birth control train, conveniently overlooking their own refusal to get off the abortion train. Second, Kristof's basic worldview assumption that more people is bad and fewer people is good is a gross oversimplification. Abortion has helped shrink the global female population by the millions, and the world is far worse off as a result.
When you tell people that the way to happiness and prosperity is to shrink their family size and you give them the legal opportunity to kill their less desirable offspring before they're born, is it any wonder we're seeing such grim results? Education can create as many problems as it solves. It all depends on the content of that education. More to the point at hand, better educating the women who are born doesn't solve the problem of female feticide–unless you're educating women and men about the depravity of aborting their children. So long as abortion is legal in general, it will be impossible to regulate sex-selective abortion in particular. As the Reuters article notes, "Despite laws making pre-natal gender tests illegal, India's 2011 census indicated that efforts to curb female feticide have been futile." If you're an ideologically-consistent, abortion advocate, you don't care about the 12 million Indian girls who have been killed by abortion because you don't recognize them as morally significant human beings. But even if you account their lives as nothing, the loss of these unborn women has multiplied the global abuse of born women in tragic and undeniable ways. If abortion is good for women, the women in Baghpat must have missed the memo.
Michael Spielman is the founder and director of Abort73.com. His book, Love the Least (A Lot), is available as a free download. Abort73 is part of Loxafamosity Ministries, a 501c3, Christian education corporation. If you have been helped by the information available at Abort73.com, please consider making a donation.