As someone who deals with immigrants on a daily basis, I know about one particularly dirty little secret that few will openly discuss: the prevalence of sex-selective abortions.
The reason that most immigration practitioners shy away from the topic is because they tend to be from a somewhat more ‘progressive’ bent, even when they work for organizations like Catholic Charities, and the whole idea of getting mixed up in the abortion debate is anathema to them.
But it is there, and it is something that needs to have some sustained and focused attention. As they say, sunlight is the best disinfectant.
In some immigrant communities, the members have carried with them across this border a cultural antipathy toward female children. It transcends ethnic and religious lines, because there are as many Muslims who favor male children as there are Hindus (Christians seem to have escaped that particular bias, for whatever reason.) It probably derives from the fact that daughters are considered drains on a family, whereas sons are much more useful from a financial perspective.
And China doesn’t even worry about the sex of its babies anymore. Like Jonathan Swift made manifest reality, they’ve just decided to kill all the children and conserve national resources. Kind of a mandarin Sierra Club.
In the United States, we pretend to oppose sex-selective abortions. That would be discriminatory. We just let mothers abort children regardless of their pre-natal gender.
And when you try and limit the right to ‘choose,’ you get into a lot of hot water with certain vocal women’s groups and the men who support them.
But sex-selective abortion is such an abhorrent practice, and has now become an increasingly troublesome scourge in this country, that Congress has decided to address the problem. Today, the House held hearings on a bill to criminalize sex-selective abortions.
It’s no surprise that pro-life groups applaud the move. It is likewise no surprise that people like Nancy Pelosi and Cecile Richards of Planned Parenthood see this as just another attempt to limit a woman’s reproductive choice.
Frankly, choosing to abort a daughter over a son is a choice no woman should ever have.