The reality has been known for years now, though the Western media have generally resisted any direct coverage of the horror. That changed this week when The Economist published its stunning cover story -- "Gendercide -- What Happened to 100 Million Baby Girls?"
View Full ImageIn many nations of the world, there is an all-out war on baby girls. In 1990, economist Amartya Sen estimated that 100 million baby girls were missing -- sacrificed by parents who desired a son. Two decades later, multiple millions of missing baby girls must be added to that total, victims of abortion, infanticide, or fatal neglect.
The murder of girls is especially common in China and northern India, where a preference for sons produces a situation that is nothing less than critical for baby girls. In these regions, there are 120 baby boys born for every 100 baby girls. As The Economist explains, "Nature dictates that slightly more males are born than females to offset boys' greater susceptibility to infant disease. But nothing on this scale."
In its lead editorial, the magazine gets right to the essential point: "It is no exaggeration to call this gendercide. Women are missing in their millions--aborted, killed, neglected to death."
In its detailed and extensive investigative report, the magazine opens its article with chilling force. A baby girl is born in China's Shandong province. Chinese writer Xinran Xue, present for the birth, then hears a man's voice respond to the sight of the newborn baby girl. "Useless thing," he cried in disappointment. The witness then heard a plop in the slops pail. "To my absolute horror, I saw a tiny foot poking out of the pail. The midwife must have dropped that tiny baby alive into the slops pail!" When she tried to intervene she was restrained by police. An older woman simply explained to her, "Doing a baby girl is not a big thing around here."
The numbers of dead and missing baby girls is astounding. In some Chinese provinces, there are more than 130 baby boys for every 100 baby girls. The culture places a premium value on sons, and girls are considered an economic drain. A Hindu saying conveys this prejudice: "Raising a daughter is like watering your neighbor's garden."
Midwives even charge more for the birth of a baby boy. But the preference for a boy rises with both economic power and the number of children born to a couple. The imbalance of boys to girls is no accident -- it reflects a prejudice that runs throughout the societies where the abortion and killing of baby girls is considered both understandable and routine.
Add to this the widespread availability of ultrasound imaging services. Even though the governments of China and India have officially declared sex-selection abortions to be illegal, they persist by the millions. (And, interestingly, the magazine notes that Sweden actually legalized sex-selection abortions in 2009.)
This sentence from the investigative report is particularly horrifying: "In one hospital in Punjab, in northern India, the only girls born after a round of ultrasound scans had been mistakenly identified as boys, or else had a male twin."
In other words, even as the spread of ultrasound technology has greatly aided the pro-life movement by making the humanity of the unborn baby visible and undeniable, among those determined to give birth only to baby boys, in millions of cases the same technology has meant a death warrant for a baby girl in the womb.
There are multiple factors that lead to the preference for boys over girls. In China, the government's draconian "one child only" policy has led to both forced abortions and an effective death sentence for baby girls when a couple is determined that, if their children are to be so drastically limited, they will insist on having a son. As the magazine explains, "For millions of couples, the answer is: abort the daughter, try for a son."
Originally from: http://www.christianpost.com/article/20100311/the-scandal-of-gendercide-war-on-baby-girls/index.html