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Basille Jimenez
Professor Jackie
English 115
9 November 2014
Sex Selective Abortion and Gendercide
The scene starts out in New York City, one of the busiest cities in the world and where
the United Nations building presides. On the corner of East 42nd and 1st the UN building
proudly stands with all 193 flags of the nations that contribute to the organization flying
with the wind. Four women meet in front of the UN building each introducing themselves as
Heather Mallick, Sarah Ditum, Anu Liisanantti, and Karin Beese. They walk inside the building
and head towards the cafeteria, where they all sit down and start their conversation.
Ditum: Whoever chose to meet up in the UN building is a genius, since our controversial
topic is an international affair.
Beese (smiling): Thats exactly why I chose this place. It definitely suits our topic, especially
since the major countries that practice sex selective abortion are members of the UN.
Liisanantti: Well then, shall we start.
All four women nod their heads in agreement. The conversation begins.

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Liisanantti: Sex selective abortion is immoral and unethical. This practice has led to skewed
birth ratios and the increase of human trafficking in countries such as China and India,
which are the two main countries in which gendercide is most often seen.
Beese: Not to mention that sex selective abortion is now more prominent in the United
States and in Canada, within Asian-American families in particular.
Ditum: While I do understand that sex selective abortions can attribute to other factors, the
bottom line of having an abortion is because either the mother and or the father agree that
they cannot have the baby. Their reasoning is all up to them. No one should be able to deny
a mother, who will be the one carrying the child for nine months, the one who is giving
excruciating birth, and the one who will ultimately care for the baby for many years, her
right to abort the fetus. Furthermore, the mothers say in this matter is what ultimately
counts. It is not my concern nor is it yours.
Mallick: Also, Beese I would like to comment that in Canada, where I am from, the Canadian
law on abortion is that it is a personal decision, just as it should. There has also been a
recent study from St. Michaels Hospital stating that it is normal to have a greater boy to
girl birth ratio, 105 boys to 100 girls, from Indian immigrants. Its a normal scientific fact in
Canada.
Beese: Mallick, Ditum, I completely understand that it is a womans choice, but in other
countries especially in China some women do not have a choice on having the abortion. In
the documentary, Its a Girl, directed by Evan Grae Davis, there is a scene where it describes
Chinas One Child Policy. This policy is strictly enforced by what the Chinese call the family
planning police, and this so-called police squad will forcefully abort or sterilize mothers

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who break the law to have another child. This is a forceful abortion. A woman does not
have a choice at all.
Ditum: Yes, but the reason that they having this forced abortion is because those women
either intentionally or unintentionally broke the law. This law in China is quite absurd, but
a law is law and breaking it means there must be a punishment.
Liisanantti: Even though it is a strictly upheld policy, does not mean it isnt immoral. In the
same documentary, it states that more than 100,000 women are killed each year because
they gave birth to a girl or in other terms failed to give an heir. This sex selective killing is
brutal. Many women in India and China do not have a say in what gender they want their
child to be. They must try and uphold the expectations they are given and if not there are
consequences. In my opinion, just because the first born is not a boy, should not mean that
women must have an abortion. This type of old fashion thinking is not fit for the modern
world, where women have a strong say in matters.
Mallick: While you believe that those old fashion ways should be gone, there are still many
people who cling on those ways. They find stability in those thoughts. Tradition is the
foundation of any country and it just so happens that in China and India, their main
foundation is in the conception of males. They find it essential to have a son because boys
are the only ones who can continue a family lineage and are able to inherit. There is even a
religious verse which promotes what generations have been taught over the years, Let a
female child be born somewhere else. Here let a son be born. This type of thinking is a way
of life for them.

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Liisanantti: Exactly! Beese and Is goal here is not to end gendercide, because lets face it
the solution to ending that controversial topic will take years, but for now, our goal is to
educate. We want to educate those very same people you just mentioned. We want them to
understand that having a girl has benefits and that every life is sacred; therefore, sex
selective abortion is incompetent and cruel. India even took a step forward towards
progression when they outlawed the dowry system.
Ditum: Yes, India officially outlawed the dowry system but many still use it. Even though
they officially took a step towards a progressive nation, does not mean their people have.
Also, how can the Indian government support the removal of the dowry system when
crimes related to it are never investigated nor are they prosecuted. The Indian government
is going against what they initially outlawed, total hypocrisy.
Mallick: To add to my colleagues claim, since many women are not able to escape the
husbands family or even her own familys expectations of having a grandson, the only
justifiable answer is to seek a sex selective abortion. In the womans eyes it is either her life
or her childs. How can she have the said baby if shes badly hurt from the beatings she
received from her husband or worse if she is dead?
Ditum: It would be easier and more ideal for any woman in that situation to have a sex
selective abortion even if it does contribute to gendercide. To me, it seems like either you
lose just one female or end up losing two.
Beese: You two do have a point there. An abortion would be easier in that situation but
every woman should learn to stand up and stand their ground. And it is largely the Indian
governments fault that they do not uphold a justifiable and moral policy.

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Liisanantti: And one of the starting points to that is to restrict ultrasound information. By
restricting these information women cannot simply just have an abortion because they
prefer to have a certain gender. For example, India as banned unregistered portable
ultrasound machines that is on so-called duty. The point of this ban is to prevent women
from having an unauthorized ultrasound so that they can simply know the gender of their
baby. And not to mention that by the time the gender of the fetus will be known, the unborn
child would have been mostly developed. This type of ultrasound to check the gender will
happen around the twenty week mark, or five months, and the latest and safest time for an
abortion to have is around twenty-four weeks. The baby would already have visible fingers!
And to abort the child after he or she has been developed so much because he or she is of
the wrong gender would be disgusting.
Beese: Abortions werent designed to kill a baby because of their gender. It was legalized so
that it would benefit the mother, who might have permanent physical or mental health
issues due to having the baby. It is also formed in good faith, according to the Abortion Act
of 1967.
Ditum: Yes, but the act does not also say that a woman can have an abortion because of
incest, rape, underage, poverty or relationship termination and yet it is alright for a woman
to have an abortion for those causes. To me there is no difference between those causes
and sex selection. A woman can have a mental breakdown if she does not have a sex
selective abortion. Her physical health might also be put on the line if she does not provide
a son for her husband. Depending on the situation, having a sex selective abortion does
suffice the Abortion Act of 1967.

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After hours of debating with each other the four women came to the conclusion that there are
too many scenarios where sex selective abortion is justifiable and where it is not. A woman
can be pro-choice and still say that this type of abortion is immoral and unethical. The
viewpoint of this controversial topic is not simple in any manner, but hopefully over the years
women from India, China, and those other countries were infanticide is common, will be
educated in the modern ways.
Beese, Ditum, Mallick and Liisanantti all leave the UN building going their separate ways.

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Works Cited:

"Abortion Act 1967." Abortion Act 1967. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Nov. 2014.
"Gendercide." Opposing Viewpoints Online Collection. Detroit: Gale, 2014. Opposing
Viewpoints in Context. Web. 9 Nov. 2014.
Ditum, Sarah. "Why Women Have a Right to Sex-selective Abortion." The Guardian. N.p., 19
Sept. 2013. Web. 9 Nov. 2014.
It's a Girl. Dir. Evan Grae Davis. Prod. Andrew Brown. Shadowline Films, 2012. Netflix.
Liisanantti, Anu, and Karin Beese. "China's One-Child Policy Has Contributed to the
Abortion of Girls." Gendercide. Ed. Noah Berlatsky. Farmington Hills, MI: Greenhaven
Press, 2014. Opposing Viewpoints. Rpt. from "Gendercide: The Missing Women."
2012. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 9 Nov. 2014.
Mallick, Heather. "Restricting Ultrasound Information in Canada Is Morally Wrong and Will
Not Prevent Gendercide." Gendercide. Ed. Noah Berlatsky. Farmington Hills, MI:
Greenhaven Press, 2014. Opposing Viewpoints. Rpt. from "Hiding Toronto Hospital
Ultrasound Results to Prevent Sex Selection Is PointlessAnd Possibly
Racist." Toronto Star 17 Apr. 2012. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 9 Nov.
2014.
Sinha, Kounteya. "Ban on Unregistered 'on Call' Ultrasound Machines." The Times of India.
India Times, 15 Jan. 2012. Web. 10 Nov. 2014.

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