Why is abortion for sex-selection wrong?

billc

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Here is an article on a abortion doctors in England agreeing to do abortions based on sex selection by the parents. My question is, if you agree that the mother has an absolute right to abort/kill her baby, why is aborting/killing the baby because it is the wrong sex wrong?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/h...ing-illegal-abortions-no-questions-asked.html

Doctors at British clinics have been secretly filmed agreeing to terminate foetuses purely because they are either male or female. Clinicians admitted they were prepared to falsify paperwork to arrange the abortions even though it is illegal to conduct such “sex-selection” procedures.

Andrew Lansley, the Health Secretary, said: “I’m extremely concerned to hear about these allegations. Sex selection is illegal and is morally wrong. I’ve asked my officials to investigate this as a matter of urgency.”

I don't quite get what the problem is here. If you agree that abortions of a perfectly healthy baby are not wrong and should be permitted, if that is what the mother wants, then why is it illegal to abort due to the wrong sex?
 

Empty Hands

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My question is, if you agree that the mother has an absolute right to abort/kill her baby, why is aborting/killing the baby because it is the wrong sex wrong?

Your question does not follow from the premise. I believe you have an absolute right to cheat on your wife or act like a ****, and you should never face governmental sanction for it (social sanction is another story). That doesn't mean that I think cheating on your wife or acting like a **** are morally right.

You know this of course, this is just another way to paint your opponents in an unflattering light.
 

Steve

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Speaking only for myself, I think that abortion should be safe and legal for women in the first or second trimester. I understand that there are many different definitions of when life begins, both legal and otherwise, but I consider life to begin around month 6, once the child is viable outside the womb. Any abortions after this point are, for me, only justifiable where the mother's life is at genuine risk or the child's health is compromised to the point that he or she is not able to survive.

So, questions like this are pretty easy to answer. If the abortion is to occur in the first or second trimester, I think that it's up to the woman. I don't personally agree, but I also don't think we're talking about a viable human life at that point, either. The decision to abort a pregnancy due to the gender of the fetus is pretty crass and heartless.

Also, just to note, this is the UK, and their laws are not our laws.
 

Tez3

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This is not an 'English' thing, not even a British thing. It's Asian. The clinics are private ones, not NHS and it's against the law to have an abortion based ont he sex of the child. Abortions are legal only for medical reasons. Among Asian families there is a great pressure on mothers to produce sons, it's common in India and other Asian countries to have abortions based on the gender. what the articles aren't saying probably due to PCness it that it's the Asian parents here going to clinics where Asian doctors are willing to do abortions based on gender. I wouldn't want you to think that it's something that is encouraged or wanted here.It's not so easy to obtain an abortion here as perhaps articles would have you think. We also have a big problem here with Asian children being born handicapped due to the practice of cousins marrying each other right through generations so parents can marry cousisns, their children marry cousins etc etc.
 

Tez3

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http://www.economist.com/node/15636231

http://www.8asians.com/2011/12/07/89-of-indian-women-carrying-girls-opted-for-abortion/

In America http://afterabortion.org/2011/expert-says-sex-selection-abortions-happening-in-the-u-s-many-coerced/

This is disturbing reading.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1276902/Britains-hidden-gendercide-How-Britains-Asians-copying-Indian-cousins-aborting-girls.

"It is difficult for those of white British origins, who come from a culture where the safe arrival of a healthy baby girl is a cause for celebration, to understand the deep-rooted commitment of British Indian families to what has become known as 'son preference'."



This is less about abortion than the worth of females. Banned abortion or in places where it's not available baby girls are left to die or actually killed.

Bili you are arguing about abortion rights or not in your case, you are obviously not understanding what the problem is in these cases. You want to tell us again how abortion is wrong but that's not actually the problem here, it's the destruction of females. Abortion in these cases only means the baby doesn't get born, if it does it will be destroyed anyway, thrown in a slops pail to drown, left in the cold, not fed, taken away and thrown on the rubbish, that's the fate of many babies, perhaps it's better if they are never born in the first place if that's the best that's in store for them. What we need to be doing is placing a value on girls lives, allowing these babies to be born and live proper lives.
 

granfire

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http://www.economist.com/node/15636231

http://www.8asians.com/2011/12/07/89-of-indian-women-carrying-girls-opted-for-abortion/

In America http://afterabortion.org/2011/expert-says-sex-selection-abortions-happening-in-the-u-s-many-coerced/

This is disturbing reading.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1276902/Britains-hidden-gendercide-How-Britains-Asians-copying-Indian-cousins-aborting-girls.

"It is difficult for those of white British origins, who come from a culture where the safe arrival of a healthy baby girl is a cause for celebration, to understand the deep-rooted commitment of British Indian families to what has become known as 'son preference'."



This is less about abortion than the worth of females. Banned abortion or in places where it's not available baby girls are left to die or actually killed.

Bili you are arguing about abortion rights or not in your case, you are obviously not understanding what the problem is in these cases. You want to tell us again how abortion is wrong but that's not actually the problem here, it's the destruction of females. Abortion in these cases only means the baby doesn't get born, if it does it will be destroyed anyway, thrown in a slops pail to drown, left in the cold, not fed, taken away and thrown on the rubbish, that's the fate of many babies, perhaps it's better if they are never born in the first place if that's the best that's in store for them. What we need to be doing is placing a value on girls lives, allowing these babies to be born and live proper lives.

Or if they are born and raised, then only to be sold to brothels by their parents...
 

Tez3

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Or if they are born and raised, then only to be sold to brothels by their parents...


That too, or another form of sex slavery as a child bride to an old man.


A glib 'condemnation' of abortion laws isn't going to cut it I'm afraid in this case. Oh it's England and aren't they awful...no we are bloody well not, we are trying to do something about the destruction of females, Bili what are you doing?
http://www.internationalwomensday.com/default.asp
 

granfire

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The problem is not solved by raising the finger.
it's a deep ingrained cultural problem that will need generations to fix.

(then again, the practice of eliminating female births are already producing a grossly misshapen population pyramid. Maybe with a severe lack of females their value rises in the future...)
 

Bill Mattocks

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It's a legitimate question, and one I've raised before. And I think it is disingenuous of supporters of a woman's right to choose to shy away from it or attempt to deflect the argument by attacking the person asking the question, or by (as seen in this thread) pointing out that there are worse things done to unwanted children.

Let's make it plain and clear, and no, I do NOT have an agenda here.

* It is currently legal in the USA and many countries for a woman to choose to have an abortion. *

There is no legal requirement for a justification to be given. A woman who may abort legally may do so for any reason or none at all.

In any society in which there is preference for children of a specific sort, and the medical ability to provide some form of diagnostic evaluation of the fetus (or unborn child, take your pick, I'm not trying to play with buzzwords here), it is both entirely possible and reasonable to assume that abortion will sometimes be chosen based upon this knowledge.

For example, it is not unusual, even though not often talked about, for an abortion to occur if the fetus is known to have a serious disease, or mental retardation. Some may choose to carry such a child to term and raise the child as best they can for as long as the child lives, but it is understood to represent a serious burden on the family and perhaps society as well. Some feel it is entirely reasonable to not impose such a burden on a child, its parents, or society by aborting such a fetus.

We do have evidence of gender-based abortion preferences. Sorry if it makes people angry to talk about it, but it appears to be happening, even if it does not happen often. Granted that it would be morally 'bad' according to the moral compasses of many people, but such practice would be completely legal under the laws of every nation and state I am aware of, since the mother does not even have to state a reason for the termination of pregnancy. In other words, no one can be prosecuted for a crime if they say "I had an abortion because I wanted a boy and this fetus would have become a girl." Terrible, but completely legal.

Considering that science marches on, and we can make accurate medical predictions better and better each year, it is entirely possible that the time will come when science can predict things like the color eyes, skin, hair, and other physical traits a fetus will have. Science fiction? Please, we already can predict a number of different DNA-based predilections with a high degree of accuracy, and that would have been science fiction just a few years ago.

So given that, it would seem that at some point in the near future, we will have the ability to tailor a child by rejecting unwanted traits, not unlike a gardener breeding flowers. In the past, this was called eugenics. You may have heard of it.

There is no reason to suppose that some (certainly not all, and probably not even a majority) of prospective parents will choose abortion for reasons such as predisposition to certain genetic traits, from lack of disease to height and athletic or mental ability. To the extent that we CAN predict such things now, that sort of selection already takes place, so there is no argument that can be made that it won't take place in the future as well if abortion laws remain as they are.

And I am not suggesting that abortion laws be changed. I am suggesting that this is an issue which has to be confronted and discussed. It's legitimate, it's reasonable to have the discussion, and attacking the person bringing it up just makes you look bad.
 

oftheherd1

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...

I don't quite get what the problem is here. If you agree that abortions of a perfectly healthy baby are not wrong and should be permitted, if that is what the mother wants, then why is it illegal to abort due to the wrong sex?

You haven't defined if you question this on legal or moral grounds. If the law allows it (which from other posts it seems it may not), then that is the simple answer. It is what the law says.

If you question it on moral grounds, then it depends on the morals of whoever is answering you. For myself, I cannot agree with abortion. That hasn't always been my stance. But as I have gotten older, and read the Bible more, I go with the Bible. It points out God knowing some people before they were formed in the womb. I take that to mean at conception, a baby is a person.

And I know of nothing imperically or scientifically, that can show when a "baby" becomes a person. Steve has pointed out he believes a baby becomes a person at six months. As I said, I cannot show an imperical or scientific study to refute that, nor do I know of any to support that, or my belief either. It is something I accept on faith. If you follow another religious belief than I do, you may not agree. That is each person's decision to make based on their on moral beliefs.

But Bill Mattocks brings up a good non-religious concern that needs some consideration; eugenics. To me that carries some conotations I find frightening.
 

Empty Hands

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It's a legitimate question, and one I've raised before.

It is not a legitimate question the way it was framed, because it assumes a conclusion that does not follow from the premise. There is nothing about being pro-choice that necessitates the belief that all or even some abortions must be moral. No more than not wanting adultery made illegal means I must find it moral.

If anyone wants to talk about the moral basis of particular abortion choices go right ahead, but that wasn't what the OP stated.
 

Empty Hands

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And I know of nothing imperically or scientifically, that can show when a "baby" becomes a person.

I know an enormous amount scientifically that can demonstrate that a recently conceived embryo does not and can not be a "person" by any commonly accepted definition of the term. Would you actually be interested in hearing the evidence and changing your opinion accordingly, or would you continue to insist against the evidence for religious reasons that a just-fertilized egg counts as a "person"?
 

RandomPhantom700

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Your question does not follow from the premise. I believe you have an absolute right to cheat on your wife or act like a ****, and you should never face governmental sanction for it (social sanction is another story). That doesn't mean that I think cheating on your wife or acting like a **** are morally right.

You know this of course, this is just another way to paint your opponents in an unflattering light.

Much like how I'll stand behind someone's rigth to speak, even if I think what they're saying is the most ignorant, hate-fueled, ideological (idealogical?) crap ever. Don't have to agree with something to believe in the right to it.

As most everyone who's taken a sincere look at the abortion issue knows, the pro-choice crowd is pro-CHOICE, not pro-abortion.

Edit: I didn't realize the article in question was concerning abortions held outside the U.S.; hadn't looked at them before responding to EH's post. My bad.
 
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RandomPhantom700

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I know an enormous amount scientifically that can demonstrate that a recently conceived embryo does not and can not be a "person" by any commonly accepted definition of the term. Would you actually be interested in hearing the evidence and changing your opinion accordingly, or would you continue to insist against the evidence for religious reasons that a just-fertilized egg counts as a "person"?

Hell, I'd like to look over it. I'm pro-choice, but the question of when life begins still makes me hesitate a bit.
 

RandomPhantom700

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It's a legitimate question, and one I've raised before. And I think it is disingenuous of supporters of a woman's right to choose to shy away from it or attempt to deflect the argument by attacking the person asking the question, or by (as seen in this thread) pointing out that there are worse things done to unwanted children.

...

And I am not suggesting that abortion laws be changed. I am suggesting that this is an issue which has to be confronted and discussed. It's legitimate, it's reasonable to have the discussion, and attacking the person bringing it up just makes you look bad.

The answer, quite simply, is that there is a distinction between whether each of us finds somethign to be morally acceptable and whether we think one has a right to make the decision. Whether I agree with preference-based abortions or not, I still believe in the right to choose. But when people have the right to do something, it's an unfortunate reality that some will choose to exercise that right for very wrong reasons. You just have to accept that it'll happen.

Speaking for myself, I think that the decision to abort, regardless of the personhood of the unborn, remains a serious decision, and I find it kinda reprehensible that someone would make such a decision based on personal preference. On the other hand, I was born with a genetic defect, and to be honest, I wouldn't have blamed my parents one bit if, knowing that their unborn was going to have this syndrome, they'd have opted to abort. The latter reason for aborting, in my eyes, is one that gives respect to the gravity of the choice to prevent a life from forming; the former seems shallow and thoughtless.

My 2 cents, anyway.
 

Bill Mattocks

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The answer, quite simply, is that there is a distinction between whether each of us finds somethign to be morally acceptable and whether we think one has a right to make the decision. Whether I agree with preference-based abortions or not, I still believe in the right to choose. But when people have the right to do something, it's an unfortunate reality that some will choose to exercise that right for very wrong reasons. You just have to accept that it'll happen.

Speaking for myself, I think that the decision to abort, regardless of the personhood of the unborn, remains a serious decision, and I find it kinda reprehensible that someone would make such a decision based on personal preference. On the other hand, I was born with a genetic defect, and to be honest, I wouldn't have blamed my parents one bit if, knowing that their unborn was going to have this syndrome, they'd have opted to abort. The latter reason for aborting, in my eyes, is one that gives respect to the gravity of the choice to prevent a life from forming; the former seems shallow and thoughtless.

My 2 cents, anyway.

I think that's a reasonable response. However, it does mean that if and when Eugenics (under whatever new and improved name) rears its ugly head again, it will proceed without legal sanction; just people tsk,tsking at it.
 

oftheherd1

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I know an enormous amount scientifically that can demonstrate that a recently conceived embryo does not and can not be a "person" by any commonly accepted definition of the term. Would you actually be interested in hearing the evidence and changing your opinion accordingly, or would you continue to insist against the evidence for religious reasons that a just-fertilized egg counts as a "person"?

I am always interested in learning, so yes. But I still might not agree. One thing that might be a problem would be the "commonly accepted definition of the term" person. I hope some evidence you might suggest I look at can address that as well? Thanks for being willing to share what you have.
 

elder999

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When I got back from Japan, in 1980, I went back to college at SUNY@ Stonybrook, on Long Island. I rented a little cabin in Rocky Point from a professor. He and his wife had a little boy, and she'd had amniocentesis and aborted three male pregnancies. Sex can usually be determined around the 20th week-though I don't know how true that was 33 years ago-so she had to be at least at the very end of the first trimester or into the beginning of the second before aborting pregnancies that did not have the desired outcome, a girl. I know all this because they were a little nuts, and she told me-they thought they were being very smart and hip, engaging in a little bit of designer family planning.

As I said, this was all 33 years ago, in the United States. It happened then, it's probably happened since then. It doesn't really matter to me-I'm never going to have an abortion.
 

Bill Mattocks

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When I got back from Japan, in 1980, I went back to college at SUNY@ Stonybrook, on Long Island. I rented a little cabin in Rocky Point from a professor. He and his wife had a little boy, and she'd had amniocentesis and aborted three male pregnancies. Sex can usually be determined around the 20th week-though I don't know how true that was 33 years ago-so she had to be at least at the very end of the first trimester or into the beginning of the second before aborting pregnancies that did not have the desired outcome, a girl. I know all this because they were a little nuts, and she told me-they thought they were being very smart and hip, engaging in a little bit of designer family planning.

As I said, this was all 33 years ago, in the United States. It happened then, it's probably happened since then. It doesn't really matter to me-I'm never going to have an abortion.

As comedian Denis Leary once quipped, "Like our kid? He matches our couch."
 

Tez3

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So no one wants to address the issue of female children being killed either before birth or after? Does no one, apart from Granfire, see the problem here or as anything other than a chance to have a rant about your view on abortion? Does no one here worry about girls being killed just because they are girls...?
Bill M, I wasn't attacking the OP I was pointing out why he had it wrong and if you think I was pointing out that worst things happen you don't understand what i was saying, the reason these people are having babies aborted is because they are female, no other reason and it's the wrong reason, it's a horrendous reason. The issue is not actually abortion it's the attitude and cultural pressures that make this happen, change those and make girls 'valuble' and the aborting of female foetuses will stop.

I'm done with thread, it makes me feel sick.
 
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