Sex-Selective Abortion Frightens Some Pro-Choicers

I recently came across this post about the Baby Gender Mentor – a controversial blood test which claims to be able to identify the sex of a fetus as early as five weeks after conception. While I find it difficult to believe the paranoia that female unborn will be discriminated against in Canada (though, it certainly is an issue elsewhere, namely in China), I find it even more absurd that such a strident pro-choice activist would have a problem with this test.

Angry Young Woman writes,

If do it yourself gender tests become available in drugstores alongside the fertility and pregnancy tests, what will be the outcome? Will women resist or submit to family and social pressures to give birth to a boy? Sure we all know about the son-preference of certain cultures, but will not the West’s own brand of male chauvinism and privilege come out to shine? “You have to worry so much more about a daughter!” “Boys and men just have it so much easier in this man’s world.” What is to be made of the fact that the test can detect gender so early as to facilitate first trimester abortion? Terms like “family balancing” only mask or worse, sugarcoat the gravity of femicide.

Femicide? Is that even a word? Oh wait, yes it is. What does it mean, you ask? Well, the first definition given by Google is “murder of a person based on the fact of the victim’s being female.”

Hold on… murder of a person? Wait… murder?? Somebody please wake me up. Is Angry Young Woman really calling an abortion the murder of a person?

Surely, a pro-choice advocate, who doesn’t believe the unborn is a person, shouldn’t have any trouble with a woman making a choice about “her own body.” Kimberly Mutcherson, an assistant professor at Rutgers Law School in Camden, N.J., defends the pro-choice view with respect to this gender kit:

People make sex selection decisions for many reasons – to balance their family, or to check for gender-related disease. If you believe women have the right to choose, those are perfectly legitimate reasons.

For me, though I have mixed feelings about such a gender test, the ultimate answer is quite simple. If the unborn is a human being – which I believe it is – then no justification for abortion is adequate. However, if the unborn is not a human being – which is presumably the view of Angry Young Woman – then no justification for abortion is necessary. If the unborn is not a human being, then who are you to tell a woman what to do with her own body? Is Angry Young Woman pro-choice only insofar as she agrees with a woman’s reasons for her choice?

“Femicide” requires the personhood of the unborn. If abortion can be described in such a way, than why do we permit it at all? Real feminists are pro-life.

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