The following commentary, written by Tasha Kheiriddin, is taken from them IPolitics site and contributes to current discourse about sex-selective abortions. Two things she does well. First, I believe she presents well how "progressive" types subordinate the live in the womb to inferred political motives - whether rightly or not.
It's a rite of passage for expectant parents worldwide: the 20 week ultrasound. And it's inevitably followed by two questions. First - is it healthy? Second - is it a boy or a girl?
Unfortunately, the answer to the second question often doesn't only determine the color of the nursery walls. In the case of female fetuses, it can mean the difference between life and death.
This latter danger has prompted MP Mark Warwara to bring forward Bill M-408, which would have the House of Commons condemn the practice of sex-selective abortion. Returning to Kheiriddin, therein lies the subordination and hypocrisy..
It seems impossible to object to this idea, yet some opposition members are doing just that. In the words of NDP leader Thomas Mulcair, "(A)t the end of the day, it's a new attempt by the Conservatives to reopen the debate on abortion and remove from women their right to choose."
Considering the Tories' unwillingness to go anywhere near the abortion debate lately, that's simply untrue. But Mulcair's statement also reveal the contradiction - the hypocrisy - many so-called "progressive" politicians maintain when it comes to abortion.
The abortion debate is informed by social mores and science, both of which evolve over time — and both of which are routinely mined by progressives as sources of new laws, on issues ranging from gay rights to drug injection sites. Yet abortion seems off-limits, even though much has changed over the years.
Next Ms. Kheiriddin dabbles in various solutions to the situation - medical, educational, economic, or legal.
Somewhere, in the grey area that frightens everybody, lies a solution. It may, as Mulcair suggested, be medical: the editorial board of the Canadian Medical Association Journal has called on doctors to withhold gender information until 30 weeks, "when unquestioned abortion is all but impossible". But this may just produce a black market for the information, as it has in countries that have officially banned sex-selection, such as China and India.It may be educational: Canadians need to stand up for the value of gender equality in the classroom, the workplace and the birthing room, and let Canadians of all cultures know that gender discrimination will not be tolerated. This, however is a longer-term solution and it won't help the girls being aborted today - and without the participation of the communities involved, it will not be effective.
Another long term solution may be economic. In a society where girls have the same opportunities as boys, they will no longer are viewed as financial burdens on their families, but as assets. Hvistendahl refers to ad at an Indian clinic "Better 500 rupees now than 5000 later" - alluding to the cost of a dowry.
Finally, there may be legal fix — and it may already have come before Parliament in the form of Bill C-510. "Roxanne's Law" was named for a young Winnipeg woman, Roxanne Fernando, who was killed after refusing her boyfriend's demand that she have an abortion. Introduced by Conservative MP Rod Bruinooge, it was torpedoed in large part by the Tories, 178-97, on the basis that, according to PMO spokesperson Andrew MacDougall, "the prime minister has always said he wouldn't support a bill that reopens the abortion debate" and that, in the words of Heritage Minister James Moore, "those protections already exist in the Criminal Code."
Perhaps it is time to revisit Roxanne's Law. Its context could just as easily by applied to gender selection abortions, which often are forced on women by others, including family members or religious leaders. Of course, mothers themselves might still decide to abort a female fetus, but after reading many harrowing accounts of women forced to do so, I would wager that it would happen less often - and such a law would give society the means to fight back.
The very fact that Warwara’s motion raises all these issues shows that the debate on sex-selection - and indeed, on abortion itself - should not be sidestepped again. Though it often lags behind, the law must try to keep pace with social and scientific changes. It's the responsibility of our lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to ensure that it does.
What's lacking in Kheiriddin's analysis is any reference to faith-based solutions. Hearts need to be changed. To save the child, whether male or female, we need to help the woman; not to remain indifferent to the plight which leads her to aborting her child.