As a dad, there are times in which I wonder how good a gift giver God is. Does God realize that there are times his gifts – two in particular – seem to be like the gifts I used to give my dad on Father’s day such as cheap cologne and ugly ties? The gifts I am speaking of are my sons; after all Psalm 127 says “Children are a gift from the Lord”, gifts without return receipts. But please, don’t get me wrong, the majority of the time Parker and Jonathan are among the best gifts that I have been every given.
Many people don’t believe children are ever a gift; they don’t believe that children provide joy and happiness. Instead, children are often portrayed as burdens – especially if a woman is pregnant before she is “ready”. When woman isn’t ready then abortion is presented as the best option.
Abortion is believed to be the right choice because it offers joy and happiness.
At the expense of a fetus.
The main argument against abortion is that life – even that of a fetus – bears the image of God. The destruction of that fetus is the destruction of that image-bearer. This is the basis for my blog post from a few weeks ago, “Elvis, Abortion, and the Image of God”.
A second argument against is today’s blog post – that a proliferation of abortions has resulted in “Half-Priced Brides”. When people ignore what is right and what is best, catastrophe is the result.
Mara Hvistendahl wrote a brilliant book, “Unnatural Selection” outlining the consequences of sex-selective abortion. In the book, Hvistendahl explains the reason why so many in Asia have aborted a fetus just because it was female.
The first reason why sex-selective abortion is so common in Asia is due to population control. As the 20th century progressed, the powers that be (more often Western-powers than not) began to panic over the population growth in Asia – particularly in China and India.
Hvistendahl explains that “Parents in developing countries were taught that small families were successful and well educated – that the quality of their children was inversely proportional to the quantity, as if children were factor goods” (257). In other words, the smaller the family, the higher quality of life for the family and the greater future potential for the children.
At the same time a new technology was developed and introduced in these markets – the ultrasound. The development of this technology, when paired with their cultural preference of having boys over girls and the belief in a smaller family is better (and in some countries, mandatory), has resulted in a tremendous number of abortions of female fetuses.
One may easily assume that this is simply a result of backwards culture and that as these countries progress economically and educationally then sex-selective abortion will end. Hvistendahl’s book explains that the opposite is the case and that “highly educated couples are more prone to abort a female fetus than couples with lower levels of education; the contradiction shocks Indian scholars as well” (31).
The result of sex-selective abortion is catastrophic.
Sex-selective abortion has resulted in fewer women than is healthy for these societies. While the more economically minded may wonder about the law of supply and demand, in other words that fewer women would benefit the remaining women, Hvistendahl argues:
“No majority group has ever aspired to become a minority under the illusion that a decrease in numbers will somehow lead the group’s members to be more valued by the rest of society, and so it is with women” (169).
No group has ever willingly become a minority group in order to improve their rights.
The result of sex-selective abortion is catastrophic for many women in these countries.
It is a horrific irony that in trying to promote the right of women to abort, abortion has actually reduced the rights of women.
According to “Unnatural Selection”:
“The U.S. Department of State’s annual Trafficking in Person’s Report lists the dearth of women in Asia as one of the principal causes of sex trafficking in the region” (185).
“Researchers at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences echoed that finding in 2010 interviews in which they said forced prostitution and human trafficking have become ‘rampant’ as a result of the country’s gender imbalance” (185).
“brothels in Asia have proliferated where the sex ratio is most skewed” (185).
“The matchmakers lining the streets of Ruili, along Yunnan‘s border with Myanmar, tout Burmese girls as a bargain: half-price” (189).
It is incongruent to be both pro-choice and anti-sex trafficking as one (abortion) results in the other (sex-trafficking).
The result of sex-selective abortion is the catastrophic sexual exploitation of women.
Chris Brauns, in “Unpacking Forgiveness” offers a helpful understanding for God’s plans for humanity. He explains that “what is right” is “that which glorifies God and is most Christlike” and that “what is best” is “that which maximizes my own joy and happiness” (39).
God’s plans for his creation is right and is best.
Abortion offers neither. It is not what is right and it is not what is best.
Not only is it the destruction of one made in the image of God it also results in other catastrophes. It results in half-priced brides.