Gender Discrimination v. Abortion Rights

I am 100 per cent behind a woman’s right to choose what to do in the event of an unwanted pregnancy. I am completely against “informed consent” laws that require a woman to have an extremely invasive ultrasound before being allowed to go through with the procedure. It seems like a complete waste of time and money to make a woman undergo what I think constitutes a sexual assault before allowing her to exercise something that is her right. I am completely for actual informed consent, when a woman is advised of what the procedure entails, and what risks there are.

I think that any reason for wanting to get an abortion is legitimate. Regardless of how stupid someone else might thing the reason is, it’s still a woman’s decision to decide what happens to her body.

There is one instance where I think abortion restrictions should exist.  The only instance in which I think restrictions on abortion should exist is when it comes to gender-selective abortion. It would be impossible to regulate, because a woman wanting to abort a fetus on the basis of its sex could just give another reason. But if you believe in gender equality, then aborting a fetus simply because she shares the sex of her mother is completely antithetical to what you want achieve. Girls have a right to life, a right that cannot be taken away simply because of their femaleness.

Some states have laws against gender-selective abortions. But as I said before, this is almost impossible to enforce, and preventing a woman from having an abortion when she wants one is a violation of her reproductive rights. But aborting a fetus for being female is an extremely misogynistic act.

India and China, the biggest offenders when it comes to gender-selective abortion due to their sheer population size, are already missing tens of millions of women and girls. India’s 2011 census showed that the country was missing 37 million women and girls, and sociologists estimate that by 2020, there will be 35 million women and girls missing in China.

Some sociologists argue that having so many extra men results in an increase violent crime. There is no positive effect of too few women. On the one hand, women are undervalued by society, which leads to gender-selective abortion, while on the other hand, the deficit of women means that they are in such high demand that they’re kidnapped and forced into marriage- a result of social norms that place a high emphasis on marrying and having children.

Many societies prefer sons because boys are educated whereas girls aren’t, meaning they grow up to be breadwinners, they carry on the family line, they take care of their parents in old age. But girls are also capable of going to school, making money, and without women, no one’s family line would be continued. The only thing that can increase the value of girls and women in people’s eyes is education. Education for girls, so they can reach their full potential. Education for entire societies to realize that girls and women are just as capable of being contributing members and have more to offer than just their wombs. I’m not arguing that girls are identical to boys, but girls are just as important to every family, every society, every country, as boys. Only when this is universally accepted will the worrying gap between men and women be closed.


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