Asian Sex Selection a Problem
Sex-selective abortion continues to be a problem in many Asian countries, where sons are traditionally preferred to daughters. Two countries are trying to do something to stop unborn baby girls from being targeted for abortions based solely on their sex. In Vietnam, a law is being drafted which will prevent doctors from determining the sex of an unborn baby. Currently, there are 106 males born for every 100 females in Vietnam. In some parts of the country, there is an even greater disparity, as much as 116 males for every 100 females. Dinh Cong Thoan, of the National Committee for Population and Family Planning, explained that “If people know in advance the infant’s sex is not to their choosing, they might choose abortion? Of course, in Vietnam, preference for males isn’t the only reason females are selectively aborted. A two-child-per-family policy is in effect throughout Vietnam. Members of the Communist Party who have more children than permitted are expelled from the party and face other repercussions, including having to pay extra for health and education, and land confiscation. The Vietnamese government believes that it’s wrong to abort a child just because she’s a girl, but it’s fine to abort a child just because her parents already have two children.
India has outlawed ultrasound tests to determine an unborn child’s sex since 1994. Despite that law, sex-selective abortions continue to be rampant. A recent study showed that a mind-boggling 995 of every 1000 children aborted are female. In order to curb this abuse, the government has decided to revoke the medical licenses of doctors who perform sex-selective abortions.
(“Vietnam — Families Restricted to Two Children, Pro-Life E-News, 3 December 2001; “Viet Nam Tries to Stop Sex-Selection Abortions”; “India Acts Against Doctors Engaged in Female Feticide,” CWNews.com, 4 December 2001)
Two new contraceptives will soon be available in the US and Canada. The Food and Drug Administration recently approved Ortho Evra, the first birth control skin patch. The patch is a one-and-three-quarter inch square which, when applied to a woman’s body, slowly releases progestin and estrogen hormones into the bloodstream. The patch is replaced weekly for three weeks, and then the woman goes without a patch for one week before starting the cycle again.
Ortho Evra, like any hormonal contraceptive, acts as an abortifacient as well as a contraceptive. The potential side effects of Ortho Evra are similar to those of the birth control pill, including risk of blood clots, heart attacks and strokes.
The second new contraceptive, Essure, was recently approved for marketing in Canada. Essure is a form of permanent birth control in which a 1.6-inch metal coil is inserted into the fallopian tubes in a 15–30 minute procedure. After three months, it permanently destroys the function of the fallopian tubes. The procedure is being touted as an alternative to surgical tubal ligation.
(“FDA Approves First Hormonal Contraceptive Skin Patch,” FDA Talk Paper, 20 November 2001, quoted in LSN.ca, 22 November 2001; “Canada Approves New Permanent Contraceptive Device,” LSN.ca, 29 November 2001; “Conceptus Says Get Canada Approval to Market Essure,” Reuters, 22 November 200l)
Decrease in Brits
The UN predicts that Britain’s population will steadily decline for the next 50 years, reducing the number of people by as much as 24 percent. The percentage of people over age 60 will rise from 20.6 percent to 30.4 percent of the total population.
The Times argues that the decline in fertility rate is a result of the increased wealth of Britain. “The declining level of Britain’s population can, therefore, be seen as one of prosperity’s, and freedom’s fruits.” It is interesting to note that Britain continues to provide funding for population control programs in the Third World. These programs aim to achieve by coercion what they believe in England was achieved by prosperity and freedom.
(Michael Grove, “Breed or Die Out.” The Times, 15 November 2001, quoted in SPUC News, 16 November 2001)
A recent report from Statistics Canada shows that Canada’s birthrate declined in 1999 for the ninth year in a row. The total number of babies born in 1999 was 337,249, a 1.5% decline from 1998. Older mothers in Canada are giving birth to an increasingly large percentage of the total babies born. Women in their 30s and older now account for 32% of births to first-time mothers.
(The Daily, Statistics Canada, 10 December 2001)