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Girls are Precious in China

In a country where baby girls have traditionally been considered worthless, the government of China has found it necessary to pay couples to bear and keep their baby daughters.

The growing ratio between males and females has Chinese officials worried. Today some l 17 boys are born for every 100 girls (globally the ratio is 105 boys for 100 girls). This skewed ratio will cause a considerable shortage of Chinese women by 2020.

Incentives include offering parents of daughters a monthly income in their old age, free schooling and housing grants and better employment opportunities for parents in some areas. China’s one-child family policy has caused many sex-selection abortions (regulations for which the government says it will now tighten) and abandonment of newborn daughters.

PRI’s Steven Mosher has consistently noted that “China’s notorious one-child policy has been a death sentence for a whole generation of girls. Since the beginning of the one-child policy in 1981, well over a hundred million baby girls in China have died by abortion, infanticide, abandonment, and neglect.”

In some areas, the schools are already filled with boys while the orphanages are filled with girls. A “bachelor society” is emerging as men have problems finding wives. Social tension, wife-selling, baby-trafficking, kidnapping and prostitution, already problems, are expected to rise in the future as a result of the shortage of females.

(Jonathan Watts, “China offers parents cash incentives to produce more girls,” The Guardian, 16 July 2004; Steven Ertelt, “China Offers Families Money to Have Girls Babies instead of Abortions,” LifeNews.com, 12 August 2004, www.lifenews.com/nat720.html)

Iran Votes to Allow Abortion

Iran recently approved a draft bill to legalize abortion of “deformed” babies or for the health of the mother. Because Islam teaches a baby does not receive a soul until 17 weeks, the local religious leadership is not opposing the hill.

But not all agree. Mohammad Taqi Mohassel, a cleric, states, “The bill tells the world that Iran’s parliament has permitted abortion. That’s why I oppose it.”

The Guardian Council, consisting of 12 members, must approve the bill before it can become law.

(“Iran Legalizes Abortion,” LifeSite Daily News, 20 July 2004, www.lifesite.net/ldn/2004/jul/040720.html)

Implanon in Scotland

The contraceptive implant Implanon has become a popular way for doctors to sterilize young girls in Scotland in an effort to reduce the number of teen pregnancies. As many as 400 girls, some as young as 14, have been sterilized without their parents’ knowledge.

Implanon works by releasing progesterone into the blood stream for a period of about three years, much like the abortifacient Norplant. The long-term effects are unknown

(“Scottish doctors sterilize up to 400 teen girls,” Catholic World News Site, 4 May 2004, www.cwnews.com/news/viewstory.cfm?recnum=29342)

Debate in Nicaragua

UNICEF official, Gary Stahl, Aid calling for the legalization of abortion in Nicaragua claiming it is needed to defend young girls who don’t want to become mothers. During government debates to reform abortion laws, Stahl maintained that “issues such as those related to the rights of children and the effects of sexual abuse are not being taken into account” in Nicaragua’s present abortion laws.

(“UNICEF leaves unborn out of abortion debate in Nicaragua,” CatholicNewsAgency.com, 13 July 2004, www.catholicnewsagency.com/showarchive.php?date=2004-07-13)

Steven Mosher Says No to Pill Prescription

Steven Mosher, the owner of a pharmacy in Texas (not the president of PRI) refused to fill a prescription for birth control pills on the grounds that the pills work as an abortifacient causing early abortion.

While Texas law does not explicitly permit pharmacists to refuse to fill prescriptions because of religious beliefs or conscience, neither does it allow for disciplining a pharmacist who will not till a prescription on moral grounds.

Mosher admits that his decision not to dispense abortifacients has cost him a lot of business, but states that he intends to stand by his beliefs.

(“Pharmacist denies Woman Contraceptives,” KVIA, 26 July 2004, www.kvia.com/Global/story.asp?s=209l647&nav=AbC0Pced)

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