Friday, October 7, 2011

More on the feelgood topic of abortion

We all know that sex selective abortion is wrong. At least most of us. But why is it wrong? It has been suggested that it causes sex imbalance so that many men will not be able to find wives and this causes social instability and other undesirable social effects. But that is not all is it? Let's say that there is a way to ameliorate or eliminate whatever social problem this causes. Say that there is a way to have the surplus men marry women from countries with an imbalance of females. Then would we say that sex selective abortion is permissible? If not why not?

One response is that people shouldn't be able to select for traits like sex or any other physical trait like eye color and height and so forth. That's a possibility and it does have some ground for support.

But I suspect that many people would say that sex selective abortion as it is practiced around the world constitute violence or even "gendercide" against girls and women and that this is the primary reason it is wrong. If this is the primary or only reason someone thinks sex selective abortion is wrong (assuming that the first reason can be solved by the out-marriage, e.g. and that the second objection does not hold for the person) then this person seem to need to offer an explanation why that is if they also hold that fetuses/embryos, zygotes are not persons worthy of a right to life. If unborn human organisms are not girls or women and do not have a right to life, sex selective aborting them is not a crime of murder against persons and hence not gendercide.

Now some may swallow the bullet and say that it may not be gendercide against females persons but it does constitute some kind of symbolic crime against women in the sense that pornography does so. It is a crime of psychical violence perpetrated against born women and girls by vitiating the status of females or by treating females as less than equal to males despite the fact that the actions are directed towards fetuses and not actual persons. But I'm not sure this is a persuasive move.