by Tom Strode
The war against baby girls is not limited to certain localities but has developed into a global event, a specialist in demographics said recently at the United Nations.
Nicholas Eberstadt, a scholar at the Washington-based American Enterprise Institute and a member of the President's Council on Bioethics, told UN delegates there is an increasing birth imbalance that favors males because of sex-selection abortions and prenatal technologies, the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM) reported Dec. 8. He described the development as a "Global War Against Baby Girls," according to C-FAM.
The imbalance is not based solely on forced population control programs, Eberstadt said. His research shows the increase in "son preference" has several elements at its root: The expanding use of technologies that expedite sex selection in the womb; a decline in fertility, and a prevailing inclination toward boys.
The world is "moving to the realm of science fiction" as the gender imbalance has reached levels "beyond nature," Eberstadt said. Natural birth rates are about 105 male births to every 100 female births, but some of the world's regions have reached ratios from 115 to 100 up to 150 to 100.
Sex-selection abortions have permanently altered the demographic balance of China and are in the process of doing the same in India, he said. This tendency has reached Eastern Europe and Latin America, and it also is beginning to be indicated in Africa, Eberstadt said.
The Sept. 5 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reported China and India are missing an estimated 80 million females, largely because of sex-selection abortions. The imbalance could lead to increased possibilities for terrorism and organized crime from a population with so many men unable to marry, according to the study. It also could result in increased trafficking in women.
Eberstadt told the UN delegates the only probable solution is restricting all abortions, not just sex-selection ones. After South Korea outlawed sex-selection abortions, their incidence rose sharply, he said.