Editor’s notes: See Part 1 of this series here
The book, Unnatural Selection by Mara Hvistendahl, outlines the history of population control, abortion, and sex selection from a pro-abortion standpoint. Using this information, I will outline 3 issues regarding this movement: recurring ideas, unrestrained parental control, and the power of unique life. These issues will be separated into three different blog posts, this is part two.
Abortion and infanticide, as discussed in Part 1, are not motivated by new, original ideas, but old ones, the technology is what’s different. I don’t want to paint a bad picture of parents, or take away their choices. Parental rights are still vitally important. In all but the most extreme cases, parents love and understand their children better than anyone else. No one will put the same amount of energy, care, and interest into a child as the parents will. The right for parents to raise their child in healthy, reasonable ways should not be tampered with. It’s also the right of the child to be raised by people who have his or her best interests in mind.
I am addressing the increasing amount of parents that don’t take this responsibility seriously. Choosing what pregnancies to keep and which to stop does not balance parent and children rights or responsibilities. As my mother likes to say, “Your rights end where the other person’s nose begins.” Abortion, especially sex selection, isn’t about the parents’ rights, it’s about the parent’s choices infringing on the rights of the child. The right to life is ignored or swept away in leu of the desires of the people that are predisposed to be most interested in the child’s well-being.
What about the children who grow into adults? Do the millions of bachelors across the world appreciate the lack of wives? Hardly. Does every girl like being born into a family that chose her just to dress her in pink? (It’s in the book, seriously, this is a real reason why people choose to have girls!) Of course not! Do girls like to be sold to the highest bidder, moved to foreign lands, stolen, forced into prostitution, or married as a child? I highly doubt it. These are all consequences of parents tampering with the natural order of things.
I love marriage and families. I love children, the boys and the girls. Yet I still suffered from a small bias when I found out I was pregnant. I was the oldest of 6 growing up and envied those with older brothers. I wanted an older brother. I wanted my children to have an older brother. When the doctor pronounced that I was the mother of a little girl, I didn’t believe him at first. I had convinced myself I would have a boy first. It took a moment or two to assimilate this new knowledge. As soon as it sunk in, I changed my expectations. I was ecstatic, I had a healthy baby girl. There has not been a day since (she’s 5 now) that I have wished I would have made the decision to end that pregnancy and have a boy first. Big sisters aren’t so bad, in fact they are pretty awesome.
My misunderstanding didn’t change that fact, I just hadn’t discovered it yet. I am so grateful I chose to give my daughter what I have, life. I’ve survived without a big brother and she will too, it doesn’t escape my notice there is one thing I wouldn’t have survived, and neither would she. She is her own unique person, and while I do not always succeed, my goal is to raise her into her own version of a healthy adult. If that were the dream of every parent, I think this world wouldn’t be too bad of a place. For now, the homes that I’ve observe that strive for this goal… well, those are the happiest places with the awesomest kids.
I love all the uniqueness that is humanity. Boys and girls, men and women, all are important. All have good to give. But first life must happen. The right to try to make a life for oneself, that is a right that I can easily say belongs to everyone in the human race. I can’t promise that the consequences of actions or the trials of life will always be desirable, but there is no hope if there is no life.
In some places of the world boys are preferred because the parents want heirs. In others, girls are preferred because parents want an easier child. These and many other reasons propel parents to choose one gender over another. Instead of embracing each child as he or she comes, for the unique individual he/she is, it’s about parents trying to create perfect lives, notice this part especially, for themselves. These parents don’t want to change to accommodate a rowdy boy or a daughter’s dowry. They don’t want to take the harder, yet usually better, route.
Sometimes a certain child doesn’t fit into the parent’s plans. We live in a random, unpredictable world. Yet, as I learned 5 ½ years ago, plans are easier to change. Unfortunately, abortion and IVF have become just about that easy.