In June 2012 the CBC revealed that ultrasounds were being used in Canada to identify the sex of a child before birth. While in many cases this might not be a problem, too many expectant parents, it seems, have used this technology to kill the child if she is found to be a girl. The sting operation, which was carried out at 22 “entertainment ultrasound” private facilities, led to vocal condemnations by all political parties against this gender selection abortion. They were joined with 92% of Canadians and the medical profession, according to polling. How then does something so gruesome continue on our shores? The Assisted Human Reproduction Act 2004 criminalizes gender selection for In Vitro Fertilization purposes but does not cover children conceived naturally within the womb. Too many girls are losing their lives in Canada because of this.
It is unfortunate that there have not been more feminists speaking up against this gendercide. Their silence is deadly for the ‘little women’ in the womb. “Will ‘choice’ trump even gendercide?”, wondered bio-ethicist Margaret Somerville in an editorial.
The conclusion then is that the abortion lobby and the feminists consider abortion availability today more important than protecting the lives of the women of tomorrow. Another problem is that clinics from the United States, where gender selection is legal, are advertising in Canadian newspapers and are targeting Indo-Canadians.
Gender selection abortion is certainly violence against women and, according to Dr. Samuel Soliman, “is part of the whole spectrum of violence against women, which starts from inside the uterus to the outside and the value of women”.
In June 2012 a research paper, “Sex ratios among Canadian liveborn infants of mothers from different cultures,” was published in the Canadian Medical Journal. An evaluation was done of “all singleton live births in Ontario between 2002 and 2007 using birth records provided by Ontario Vital Statistics” with births included from 23 to 41 weeks of gestation. The “interpretation” of the study states, “Our study of male:female ratios in Ontario showed that multiparous women born in India were significantly more likely than multiparous women born in Canada to have a male infant.” This according to the findings “raises the possibility that couples originating from India may be more likely than Canadian born couples to use pre-natal sex determination and terminate a second or subsequent pregnancy if the fetus is female”.
This also raises the specter of forced abortion; the public has been confronted with more information on this practice from China and other countries. A new documentary, “It’s a Girl”, shows the horrendous situation in China and the “matter of fact” killing of 8 girl babies in one Indian family just because they were female.
In a 2007 investigative report entitled “Canada’s lost daughters”, Andrea Mrozek noted that in 2001 in North Etobicoke the boy-to-girl ratio for the under 4’s in the Indian community was 110-100. In Brampton, Sikh areas had 109 boys to 100 girls. Areas around Chinatown showed ratios of 108 boys to 100 girls. Ms. Mrozek noted that “compared to other areas of Canada, the deviation is as obvious as it is sobering.”
Education is sorely needed in Canada and Motion 408 offers the opportunity to start the conversation. We must hope that when our legislators have the opportunity to debate Motion 408, they will condemn this discrimination against females.
M-408 “That the House condemn discrimination against females occurring through sex-selective pregnancy termination.”“Recent studies have shown that the practice of aborting females in favour of males is happening in Canada,” says Warawa. “92% of Canadians believe sex-selective pregnancy termination should be illegal.”
“Gender selection has been strongly condemned by all national political parties,” added Warawa. “As well, the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada have vehemently opposed sex-selection pregnancy termination.”
Let us hope they will have the courage to debate and unequivocally condemn sex selective pregnancy termination. Let the message be sent that in Canada we will not tolerate killing baby girls before they are born, just because they are baby girls – whether they are conceived in Canada or elsewhere.
We hope that the DefendGirls website will be a resource and tool to raise awareness on this important issue.