You can’t have your cake and eat it, too. That’s especially true when it comes to worldviews.
A few weeks ago, I told you that there are an estimated 160 million missing Asian women: missing because they were never born.
These women, victims of sex-selection abortion, are the subject of a new book by Mara Hvistendahl. Hvistendahl begins with what Paul Ehrlich famously called the “Population Bomb” and the population-control movement of the 1960s and 70s. Would-be population controllers discovered that people’s desire for a son was a major impediment to their efforts: Throughout the developing world, especially in Asia, women kept having children until they had a boy.
Thus, as Hvistendahl tells us, “proponents of population control began talking about” sex selection. Ehrlich wrote in The Population Bomb that “if a simple method could be found to guarantee that first-born children were males . . . then population control problems in many areas would be somewhat eased.”
Well, it wasn’t long before western money and technical know-how provided the “simple method” — amniocentesis, followed by abortion. Doctors, first in India, and then throughout Asia, learned how to use the combination to ensure people had a son the first time. And their teachers were groups like the Rockefeller Foundation and the United Nations Family Planning Agency, UNFPA.
The population controllers insisted that the need to curb population growth was so great, that “the drawbacks of a skewed sex ratio” would have to be tolerated. Boy, were they wrong. By 2020 an estimated 20 percent of all Chinese men “will lack a female counterpart.” And as I told you, this lack of women has fueled a growing sex trade in Asia.
Given what Hvistendahl calls the “tragic results” of the “Western advocacy of sex selection,” you would expect her to be angry, and she is. But get this: She’s angry at pro-lifers! Because they dare to cite her research to make the connection between Asia’s missing women and “abortion rights” advocacy.
She has criticized New York Times columnist Ross Douthat for pointing out that it is difficult for supporters of abortion-on-demand to then insist that abortion not be used for sex selection. She laments the “bind” in which Planned Parenthood and United Nations now find themselves.
It’s hard to imagine a clearer example of the blinding power of a false worldview. Having documented the role of abortion-on-demand in wiping 160 million women out of existence, Hvistendahl takes offense when people suggest that abortion on demand may not be such a good thing after all.
Incredible, but a classic example of the post-modern impasse. In a society that worships self-autonomy over all else, when we get what we want, we discover we can’t live with it.
For years I’ve taught how important it is that we embrace a worldview that comports to reality; how important it is that we test the validity of any worldview. Push a worldview to its logical conclusions, and if you can live with those conclusions, well, the worldview proves to be rational.But one thing is very clear: pro-choicers, entire societies — and at least 160 million would-have-been women — cannot live with the logical conclusions of a worldview that values choice over human life, therefore proves to be irrational or false.
Mara Hvistendahl| Public Affairs, June 2011