The Star Ledger Editorial Board asked Hvistendahl multiple questions about the issue and the answers are quite telling. For one, she herself believes that abortion should be legal and safeguarded.
That being said, she recognizes that abortion in many countries, particularly in
and India , use abortion for sex-selective means. She blatantly tells the Board that the reason why the sex ratios in those countries are so skewed is because “women go in for ultrasounds and abort if the fetus turns out to be female.” It is of no surprise that these countries are discriminatory against women, but Hvistendahl goes on to say that gender discrimination alone “doesn’t explain where sex selection crops up—you also have countries where women are discriminated against, but the sex ratio at birth is balanced.” China
Furthermore, the Hvistendahl debunks the myth that infanticide was big in those countries even before abortion was legal. When asked about this by the Board, she responds, “Infanticide has occurred in
and China at moments in history, but not continuously and NEVER on the scale that sex-selective abortions are happening today” (emphasis mine). This shows that the legalization of abortion in such countries has, in and of itself, contributed to the large gap in the male-to-female births and not just gender discrimination. India
Lastly, she admits that pro choicers are not addressing the issue “because it involves abortion” and that pro lifers are the ones that are creating and passing bills banning sex-selective abortions within various states.
The only thing I would disagree with her on (besides her pro-choice position) is when she says that she thinks that pro-lifers are only passing such laws to establish a “precedent for a fetus being a life.” For one, she says this as if it is a bad thing, but if abortion is truly the murder of an innocent human being than the act is far more important and dangerous for reasons other than the idea that it is used for sex selection. Also, there is no reason why it has to be either/or: EITHER be against it because it takes the life of an innocent human being OR because it is used for the wrongful act of sex selection. The majority of pro-lifers would consider it a both/and situation: abortion is wrong BOTH because it takes the life of an innocent human being
AND because it is used for the wrongful act of sex selection. Obviously the pro-life movement is more focused on the former [because 1) it is the more serious and harmful of the two moral crimes and 2) it has harmed more people than the latter], but that does not change the fact that pro-lifers, in general, care for both the dead innocent child and the fact that the act of abortion is sometimes done because of sex selection.
Overall, I like this interview. Hvistendahl broke down many stereotypes behind this issue and showed her disappointment in her fellow pro-choicers for not following her in her disdain for sex-selective abortion. I just hope and pray that she eventually realizes that any act of abortion, regardless of whether or not it is used for sex selection, takes the life of an innocent human being who is deserving of said life.
There are many things in the article that I did not talk about that are still very interesting, so please read the interview from the link above if you are concerned with/attracted to this issue.