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A law against sex-specific abortion, and my thoughts on it

Posted by Lissa on June 4, 2012

Lila Rose and Live Action recently conducted a sting showing Planned Parenthood counselors aiding and abetting sex selective abortions. That is, the visitor to the clinic explains that she wants to ultrasound the baby to determine gender (typically done at 20 weeks) so that she can abort it if it’s a girl.


So, first, I think we can all agree that aborting a baby on basis of a penis, or lack thereof, is disgusting. Morally degraded and degenerate. Anyone disagree?

That, I think, is pretty noncontroversial. So I’ll skip on the part where I might get tarred-and-feathered: I’m opposed to any law banning abortion on basis of sex. Because that descends into thoughtcrime.

I know, I know. Let me explain a few things.

1. I’m against second-trimester abortions in general. Unless there’s a strong medical reason that the mother needs an abortion, I disagree with the practice.

2. Sex can’t be determined until the 20th week. (For those of you not immersed in baby details 24/7 – there are 40 weeks in a pregnancy, so the second trimester begins about week 13.) Therefore, in my perfect world, the whole thing becomes a non-issue.

3. That being said, in our world, assuming that a second-trimester abortion is legal for any reason or no reason at all, it makes no sense to me to criminalize it because of a specific motivation behind taking the action. Think about it.

“I want to abort my baby if it turns out to be a girl.”

“That’s a federal crime, and you’ll go to jail!”

“Oh. Well, then, um, I might decide to abort my baby if I suddenly decide, at week 22, that my family can’t afford a kid at that time.”

“Okay then! Sounds great!”

Does that make sense to you?

Either it is legal to terminate a pregnancy/kill a baby (I’ll put it both ways) at four-to-five months old, or it’s not. If it’s legal, it’s legal for any reason behind the decision – finances, gender, morning sickness, whatever. If it’s illegal, then it’s illegal; the motive behind it doesn’t figure.

I’ve got more thoughts on abortion, but I’ll explore those in a later post. This is plenty to start me off on a Monday morning.

4 Responses to “A law against sex-specific abortion, and my thoughts on it”

  1. ruth said

    I think that pretty much summed it up. Make it illegal to have an abortion due to the gender of the baby and they’ll just come up with a different excuse to fit the requirements. Yes in a perfect world there’d be no reason for abortion at all, and certinally none in the 2nd trimester, but outlawing abortion due to gender of the baby doesn’t get us closer to that.

  2. Brad Kruse said

    Very well presented.

    I know some pregnancies can “hide” until nearly term – which argues against a medical case for an abortion, if things are going that easily and that well. The first trimester limit for family/mother initiated abortion seems reasonable.

    As for sex-specific abortions, I figure what the hey. I mean, it won’t take very long for the affluent, boutique-like choice to weed itself out. I mean, what good does it do to raise a [snark] real “upper class” [/snark] boy if the only mate-candidates are [snark] nearly homeless, grubby, working-class family types?[/snarl] The problem should die out in a generation or two, either through attrition of the boutique set, or acceptance of reality. In either case, the problem has to be miniscule in the scope of problems in the world. You cannot legislate morality. (H/t Barry Goldwater)

  3. Clint1911 said

    Two things that I wonder about…

    One, would people be so uptight if women were selectively aborting boys instead of girls? Would they be more aghast or less?

    Two, how many women are there who, at the same time, want kids but not daughters? Why?

    • Brad Kruse said

      Many societies place a cache on the achievements of the son. The daughter is often seen as a necessary burden, benefiting only some other man’s family when she is grown. For the most part, I think this pre-dates America and American society and culture, with a few local exceptions. But the cultural legacy of favoring the achievements and value of a boy child still persist.

      When looking for a roommate in California twenty-some years ago, I considered one lady, and asked why she was interested in a make roommate. She told me that women weren’t “kind” to each other. And I see that, too, as a bit of cultural baggage. I think some women distrust or disregard all but a few female friends. The Snow White re-make movie is out now; there is a *reason* the fairy tale includes the evil mother figure with all the hate focused on a female target. It might be trite and sordid, but cultural baggage can be insidious stuff.

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