Sex Selective-Abortion and Infanticide
Sex selection and screening have encountered serious protestations concerning ethical issues from the religious and conservative communities. The religious genre says that the act is ‘morally unacceptable’ and ‘evil’ but there are still the liberal others who would claim otherwise. I, for one, am favor of sex-selective abortion and infanticide. The moral justification of sex-selective abortion and infanticide stem from autonomy and freedom of choice recombination which may, on the long run, foster societal development in terms of ideological evolution and solution to societal crisis.
Sex selective abortion and infanticide are performed ‘elimination’ methods on the basis of undesired gender of the fetus or the infant. The method of elimination or selection proper is achieved primarily by determination in the time scale encompassing developmental stages for the fetus/child: pre-fertilization (pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, flow cytometry and gradient methods), post-fertilization (embryo biopsy), post conception (ultrasound and amniocentesis) and postpartum stage. Pre-conception implicates abortive technique while post-conception or post partum techniques involved abandonment and/or infanticide following determination.
Sex selective abortion and infanticide hinges toward male preference or female deselection and are commonly practiced in India, China, North Korea and other parts of South Asia and North Africa as cultural norm and economic need. Controlling the sex factor generates an unbalanced male to female ratio with abundance on the male side. The act of deselecting females however, has been the contention of several ethical and moral issues labeling the act as ‘sexist,’ ‘immoral,’ and ‘unjust. ’ The theory of value states that any object can be assessed on the basis of its value or more specifically its need value.
Here we investigate first the fundamental concept of the need value of the act of sex selective abortion and assessed it on the basis of social and individualistic need and correlate it with “morality. ” Although many have considered this premise as old school, this is necessary in establishing the defense of the act in rationalist individualism or objectivist morality. The raison‘d etre of objectivist morality states that any philosophical act can be viewed through scientific logic. Why is there a need for sex-selective abortion?
Socio-cultural and political view combined can answer this question. Individuals are accorded with autonomy and free-will to rationalize on their everyday acts. This rationalization arises from the need of the individual to respond to the societal edicts, changes, norms and values. Humans are differentiated from the rest of the biological species by the presence of the brain and the ability to communicate. Human is essentially responsible for his/her action hence, the act of sex selective abortion is simply an act performed with free-will and justifiable by need.
The utilitarian principle stating that act must be judged according the value of others is discarded here. In decision-making while it is true that each individual must consider others, each person must be accounted for his/her actions. The utilitarian view looks at moral value judgement as ‘for the benefit of the whole. ’ Decisions are made based on ‘equal’ dispersion of interests and their harmonious recombination. This ‘equal interest’ is highly absurd. It destroys the principle of individualism where man seeks to gratify first his/her needs.
In the act of sex-selective abortion, the primary consideration here is personal benefit and never for the benefit of others. Most societies have high preference for male individuals as dictated by the cultural norms. Females are seen as transitory elements in the household and are thus ‘dispensible’. In conservative countries like India, the ‘dowry’ or the amount given by the bride to the groom’s family is a huge financial drawback on the family’s income. Furthermore, females are largely discriminated in terms of jobs and work.
There is a ‘need’ to eliminate female fetus or infant to limit out-going finances. Males are more profitable since by virtue of marriage alone, the family can be able to accumulate money. Males are permanent household fixture. There is a need for them. Who can blame the performer [of sex-selective abortion] if this be the case? Laws are predicated and constructed over this needs. Humans have the right to abort. Whether by medical and/or economic necessity or simply an act of free-will, humans have the right to abort.
The medico-legal tomes for this action did not indicate the sex-restrictions for this law. Currently, almost 60 % of the world’s total population, permits the act of abortion. The act of legalization is predicated for population-control and for economic purposes. Most people contend that the act is ‘sexist’ and that the act is unjust for the females. What they did not realize is that the feminist movement pushed forward the ideology of abortion as ‘liberalization of females. ’ Why was there no restriction regarding sex-selective abortions?
Why? Simply, because parents are given the right to choose (reproductive autonomy). Individuals have the right to choose the sex of their children. Most would say that such liberalization should be banned because it is sexist. Bigotry should be banned. But if there is a ban against female deselection, then should only the males be aborted? Isn’t male abortion bigotry in itself? The problem with that anti-sex selective abortion is that they failed to realize the contradiction of values of the things they want to achieve. Is the act just?
The religious dogma states the act is abhorrent and is equivocated to murder. Mitigation and control involving reproductive processes is an absolute taboo for the religious and their arguments on the premise of sex-selective abortion are absurd and vague and inapplicable to the situations of the society now. Religious dogma states that God is the only one who has rights and that life is a gift of God. The problem with this belief is that they contradict most of the ‘solutions’ necessary in the development of the society.
Given that birth control and abortion is prohibited in an overpopulated country, what would this demise lead to? This is not to say that all religious matters are wrong, in fact, most religious tomes act as moral regulators for the society. However, there must be clear distinction on the view of morals. Morals are not static. In fact, there should be continuous generation of norms to facilitate societal development. Societal development is a necessary event that would benefit the entire community. Social and individual combined could generate a norm that would facilitate pluralist values in the community.
One tries to understand why the aspect of sex-selective abortion and infanticide is considered by many as unethical. What they fail to see is that their minds are still heavily polluted by the religious dogma encoding pseudo-beliefs. It is time that the mind is freed of such restriction. Even sexist view should be discarded along with this religious dogma of beliefs. Individual autonomy and the right of choice are necessary units for societal development and that should be forwarded as the gaining principle of the much-confused about ethics. Sex-selection abortion and infanticide are morally right.