A new United Nations Development Program (UNDP) report released March 8, entitled “Power, Voice and Rights: A Turning Point for Gender Equality in Asia and the Pacific,” and coinciding with International Women’s Day, highlights the fact that sex-selective abortion continues to increase the gender imbalance in developing countries.
Under the heading “more women than ever are disappearing,” a press release from the UNDP announcing the new report says, “The problem of ‘missing girls’ in which more boys are born than girls, as girl fetuses are presumably aborted, and women die from health and nutrition neglect – is actually growing. Birth gender disparity is greatest in East Asia, where 119 boys are born for every 100 girls.”
The report found that “China and India together account for more than 85 million of the nearly 100 million ‘missing’ women estimated to have died from discriminatory treatment in health care, nutrition access or pure neglect or because they were never born in the first place.”
While not addressing the cultural aspect of preference of boys to girls in developing countries where abortion is promoted by the UN, the report warns that “discrimination and neglect” are “threatening the very survival of women in these regions.”
“Females cannot take survival for granted,” the report said. “Sex-selective abortion, infanticide, and death from health and nutritional neglect in Asia have left 96 million missing women … and the numbers seem to be increasing in absolute terms.”
However, pro-abortion groups such as the abortion advocacy organization Ipas have stated that access to “safe abortion” trumps concerns over the gender imbalance stemming from sex-selective abortion.
A report by C-FAM last year said that while Ipas senior research and policy advisor Bela Ganatra admitted it was necessary to address “son preference” as the root cause of sex-selective abortion, she feared that outlawing sex-selected abortion was “starting to have adverse effects on the already limited access to safe and legal second trimester abortion for reasons other than sex selection” and that the issue was being used “as a front to promote anti-choice messages.”
The full text of the UNDP report is available here.