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Posts Tagged ‘Ross Douthat’

On Sunday, June 26, CNN aired a report about “Nepal’s Stolen Children.”  The documentary, narrated by actress Demi Moore, explained how Nepalese girls are sold into slavery and turned into prostitutes in neighboring India.  I’m sorry I missed it.  But Chuck Colson, a gentleman who shares my worldview, did not.

Colson, in his Breakpoint commentary of July 8, noted that Moore became emotional during the broadcast.  Understandably so.  Slavery and bondage as a prostitute should never happen.  But the problem, Colson believes, is that we are ignoring the driving force of this “inhumane traffic in innocence.”

The New York Times ran an article following the CNN documentary titled “160 Million and Counting.”  It referred to the number of “missing” women in the world.  Colson points out “missing” as in “disappeared,” rather, as in “never born in the first place.”

Ross Douthat, author of the Times article, reminded readers that 26 years ago the number of “missing” women was estimated by experts to be 100 million.  These experts concluded, after examining skewed sex ratios in China and India, “that something terrible was happening.”  Twenty year later, the estimate has grown by 60%.  But those concerned about this terrible thing, Douthat notes, remain reluctant to name the cause: abortion.

Colson writes, “Citing the work of social scientist Mara Hvistendahl, Douthat points out an uncomfortable truth: what Times readers would no doubt see as ‘female empowerment’ lies behind the missing women.  According to Hvistendahl, in places like India, ‘women use their increased autonomy’ to abort their daughters and ‘select for sons,’ who enhance their social status.”

Sex-selection abortion may have originated among the “affluent,” but now all women can select — or reject — their preborn child based on sexual preference.

What is the impact?  Colson notes a 2008 article by two Loyola Law School professors who found that by “reducing the number of potential brides, selective abortion in India increased the demand for sex workers.”  And, Colson continues, “one way that ‘demand’ is being filled is through the Nepalese girls featured in the CNN documentary.  The ‘lucky’ ones are ‘smuggled and purchased from poor countries like Nepal and Bhutan to be brides for Indian men.’   The more unfortunate are sold into the Indian sex trade.”

India and China have outlawed the practice of sex-selection abortion because of the social ills and suffering.  But the practice continues because, says Colson, “cultural norms are hard to overcome.”

Douthat notes that sex-selection abortion puts Western liberals “in a distinctly uncomfortable position.”  Colson explains why.  “They can’t deny the reality of the practice but, at the same time, their own worldview leaves them hanging in mid-air.”

“After all, they insist ‘that the unborn aren’t human beings yet, and that the right to an abortion is nearly absolute.’ ” But, continues Colson, “160 million missing women and the suffering it radiates in all directions tells you where that kind of thinking inevitably leads.”

Colson concludes, “It’s hard to imagine a better example of the poverty of modern thinking: faced with a great evil and unable to address the answer.”

Slavery and prostitution are great evils.  But, the Christian worldview addresses the answer.  When we value human life in the womb, we will better value and protect all human life.  Including Nepalese girls.

__________

Breakpoint is published by Prison Fellowship ministries.
For further reading: “Gender Discrimination Fuels Sex Selective Abortions” (Lemoine & Tanagho, Loyola University of Chicago School of Law, 2-23-08); “160 Million and Counting” (Douthat, New York Times, 6-26-11); “It’s Raining Men” (Kim Moreland, Breakpoint blog, 5-24-11)

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