The war on (unborn) women

A girl named Swarna (Sanskrit for "golden").

A baby girl named Swarna (Sanskrit for “golden”).

We’re constantly told by liberal politicians and media claiming to be “progressive” that conservative thinkers and policymakers are waging a “war on women.” As the argument is spun, the right’s “war on women” oppresses women’s quality of life by opposing proposed liberal policies regarding things like abortion and employee pay.

Well, whatever you may think about conservative ideas and women’s quality of life, you must admit the conservative perspective gives all women a chance at life – which newly published research suggests is not true for the “progressive” perspective.

The study, published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, looked at India’s male-to-female sex ratio, which has become more male-heavy in recent decades. The researcher – an economist at Northwestern University – reports that “fertility decline can explain roughly half of the increase in the sex ratio that occurred in India over the past thirty years.” The connection between fertility decline and having a larger portion of men in society is that as people desire and have fewer children, many continue to desire to have at least one son.

But simple math points to the fact that having fewer children decreases the likelihood of having a boy, and so this situation leads people to “manipulate the sex composition of their children.” That is a nice way of saying that people use “sex-selective abortion [aborting only girls], infanticide, or neglect” toward girls so they can have a son while having fewer children at the same time.

As a follow up to that finding, she also reports that “more progressive attitudes could counterintuitively cause a more male-skewed sex ratio.” Why? Because such views “reduce desired family size.” In other words, driven by “progressive” ideas and attitudes, more people kill or discard girl babies as a means to their goal of having fewer children.

How is it that the philosophy that claims to protect women on the basis of “equality” could lead people to kill or discard a child for no other reason than she’s a girl?

Which worldview is truly perpetuating a “war on women”: the one that is accused of standing in the way of equal pay for some women, or the system that is actually leading people to kill female babies before they have a chance to live?

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