The UK’s Deplorable Witch Hunt Against Asian Women


If you are concerned about gender discrimination—that is, discrimination against girls and women—what would you do? Would you work to ensure that girls and women had equal access to education, training, and jobs; equal pay; equal rights in marriage; equal rights in inheritance; and access to justice, support, and redress if they are sexually abused or raped or beaten up?

Or would you investigate every woman of Asian descent to find out whether they may have had an abortion because the fetus was female, and investigate all the doctors who provide abortions to find out if they have ever allowed Asian women to have such an abortion—and prosecute them all as if they were deadly criminals and social outcasts?

Which of these alternatives would be more effective in combatting discrimination against girls and women, do you think? The former, of course.

Why is it, then, that the Daily Telegraph, UK Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt, and now the Independent, in the name of opposition to gender discrimination, appear to be pursuing the latter course, with all the fervor of knights on white horses?

The answer is simple: The Telegraph and Hunt, at least, are opposed to abortion, and they think they have finally found the perfect approach for restricting it, one which appears to support women’s rights. They have even succeeded in bringing a lot of people who otherwise support women’s right to a safe, legal abortion onto their side, including the Independent, it seems, by demonizing abortion on the grounds of sex selection.

Their position raises a number of questions. First and foremost, their stance supports fetal rights. That is, it supports the right of a fetus to be born if it is female, which raises the question: Can you support the right of even one fetus to be born, and still support women’s right to have an abortion?

And if it is wrong to abort a fetus because it is female, is it not also wrong to abort a fetus if it is male? Surely, that would also be gender discrimination. Similarly, if it is wrong to abort a fetus because it has a serious genetic anomaly, is it not also wrong to abort a fetus that appears to be healthy?

Lastly, if in some cases, abortion should not be a woman’s right to choose—for herself and for her own reasons—then who shall have the right to tell her when and on what grounds she must carry her pregnancy to term, affecting the rest of her life? Jeremy Hunt? Pope Francis? Her husband? Her doctor? If there is still a debate to be had around this issue in the UK, then this is what it should be about.

Meanwhile, what has been going on since the Telegraph‘s sex-selective abortion sting last year is a witch hunt against abortion providers that is now threatening to become the equivalent of stop-and-search against Asian women—that is, unwarranted, racist harassment and discrimination against them, because they are women.

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  • BigSofty

    Whatever Jeremy Hunt says, women in the UK will continue have de facto abortion on demand.
    However, if there is a statistical anomaly that potentially highlights a problem with abortion based on gender in certain cultures where women are regarded as second-class citizens, it seems only right this is investigated.
    This is not an attack on the abortion rights of women in the UK.

    • Horation_Tobias_HumpleDinK

      Has potential to be

      • Ramanusia

        It actually is. Are women of certain ethnic populations in the UK not women? How it only a “potential” when their rights to access an abortion are being attacked?

        What’s wrong with you people?

    • Ramanusia

      Do you refer to Western culture which seems to be determined to treat women of certain ethnicities as second class citizens because they can’t bother treat them as if they were capable of making their own reproductive choices? It seems only right to investigate women of certain ethnicities and that harassment of these women is okay as long as white women continue to have access to abortion when they choose it for whatever reason they wish?

      This is very much an attack on abortion rights of women in the UK, since it’s women in the UK whose abortion rights are being literally attacked. If you what you mean that it’s not an attack on WHITE women in the UK, your complacency as women are attacked based on race and ethnicity make much more sense.

      Racist attitudes are at play here. You don’t speak out for women whose rights to bodily autonomy are being eviscerated because they are not YOU or your sisters, mothers, friends or other people who look like you, that’s really all that’s going on here.

      When any woman is denied her personal reproductive choice, abortion rights of women in the UK are most definitely being attacked. It shouldn’t matter why a woman chooses not to gestate, and questioning that choice based on her race is racist and discriminatory and treating those women as 2nd class citizens, something that the UK has always specialized in, even if they pretend otherwise.

      • BigSofty

        I’m not white, and have experienced racism in this country for over half a century, so please don’t act like you know me.
        This is not an attack on abortion per se, but an attack on abortion based on gender.
        Abortion is legal here, gender abortion is not. If this were happening in any other culture in this country it would be investigated with the same zeal.

        • Ramanusia

          I don’t care what color you are, and I didn’t imply anything about your personal melanin content. I could not care less about you or your experience, I commented on your statement which is racist in the extreme, since apparently South Asian women are specifically targeted here don’t quite count as real life human beings, like women of other ethncities.

          This is very much an attack on the rights of women to access safe, legal abortion without political persecution. This is an attack on WOMEN based on their ethnicity and your stereotype and your assumption that you know why a woman of a particular culture is choosing to terminate a pregnancy and that somehow she doesn’t possess the same rights that you’re free to exercise. This isn’t an attack based on anything BUT racism.

          Abortion is legal for whatever reason it is that a woman chooses to terminate a pregnancy, it’s not up to you WHY she’s choosing to terminate, and it’s not up to make assumptions simply because of her ethnic heritage, which is what you’re doing, and which is about as racist as one can get.

          The problem with making such ignorant statements is that you’re simply wrong, not only isn’t it happening in your country it’s not even happening in the places where you’re imagining it’s happening.

          Attacking some women’s right to an abortion because of your racist profiling is an attack on women and their abortion rights, period. This isn’t an “investigation” it’s a witch hunt, and we know historically just how Europeans love those. This isn’t about protecting anyone, it’s about abusing them and doing so in a blatantly racist way.

  • Horation_Tobias_HumpleDinK

    Really interesting piece