Report Debunks Conservative Case for Sex-Selection Abortion Bans


This week, the International Human Rights Clinic at the University of Chicago Law School, the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, and Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health at the University of California, San Francisco, released an important new report that corrects the significant misinformation lawmakers rely on to introduce and pass sex-selection abortion bans around the country.

Over the past five years, more than 60 sex-selection abortion bills have been introduced both at state and federal levels. These bans, often proposed in the context of race or with legislation that includes race-selection bans as well, are steeped in stereotypes that are designed to provide an entry-point into banning abortions entirely. In South Dakota, for example, lawmakers proposed the state’s sex-selection abortion ban in response to changing demographics, claiming an increase in Asian immigrants would fuel an increase in acceptance of sex-selective abortions. Meanwhile, in Arizona, lawmakers attempted to use harmful racial stereotypes against Black women to justify its ban, citinghigher rates of abortion among Black women as evidence that women of color were being coerced into having more abortions than other women as part of some racist plot.

The new report, Replacing Myths with Facts: Sex-Selective Abortion Laws in the United States, identifies six major inaccuracies commonly associated with legislation seeking to ban sex-selection abortions. It is the product of extensive legal research and empirical analysis of U.S. birth data and fieldwork in India as well as an extensive review of academic work.

Among the clearest evidence that sex-selection bans depend on misinformation is a finding noted in the report that shows foreign-born Chinese, Indian, and Korean-Americans, as well as all Asian Americans considered as one group, have more girls on average than U.S.-born white Americans. In states like Pennsylvania and Illinois that already have sex-selection bans in place, those laws are not associated with higher numbers of baby girls.

“Lawmakers have relied on misinterpretations of narrow data and faulty assumptions about sex selection practices to enact sex-selective abortion bans in the United States,” said Sital Kalantry, clinical professor of law and director of the International Human Rights Clinic at the University of Chicago Law School, in a statement following the release of the report.

Miriam Yeung, executive director of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, which is one of the organizations challenging Arizona’s race-and sex-selection abortion ban, added that the report’s findings make plain the harmful stereotypes driving these kinds of bans. “This report debunks the myths that have been used to advance an anti-abortion agenda that stigmatizes Asian American and Pacific Islanders,” Yeung said in a statement. “We’ve long thought of this type of legislation as ‘wolves in sheep’s clothing.’ This research lays bare the disguise, and what remains is legislation that promotes racial stereotyping and is deeply offensive to Asian American families.”

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  • Rita, Canberra

    Regrettably, the prevalence of sex selection abortions in the US is indeterminable precisely because in so many states access to routine abortion (no questions asked) is provided indiscriminately, without any legal restrictions or requirements for medical establishments to ascertain and record those terminations that are being carried out on the grounds of sex ‘preference’.
    Objections to legislative reform on this anomaly relies on the facile claim that that prenatal sex selective terminations do not occur here in the US. The new research cited above purporting to substantiate such a claim is faulty. For many years now those in the abortion industry who are involved in sex selection abortions have successfully stymied the introduction of even the most minimal requirements to enable the gathering of statistics on this appalling practice. Such resistance to transparency on this human rights issue should no longer be acceptable, especially in the light of the promises made by the US Government to introduce protective legislation against this inhumane discriminatory practice.

    It is scandalous that there remains in so many states not even a semblance of legal regulation of sex-selective terminations and certainly no credible system of checks and balances.

    In many states, the law provides no human rights protection for children at risk of termination for such discriminatory reasons as that the unborn child is not of the ‘preferred’ sex and this results in the terrible and fundamental injustice of arbitrary deprivation of human life. Such violations should no longer be permitted to remain hidden behind doctor-patient confidentiality.

    • purrtriarchy

      Asians have more girls so you are full of shit.

    • L-dan

      What violations? There is zero point in making people bear children they don’t want to, including children of a given gender. Forcing someone to carry a pregnancy to term against their will is a human rights violation, period.

      You want gender selective abortions to end, you change the culture that makes boys so much more valuable to people than girls.

      That’s before even getting to the fact that you obviously can’t look at the data in front of you. If girls were being aborted more than boys, you’d expect a higher ratio of boy babies out there, which isn’t the case.

    • Arekushieru

      You are aware that a country like China is an anti-choice country, in that women are regarded primarily as child-bearers, right? The One Child Policy was implemented for precisely that reason. Because of the high birth rates that follow from that. Women are not believed to have autonomy, which is ONE of the very reasons that that sex-selective abortions EXIST. So, in essence, you want to create a space where MORE sex-selective abortions occur than they currently do. Oops.

      Abortion is not an industry. Stop lying. Even though pregnancy and childbirth are FAR more lucrative, I do not label either of THEM as industries, after all.

      • Ramanusia

        That is their goal, to have the state and their church, which they think is the same thing, step in between a woman and a her physician and her own personal decisions as a human being over what happens to her own body.

    • NoMoreFalseGods

      You spew this crap on every internet site? So full of righteous indignation, go eat a wafer and worship some idol.

      • expect_resistance

        Yeah, she’s posting this shit at MJ too.

        • purrtriarchy

          and Salon

          • NoMoreFalseGods

            Probably some holy roller who had a bunch of abortions and now suffers from religious guilt. What a twat.

          • Ramanusia

            I doubt this is guilt, this is about control, power and punishing women she doesn’t like. HER own abortions were, in her own mind, pure and moral.

            http://mypage.direct.ca/w/writer/anti-tales.html

          • NoMoreFalseGods

            Good point, we call that “Lying for Jesus”

          • Ramanusia

            Or Lying for Jeebus! Since even according to their own teachings and their own book, Jesus(if he existed and actually believed in his teachings) would heartily disagree with the people who lie in his name.

          • NoMoreFalseGods

            Amen brother!

          • Ramanusia

            you selected the wrong gender :-p

          • NoMoreFalseGods

            My mistake, it happens to me too ;)

    • goatini

      Except that gender-selective terminations are performed WHOLLY within patriarchal misogynist cultures in which females have NO value except as breeding and scutwork property. You know, the same “value” YOU wish to impose upon ALL females.

      • Arekushieru

        Holy shit, goatini, great minds think alike! :)

    • expect_resistance

      There is no evidence whatsoever that sex-selective abortions are occurring in the U.S. This is just another way for anti-choice/forced-birthers to chip away at Roe.

      How is the research in the report faulty? Are you a researcher? Do you have a peer reviewed published work that can refute it? Did you read the report?

    • Shan

      “Objections to legislative reform on this anomaly relies on the facile
      claim that that prenatal sex selective terminations do not occur here
      in the US.”

      No, they do not. Objections to legislative reform like that are based legally requiring someone to ask “Why do you want to have an abortion?” and basing LEGAL ACCESS TO IT on the patient providing the “correct” answer to a question that nobody had the right to ask in the first place.

    • Ramanusia

      Considering that over 90% of legal abortions are done long before gender determination even becomes an issue, it’s pretty clear that you don’t really care about anything other than denying women access to abortion. Any lie will do, the truth is meaningless to you.

      • Shan

        There are blood tests that are becoming more reliable at an earlier stage, even as early as medication abortions can be performed instead of surgical, nevermind a borderline viability one. So while I disagree with your 90% figure, your argument is completely valid in that it’s vitally important to recognize that banning sex selective abortions is yet another attempt to ban abortion altogether. Because the sex-selection ban is, as any OTHER ban would be, based on government officials deciding that first they can ASK why any woman wants an abortion and then refuse her the legal right to have one if they don’t like how she answers.

        • Ramanusia

          Um, why would you “disagree” with a factual figure?

          Per guttmacher, 89% of abortions happen prior to 12 weeks, blood tests to test for gender are actually not being put into practice yet, that’s something that’s coming, the current methods might give you an answer usually after 13 weeks, with the ultrasounds and amnios much later. So the 90% figure is quite valid.

          Is there any sort of data that these women opting for an abortion at any point is even aware of the gender of the fetus?

          • Shan

            Sorry, I wasn’t clear in my reply to you as I was distracted and in a hurry. I don’t disagree that 90% of abortions happen prior to 12 weeks. That is, as you said, a factual figure. Guttmacher: BTDT, love them.

            But I have run into some info on the increasing availability and accuracy of free cell fetal DNA testing done on simple maternal blood draws as early as 7 weeks that seems to indicate that such tests, while not currently being widely used, could soon become more commonplace and therefore make your point that “90% of legal abortions are done long before gender determination even becomes an issue” actually incorrect as far as that part of the statement goes. That’s the only part I meant to disagree with. Again, I apologize for not being clearer.

            And the only reason I highlighted that part of what you said was in order to add to your main point. I don’t know about other state laws banning sex-selective abortions, but the one in Kansas (my home state) doesn’t have a RvW trimester framework attached to it at all. Which means that if it and others like it are allowed to stand, they could set a dangerous RvW-weakening precedent that plays right into what you correctly pointed out as being the *real* anti-choice agenda. Rita’s assertion that sex-selection bans are “human rights protection for children at risk of termination for such
            discriminatory reasons as that the unborn child is not of the
            ‘preferred’ sex” are yet another way to deny women legal access to abortion by whatever means necessary, including lies.

            Of course, I would hope that such a law couldn’t withstand constitutional scrutiny, since SCOTUS has already ruled that outright bans are unconstitutional in the first trimester. But I’m not a lawyer and don’t play one on TV, so I hope maybe Unicorn Farm (who IS an actual lawyer) might weigh in here and give her opinion.

        • lady_black

          I have to agree with both you and the other poster. Such tests do exist, but aren’t widely available yet and sort of expensive. Most folks just wait for the ultrasound. I do not object to sex-selection abortions, although I would never have one myself (unless genetic issues were also involved). You are also correct that there can be no prying about the reasons a woman is seeking an abortion, and then denying her based on what the answer is. If such a law were passed, it would only lead to compelling people to lie about the reasons, as people once did when divorce was only granted on “fault” grounds. It’s nobody’s business “why” and no justification need be given. It’s notable that we don’t live in a society where dowries are demanded and thus female children are considered a burden, especially to poor families. Such regulations could only succeed in rocketing our society toward that position, by de-valuing the choices women make.

    • Shan

      “the prevalence of sex selection abortions in the US is indeterminable
      precisely because in so many states access to routine abortion (no
      questions asked) is provided indiscriminately, without any legal
      restrictions or requirements for medical establishments to ascertain and
      record those terminations that are being carried out on the grounds of…”

      The reason physicians don’t ask those questions is because it’s nobody else’s business why a woman is seeking an abortion. Not the physician or the state or anybody, including you. It’s popular right now for pearl-clutching busybodies who have nothing better to do with their time and energy than to try to direct into the moment-by-moment goings-on in every other woman’s uterus but that doesn’t make it any more worthy or less invasively creepy a pursuit.

      People like you, Rita, who are trying to create “human rights protection for children at risk of termination” consistently fail to acknowledge that there is already one live person in existence – the pregnant woman – who is the one responsible for deciding whether, when and how to protect her child/ren, no matter whether they’ve been born or not. People like you, Rita, don’t seem to understand that the legislation you want to advance under the guise of “protection for all unborn children” (rather than for the already-born ones) requires the government to take that responsibility and those decisions away from women and literally go through women’s vaginas in order to do it.

      Yes, that’s a really crude way of putting it, but that’s what this type of legislation DOES.

  • expect_resistance

    It’s great that this report was published but I doubt any of the anti-choice/forced-birther legislators will read it. *sigh* But kudos for the report!

    • Ramanusia

      They’re not the most literate folk, and they are dedicated to their lies, the truth is terribly inconvenient for the only lucrative “abortion industry” around, the anti-choice one, it’s how they raise money, and convince the easily duped to support their anti-women crusade.

  • cjvg

    Yes we know reality is irrelevant to you!
    Facts, statistics, logic, reason all are expendable in your quest to force every woman to live according to your dictates!

  • Jennifer Starr

    Nonsense. If birth was as natural as breathing, OB/GYNs would have almost nothing to do.

    • Rita, Canberra

      So how did the human race survive before the first class of OB/GYNS received their qualifications less than a couple of centuries ago?

      • Jennifer Starr

        A lot of them died. Death in childbirth was quite common.

      • purrtriarchy

        Survival rates outpaced death rates, but just barely.

      • http://plumstchili.blogspot.com/ Plum Dumpling

        Childbirth is the leading cause death in young women 15-19 years old in Africa. Illegal abortion and sepsis and hemmorhage in childbirth are the three leading causes of maternal death worldwide.
        We know you are a sadistic chunt so you will have some insane comeback.

      • Jennifer Starr

        Why do I have the feeling that you’d like to take us back to the time before OB/GYNs and reproductive medicine?

      • Shan

        So how many times have you given birth at home, unattended?

        • Rita, Canberra

          And how many times throughout history has a woman given birth unattended by a professional OB/GYN?
          What’s your point? That giving birth is unnatural?

          • Jennifer Starr

            Pregnancy is a medical condition, no matter how much you try to paint it otherwise.

          • Rita, Canberra

            I answered this politely, rationally and factually but my answer was rejected by editorial.

          • Jennifer Starr

            I am not a moderator, so I have no control over that–if you had links, it went into moderation–that is because we’ve had problems with spammers. I am also being civil. And pregnancy is still a medical condition. Even the most routine pregnancies carry risks.

          • Rita, Canberra

            Including a risk that her child is of the “wrong” sex?

          • Jennifer Starr

            So I take it that you agree with me that pregnancy is a medical condition.

          • Rita, Canberra

            No , I don’t agree; and more to the point I doubt you would find any reputable OB/GYN who would agree with such nonsense.
            Medical complications can arise from pregnancy but pregnancy in general is a natural healthy functioning of our reproductive systems, just as breathing is a natural healthy function of our respiratory systems.

          • purrtriarchy

            Actually, the majority of obstetricians would say that you are flat out wrong. In fact, you will find that the American College of Obgyns and the Royal College of Obgyns both regard pregnancy to be a medical condition and that both organizations support abortion.

            Common side effects of pregnancy: high blood pressure, suppressed immune system, vitamins and minerals taken from blood, bones and organs, toxic biowastes expelled from fetus into blood, and addictive hormones injected into the woman’s body. Loose joints, tearing and stretching of vagina during birth.

            All of the above are health problems irrespective of pregnancy. The side effects of pregnancy and birth, if induced by other means, would be regarded as assault and torture according to the UN Declaration of Human Rights Article v.

            You are making two logical mistakes here. Appealing to nature – pregnancy must be healthy because its natural, and special pkeading – assault and torture is totes wonderful if its a fetus that is doing the damage.

          • fiona64

            Then you are dreadfully stupid. Of course pregnancy is a medical condition; why else would women be told to see a physician immediately once they suspect they are pregnant?

          • Arekushieru

            Breathing is also something that occurs continuously, UNLIKE pregnancy.

          • Jennifer Starr

            Okay. So if I found out I’m pregnant, I don’t need to go to the doctor, don’t need blood tests, ultrasounds, don’t need to take special vitamins, and don’t need to change anything about my diet, drinking or exercise habits. Because it’s not a medical condition, right? After all, breathing goes on without my having to do anything special, so pregnancy is the same. Is that what you’re telling me?

          • fiona64

            Still deliberately obtuse, I see.

            Why am I not surprised?

          • Arekushieru

            What do you think makes a woman more likely to abort a fetus of the ‘wrong’ sex? Perhaps it is a lack of RIGHTS? Such as the most basic one you would like to deny to women, namely the right to bodily autonomy? Every right thereafter follows from that. So, denying women a right to bodily autonomy means it is MORE, not less, likely that females are going to be considered LESS THAN. Meaning, in TURN, it will be MORE, not less, likely that women will attempt to abort female fetuses. Did you not read my and goatini’s comments on that respective subject, earlier? Illegal abortion happens in PATRIARCHAL, misogynistic cultures. Oops.

          • Suba gunawardana

            Does this mean you agree with abortion for any reason other than the gender of the fetus?

          • fiona64

            No, you didn’t. Because your polite, rational and factual response would be here for everyone to see if that were the case.

          • Arekushieru

            OR it would show up as in moderation or deleted. Too bad.

          • purrtriarchy

            So RIta, you were saying that pregnancy is benign, because its ‘natural':

            Normal, frequent
            or expectable temporary side effects of pregnancy:

            exhaustion (weariness
            common from first weeks)

            altered appetite
            and senses of taste and smell

            nausea and vomiting
            (50% of women, first trimester)

            heartburn and indigestion

            constipation

            weight gain

            dizziness and light-headedness

            bloating, swelling,
            fluid retention

            hemmorhoids

            abdominal cramps

            yeast infections

            congested, bloody
            nose

            acne and mild skin
            disorders

            skin discoloration
            (chloasma, face and abdomen)

            mild to severe backache
            and strain

            increased headaches

            difficulty sleeping,
            and discomfort while sleeping

            increased urination
            and incontinence

            bleeding gums

            pica

            breast pain and
            discharge

            swelling of joints,
            leg cramps, joint pain

            difficulty sitting,
            standing in later pregnancy

            inability to take
            regular medications

            shortness of breath

            higher blood pressure

            hair loss

            tendency to anemia

            curtailment of ability
            to participate in some sports and activities

            infection
            including from serious and potentially fatal disease

            (pregnant women are immune suppressed compared with
            non-pregnant women, and
            are more susceptible to fungal and certain other diseases)

            extreme pain on
            delivery

            hormonal mood changes,
            including normal post-partum depression

            continued post-partum
            exhaustion and recovery period (exacerbated if a c-section
            — major surgery — is required, sometimes taking up to a full year to
            fully recover)

            Normal, expectable,
            or frequent PERMANENT side effects of pregnancy:

            stretch marks (worse
            in younger women)

            loose skin

            permanent weight
            gain or redistribution

            abdominal and vaginal
            muscle weakness

            pelvic floor disorder
            (occurring in as many as 35% of middle-aged former child-bearers
            and 50% of elderly former child-bearers, associated with urinary and rectal
            incontinence, discomfort and reduced quality of life — aka prolapsed utuerus,
            the malady sometimes badly fixed by the transvaginal mesh)

            changes to breasts

            varicose veins

            scarring from episiotomy
            or c-section

            other permanent
            aesthetic changes to the body (all of these are downplayed
            by women, because the culture values youth and beauty)

            increased proclivity
            for hemmorhoids

            loss of dental and
            bone calcium (cavities and osteoporosis)

            higher lifetime risk of developing Altzheimer’s

            newer research indicates
            microchimeric cells, other bi-directional exchanges of DNA, chromosomes, and other bodily material between fetus and
            mother (including with “unrelated” gestational surrogates)

            Occasional complications
            and side effects:

            complications of episiotomy

            spousal/partner
            abuse

            hyperemesis gravidarum

            temporary and permanent
            injury to back

            severe
            scarring
            requiring later surgery
            (especially after additional pregnancies)

            dropped (prolapsed)
            uterus (especially after additional pregnancies, and other
            pelvic floor weaknesses — 11% of women, including cystocele, rectocele,
            and enterocele)

            pre-eclampsia
            (edema and hypertension, the most common complication of pregnancy, associated
            with eclampsia, and affecting 7 – 10% of pregnancies)

            eclampsia (convulsions,
            coma during pregnancy or labor, high risk of death)

            gestational diabetes

            placenta previa

            anemia (which
            can be life-threatening)

            thrombocytopenic
            purpura

            severe cramping

            embolism
            (blood clots)

            medical disability
            requiring full bed rest (frequently ordered during part of
            many pregnancies varying from days to months for health of either mother
            or baby)

            diastasis recti,
            also torn abdominal muscles

            mitral valve stenosis
            (most common cardiac complication)

            serious infection
            and disease (e.g. increased risk of tuberculosis)

            hormonal imbalance

            ectopic pregnancy
            (risk of death)

            broken bones (ribcage,
            “tail bone”)

            hemorrhage
            and

            numerous other complications
            of delivery

            refractory gastroesophageal
            reflux disease

            aggravation of pre-pregnancy
            diseases and conditions (e.g. epilepsy is present in .5%
            of pregnant women, and the pregnancy alters drug metabolism and treatment
            prospects all the while it increases the number and frequency of seizures)

            severe post-partum
            depression and psychosis

            research now indicates
            a possible link between ovarian cancer and female fertility treatments,
            including “egg harvesting” from infertile women and donors

            research also now
            indicates correlations between lower breast cancer survival rates and proximity
            in time to onset of cancer of last pregnancy

            research also indicates
            a correlation between having six or more pregnancies and a risk of coronary
            and cardiovascular disease

            Less common (but
            serious) complications:

            peripartum cardiomyopathy

            cardiopulmonary
            arrest

            magnesium toxicity

            severe hypoxemia/acidosis

            massive embolism

            increased intracranial
            pressure, brainstem infarction

            molar pregnancy,
            gestational trophoblastic disease
            (like a pregnancy-induced
            cancer)

            malignant arrhythmia

            circulatory collapse

            placental abruption

            obstetric fistula

            More
            permanent side effects:

            future infertility

            permanent disability

            death.

          • Rita, Canberra

            So every pregnancy is malign–a malignancy?
            And every abortion is benign?

          • purrtriarchy

            Don’t be stupid. I know its tough for you. But please try.

          • Jennifer Starr

            That’s not actually an answer, Rita.

          • fiona64

            Non-responsive.

            Every pregnancy is risk-ridden, period. Sometimes the risks manifest, other times they do not. Every pregnancy creates permanent physiological changes in the woman’s body, regardless. A forensic anthropologist can tell from skeletal remains how many times a woman was pregnant because of the striations on her pubic symphysis. If you do not understand this, please research pubic symphysis diastasis. After having five children, one of my friends has this condition so badly that her walking gait has been affected and she can no longer ride a bicycle.

            Pregnancy is not some benign state of wellness. I almost died of hyperemesis gravidarum. Tell it to the Marines, lady, because the Army ain’t listening.

          • purrtriarchy

            The inherent risks of childbirth, from an ob/gyn:

            The first clue to this serious misunderstanding is the claim that
            childbirth must be safe because it is “natural”. Natural does not mean
            safe, and we are pretty clear about that in other areas of life. For
            example, natural disasters, such as hurricanes and earthquakes are 100%
            natural. Nonetheless, we know that they are responsible for a tremendous
            amount of death, suffering and destruction. Natural means one thing
            only: it happens in nature. It tells us absolutely nothing about whether
            it causes death or other serious effects.

            The second clue to this serious misunderstanding is the claim that
            childbirth must be safe because “we are still here”. This is evidence of
            basic lack of knowledge about biology. The fact that “we are still
            here” only tells us that in every generation, the number of people who
            lived exceeded the number who died. It doesn’t tell us anything about
            the ratio. So, for example the population will grow at a certain rate if
            each couple has 3 surviving children. It does not matter whether the
            couple had 3 children, all of whom survived, or 10 children, 7 of whom
            died.

            We know from the biology of other animals that reproduction has a
            tremendous amount of wastage. We’ve all seen nature shows about sea
            turtles who lay hundreds of eggs, with the result that only a few baby
            turtles survive the treacherous walk across the beach to the safety of
            the ocean. We know that some animals, like salmon, give up their own
            lives in the process of reproduction. The fact is, there is a tremendous
            amount of wastage in human reproduction also. The miscarriage rate for
            established pregnancies is 20%. That means that 1 in 5 pregnancies will
            not survive to result in a live birth. Pregnancy and childbirth also
            have a “wastage” rate. In nature, many women and babies did not survive
            the process. That is a natural part of human reproduction.

            Let’s take a look at historical evidence about death in pregnancy and
            childbirth. Irvine Loudon is one of the premier historians working to
            understand the history of human pregnancy and birth. In the article
            Maternal mortality in the past and its relevance to developing countries
            today, there is extensive exploration of the historical data on
            maternal mortality in the United Kingdom. Looking at the maternal
            mortality data for 1872-1876, we find a maternal mortality rate of
            approximately 400/100,000 with the following causes:

            cause of death %
            Puerperal fever 55.5
            Hemorrhage 22.5
            Eclampsia 11.6
            Miscarriage and abortion 4.0
            Postpartum psychosis 2.5
            Embolism 2.0
            Ectopic 0.2
            Other 0.8

            By contrast, the maternal mortality rate today is in the range of 10/100,000.

            What were maternal mortality rates prior to the late 19th century?
            According to the works of other historians which Louden quotes:

            They found maternal mortality rates were certainly
            higher at 400-500 per 100000 births throughout the 19th century. It was a
            bit higher at the beginning of the 19th century and was up to perhaps
            1000 per 100000 births in the early part of the 18th century. I have a
            graph in my book [Loudon I. Death in childbirth. Oxford: Clarendon
            Press, 1992] that shows maternal mortality stretching back in history
            and, as you go back, it goes up very slightly and then we lose track
            because there really are no data as yet.

            This data is fairly consistent with the maternal mortality rates
            that we see today in parts of the world that don’t have access to modern
            obstetrics.

            What conclusion can we draw from this data?

            Giving birth is and has always been inherently dangerous.
            From the early 18th century on back, 1% or more of births resulted in
            the death of the mother. To put a 1% maternal mortality rate in
            perspective, it is twice as high as the mortality rate for receiving a
            kidney transplant, and a bit less than half the mortality rate of having
            “triple bypass” heart surgery.What’s really amazing to consider is that
            the chance of the baby dying was always dramatically higher.

            http://www.skepticalob.com/2009/08/inherent-risks-of-childbirth.html

          • lady_black

            In a manner of speaking, YES. Pregnancy is not a condition of perfect health and homeostasis. The default condition of the female body is non-pregnant.

          • Rita, Canberra

            In manner of speaking, you might just a well argue that in regard to the normal sleep/wake pattern of human life, the default condition of the female body is sleep.

          • purrtriarchy

            Too much sleep or too much wakefulness can kill. In fact, there are diseases that cause *default* wakefulness/sleep and they kill you eventually.

            A pregnant woman is in greater danger of death/maiming/injury than a non-pregnant woman. It is always safer to NOT be pregnant than it is to be pregnant.

            And back in the day before contraception, most women died before the age of 40 because back to back pregnancies KILLED them.

            If pregnancy was a default state, like breathing, as you ignorantly argue, no woman would ever die or suffer disability from pregnancy. Every pregnancy would be smooth and pain free without ANY complications.

          • purrtriarchy

            Oh, and I can’t help but notice that you completely ignored what the ob/gyn had to say about the inherent risks of childbirth

            and LB is a nurse

            Funny how you ignore people who provide you with FACTUAL information, because it doesn’t fit into your warped reality free worldview

          • lady_black

            You probably spend a lot of time sleeping. I spend 6-8 hours a day sleeping, so NO.

          • Jennifer Starr

            Rita’s popped out eleven–in her world, pregnancy probably was the default condition.

          • purrtriarchy

            And I bet she’s been to a doctor for help with those pregnancies.

          • lady_black

            So she wants every other woman to similarly ruin her body. I couldn’t be less persuaded than I am right now.

          • Jennifer Starr

            I once read a comment by a woman at Jill Stanek’s site who was going through her sixth pregnancy and she frankly admitted that she didn’t enjoy pregnancy and that she’d had multiple problems, but she considered it her duty to God to continue having them. I would hate to be this woman’s child and know that I had simply been ‘a duty’, instead of wanted and loved.

          • purrtriarchy

            I still wonder if the extreme fetishization of pregnancy from women such as Rita and DianaG2 is a coping mechanism – to prove to themselves, and the world, that having 11 kids really WAS the right decision. A desperate rationalization.

          • lady_black

            I’m willing to admit that maybe in Rita’s case, it was the right thing for her to do. She probably doesn’t have anything better to do. I do have better things to do, and her lack of options doesn’t dictate the way I choose to live my life.

          • purrtriarchy

            Like this woman…addicted to pregnancy
            http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/life/476876/Addicted-to-pregnancy-Surrogate-mother-wont-stop-having-children

            Which is fine. Just don’t force the rest of us to live the same.

          • cjvg

            Love the subtlety and the dismissal of ignorance as the preferred state for anything that happens to be in possession of a womb

          • fiona64

            I think I’ve shared before that my parents are Mormon …

            My dad told me about a guy in their “priesthood meeting” who was seeking advice. His wife had been told by her OB that having any more children would endanger her life. They already had, IIRC, 5 or 6. So, what advice was he seeking? How to “lovingly” explain that it might just be her duty to die in childbirth.

            My father was a minority of one in saying that perhaps this guy should consider the fact that he loves his wife and has a bunch of children *already* who need her. The other men made all kinds of harumphing noises about “Heavenly Father’s will.”

            Ugh.

          • Ella Warnock

            Ugh, was not ever going to happen. Just, no.

          • Shan

            “And how many times throughout history has a woman given birth unattended by a professional OB/GYN?”

            Countless times. But the times I want YOU to tell me about are the ones you yourself have been one of those women.

            Also, how many times throughout history have children survived, unattended by a professional pediatrician, the “natural” occurrence of measles, mumps, rubella, polio, or chickenpox &etc? And is that number great enough for you expect all your children to experience these things “naturally” and survive unscathed every time, or did you get your children vaccinated?

            “What’s your point? That giving birth is unnatural?”

            Um, no.

          • lady_black

            No. That it’s dangerous, and “natural” doesn’t mean “harmless.” Cancer is “natural” too. So are heart attacks and strokes.

          • fiona64

            And do you know what happened to the majority of those women, you ignorant creature?

            I’ll clue you in: THEY DIED.

          • Ella Warnock

            My family history on both sides is replete with men remarrying after their first wives died in or from complications of childbirth. What’s “natural” about childbirth is that it did kill MANY women (and fetii) before the advent of modern medicine. It’s anti-choicers who wish to return us to that time. So, no, I don’t buy that any of you are “pro-life” at all.

      • P. McCoy

        Answer is: they didn’t and women who died in patriarchal cultures were dismissed as disposable breeders, easily replaced.

        • Rita, Canberra

          The human race did survive, women did continue to give birth through healthy reproductive systems and (ironically) that’s why you are here today to complain that you want the ‘right’ to abort some 50 million children a year, to treat them as ‘disposable” and “easily replaced”.

          • P. McCoy

            Some women did, but many women died as well ; as for me,well my mother had modern medicine to help but I was a non entity until birth – I had no sentience beforehand. But it is a waste of to argue with cult behaving fanatics who imagine zygotes, embryos and fetuses excised surgically as.murdered children. Please indulge your idol worshipping at the biased one sided viewpoints fostered at Catholic Answers Forums. If abortion is murder then breaking eggs to make an omelette is animal cruelty.

          • Rita, Canberra

            It’s always an easy ploy to play the religious prejudice card.

            However, it’s not religion now but science and reason that represents the greatest obstacle to continued tolerance of elective abortions on the present scale.
            The multi-billion dollar abortion industry continues to structure its propaganda to ensure that each newly pregnant mother is told “It’s all about me”. This lie is revealed when ultrasound pictures confirm that there is a little daughter or son moving about in her womb. Live pictures tell us that it’s not all about me–there is another little person to love and protect.
            It is the the crazy mixed-up anti-scientific reconstruction of the fetus by an aging ideology that lures women into being irresponsibly subjective. This whole silly phenomenon of pretending to believe in childless pregnancies is rapidly fading.

          • purrtriarchy

            it’s not religion now but science and reason that represents the
            greatest obstacle to continued tolerance of elective abortions on the
            present scale.

            citation needed

            The multi-billion dollar abortion industry continues to structure its propaganda to ensure that each newly pregnant mother is told “It’s all about me”.

            citation needed

            This lie is revealed when ultrasound pictures confirm that there is a little daughter or son moving about in her womb. Live pictures tell us that it’s not all about me–there is another little person to love and protect.

            and women are unswayed and unmoved by ultrasound pictures

            it doesn’t change the outcomes, they still choose abortion

            http://www.medicaldaily.com/ultrasounds-fail-change-womens-minds-about-abortion-how-abortion-rights-are-mostly-same-41-years

            It is the the crazy mixed-up anti-scientific reconstruction of the fetus by an aging ideology that lures women into being irresponsibly subjective

            citation needed

            ————

            You keep talking about SCIENCE.

            Well then, I expect citations for everything above, preferably from SCHOLARLY journals.

            thanks in advance

          • lady_black

            Your meaningless appeal to emotion is duly noted and dismissed. There is no son or daughter until I successfully give birth to one. So you expect intelligent women to believe because a fetus *moves* that she must endanger her life to give birth to it. I don’t think so, Rita.

          • P. McCoy

            Religious so called prejudice? I’d call it a rational assessment of observing an irrational fanatic similar to calling out accurately a person in a rubber room who thinks that he’s Napoleon or that she’s Cleopatra. As ultrasonic images, well it’s pretty subjective – a blurry image to one woman (now this procedure is being forced upon by anti choice people as a coercion tactic) is a smiling “baby” but to another is what it appears to be: an entity that is in a paracitic relationship to Its personhooded host 100% dependent on the host body for survival. Your kind is for forced birth under any and circumstances and I can’t countenance that as well as your efforts to try to establish the anti Gay, anti contraception anti choice, anti freedom of expression, anti divorce pedophile priest protecting cult of Catholicism based.theocratic government that you wish to establish here – yes I KNOW your true agenda Madame, you’re an enemy, an aider and supporter.
            .

          • Rita, Canberra

            As I said, it’s always an easy ploy to play the religious prejudice card. It’s funny–I wasn’t actually asking you to go ahead and prove what I said. But thanks anyway!

          • P. McCoy

            You’re quite welcome, “Cleo.” Waves good bye to the patient. Can’t argue with the disordered.

          • Suba gunawardana

            Your whole point is based on the idea that “women are so stupid & gullible; They will believe anything they are told, and make all decisions based solely on their emotional status at the moment”.

            How insulting. Women can think for themselves you know, and make rational decisions based on fact and logic.

            Are you sure you are a woman? If so, you have a mighty poor opinion of yourself.

          • fiona64

            Ultrasound doesn’t change anyone’s mind.

          • Rita, Canberra

            You may be right with regard to those minds that have been so ideologically conditioned to believe with blind faith in the absurd phenomenon of “childless pregnancy’.
            Nevertheless, there are numerous recorded instances of a mother who changes her mind about aborting her little one when she sees those first pictures and hears a heartbeat that is not her own.

          • Jennifer Starr

            You do realize that 66% of women who get abortions already have children, right?

          • fiona64

            Rita apparently thinks all women are stupid and have no idea what pregnancy entails.

          • purrtriarchy
          • Suba gunawardana

            Research says otherwise.
            http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24463667

            Also if a woman’s decision to carry her pregnancy is based solely on emotion (spur of the moment emotion at that), she is unlikely to make a good mother to the future child.

          • fiona64

            Thank you. I wrote a lengthy post yesterday that included this link and several others that proved Rita to be telling lies … and Disqus hiccuped. Argh.

          • purrtriarchy

            More people have survived than died in war. Or from disease. Or from slavery.

            Therefore, by your logic, forcing people into war, slavery and refusing to treat disease are all morally acceptable actions – since “we are still here”.

          • Jennifer Starr

            You know it almost sounds as though you’re saying that women with deadly pregnancies and less than healthy reproductive systems should die. Is that what you want?

          • lady_black

            Compared to women, zefs ARE disposable and easily replaced. Nature itself wastes the great majority of them. To get a woman, first HER mother must successfully give live birth. Then it requires about two decades of consuming resources without giving anything back to produce one woman. If a woman loses a pregnancy, biologically speaking, nothing has been lost. You still have the woman and she can conceive again. If you lose a woman, you have lost both the resources needed to bring her to the state of womanhood, plus her evolutionary value in continuing the species. If that sounds cold, that’s because biology is cold. Nature always favors the maternal organism over the fetal organism. Just as an example, ovulation is only possible when there is a certain level of body fat in the female. Female athletes who are training frequently stop menstruating temporarily. This is basic female preservation in times of famine, when the female body is incapable of being stressed by childbearing, lest it kill her. Animals under stress often abort or reabsorb their offspring, and we are nothing more than relatively intelligent animals. There is no biological argument possible for favoring the zef over the woman. NONE.

  • wildthang

    All I can say is population increase in the US due to desire to get child with a particular genders has a long history that is not based on sex bias and some form gender selection seems preferable. It can also be an interest in gender balance in families. The Octomom is a particular case of having octuplets in order to get a boy and also not being willing to select specific embryoes.

    • Arekushieru

      Actually, I would disagree. Just because there are no observable sex biases doesn’t mean there aren’t any.

      • wildthang

        There may be for some but I know of people with 2-3 boys or girls who keep having children to get another gender and that contributes to population excess. And some who give up hope of having a girl.
        Group marriages could be an alternative for reducing parent to child rations but also obtaining a gender distribution as well as allow for more resources, sill set and some homekeepers and nurtures as well as some focused of professions and financial earnings.

        • lady_black

          Group marriages do not tend to reduce parent to child ratio. That’s nuts.

          • wildthang

            They would be whatever some people want them to be. What is happening now in the polyfamilia movement doesn’t mean they have to be any way. It is obvious 4 or more people could desire to have 2 children. People who don’t produce any children could share in the communal children. I’m not talking Mormon or harem for patriarchal dominance. I’m talking more of a communal group with multiples of each gender. What is stupid is monogamy as the only way of living with damaging affairs, isolation and financial vulnerability to loss of job and 2 parents working and little time to keep up a home. I would expect mutually agreed contractual protections and to heck with government sanctions based on religions forcing one way of living.
            I’m promoting thinking of better alternatives with more sexual freedom and more general security for stressful complex times and population control. Otherwise you have China’s problem of one child per family and gender issues.

          • lady_black

            Hey, whatever blows your dress up. Common sense dictates that where more people are sexually involved, that will necessarily lead to more pregnancies. Unless he “marries” women who have had hysterectomies. United States law forbids both the policing of consensual sexual activity AND plural marriages. I certainly wouldn’t recommend either as any kind of a solution to problems that only exist in the minds of some people. Contrary to your assertion, most people can’t afford to “keep trying” to get a child of the “desired” gender. I wanted a little girl, and got one with my third pregnancy. But if it had turned out to be another boy, there would have been no fourth pregnancy. Most couples have a clear idea of how many total children they want and can handle physically, emotionally and financially. They will not stress themselves trying for that precious boy or girl, and in the end will be delighted with the family they have, regardless of composition.

          • wildthang

            There is birth control and abortion. People don;’t need government or religious sanction to live together or to have sex. We wouldn’t want 69 children like the woman in Russia with what appears to be the record.

          • lady_black

            You suffer from a serious deficit of knowledge. All contraception methods (including sterilization) have a known failure rate, however small. One man having sex with two or more women (or the other way around) doubles and triples and so on, the chance for contraceptive failure. If contraception and abortion can be used to limit the size of a single couple (and it can) then no purpose is served by taking multiple spouses. It’s STILL a solution in search of a problem. Of COURSE people don’t need religious or governmental sanction to sex. But legal marriage still has it’s protections, mainly in the way real property can be held, and the tax consequences of inheritance. As well as the many benefits enjoyed by the legal status of next-of-kin, being able to speak for your spouse when your spouse is unable to speak for him/herself. Marriage, after all, means far more than two persons who have sex. If it weren’t for that fact, marriage would have no legal significance whatsoever, and there would be no fight for marriage equality. People are, of course, legally free to live in polygamous situations if they want to. That fact was re-enforced by a recent legal decision involving Utah. However, THIS legal system is constructed in such a way that a person can have as many concubines as they wish, but only ONE legal spouse. There are legal consequences to those who practice any other model, resulting in a profound loss of rights.

        • Arekushieru

          So, would you mandate group marriages? And, if so, that would discriminate against those who are monogamous. Also, given the fact that those with complementary traits tend to gravitate towards each other, what happens if one group ends up being more homogeneous? Should they be penalized in some manner for it?

          • wildthang

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyamory

            I’m talking about voluntary arrangements of living together to conserve resources and have more sexual freedom self defined. And people can bond with children in a communal setting without having it be genetic. Usually it is for sexual freedom but the communal aspect has much more than that to offer and it would allow a much more flexible way to regulate parent to child ratio and more skill sets and resources and less dependency on one other parent for survival.
            The communal movement just didn’t work hard enough at it during its time perhaps being too big. There are still zoning issues etc. But one thing is clear monogamy is a dead end an humans do have minds to try alternatives..

  • lady_black

    Fallacy of appeal to nature. Anyone who would claim that pregnancy was ANYTHING like breathing has clearly never been pregnant. And you keep your creepy paws off my daughter’s body.

  • Suba gunawardana

    The legal right to abortion has nothing to do with the fetus, and everything to do with the WOMAN’S right to be secure in her person. Which means abortion should be available regardless of the reason, however frivolous that reason may sound.

    Restricting abortion based on the reason is a direct assault on women’s basic rights.

  • Arekushieru

    You still have difficulty grasping simple concepts I see. Your analogies are SO flawed. Comparing a situation that involves only ONE human life to another that involves TWO is like comparing an apple to two oranges. Oops. Furthermore, in order for that analogy to make sense in any OTHER manner, you would have to treat breathing as an effect with a cause (as PREGNANCY is). You do not. Finally, by treating breathing as simply a process, you are actually comparing an effect to a cause. Simply, you are stating that an intentional termination of one’s breathing is the same as intentionally ending the life of a fetus. It is not. And this has been TOLD to you, MANY times.

    Again, there is NO child, daughter, son OR mother in direct relation to a pregnancy. Thanks. You obviously don’t know what the meaning of force is, either. Do you not understand that a fetus compels the woman to sustain it, especially by suppressing her immune system and doing so through selfish methods that put the woman at high risk of bone disease if she does not seek medical treatment? Wow…. It’s especially violent because pregnancy puts women at greater risk of injury during an assault, as well. Ugh, you antis are so sickening. Claiming that you’ve experienced multiple pregnancies but showing, even to a person who has never been pregnant, that you have no understanding of the many various harmful effects that pregnancy HAS on the body. Wow, ignorant much?

  • Suba gunawardana

    OK I should have said: “The legal right to abortion has little to do with the ZEF, and everything to do with the WOMAN’S right to be secure in her person” :)

  • fiona64

    Perhaps we could agree that pregnancy is like breathing–it is one of the most natural processes of human life.

    Breathing doesn’t kill people.

  • Suba gunawardana

    You couldn’t be more wrong: “Perhaps we could agree that pregnancy is like breathing–it is one of the most natural processes of human life”

    Breathing is ESSENTIAL for a person to live. Since when is pregnancy essential (or even necessary) for a person to live?

    If you don’t get it: If someone blocks your breathing you DIE. If someone prevents your access to pregnancy (i.e. not let you have sex) you DON’T die.

    “that denying a woman access to a medical procedure designed
    intentionally to terminate her breathing may truthfully be described as
    “forcing her to continue breathing’?”

    Now oddly enough: Taking off life support may be the only situation equal to the former. And yes, forcibly continuing life-support on a person who wishes to die is a violation of their rights, just as much as forced pregnancy & forced childbirth are violations of a woman’s rights.

    “A tiny child growing and being nurtured in her mother’s womb is exercising no sinister ‘force’ against her mother. ”

    Nevertheless they are invading your body without your consent. You can either give consent & commit to protect the invader for the rest of their life (which many do) or just get rid of the invader. The choice should be SOLELY upto the pregnant woman.