Live Action, the anti-choice group whose activism method of choice is the selectively-edited video of “sting” operations inside Planned Parenthood, has released their latest missive. We reported last month that this was coming down the pipeline, and now, here it is, in all its shaky, hand-held, black-and-white, ominous and glaringly biased glory.
Here’s the thing. Yes, sex-selective abortion happens, and that is awful. Sex-selective abortion happens. It happens because of sexism. It happens because in almost every culture around the world, boys and men are valued more than girls and women. It happens because boys and men have, on the whole, better lives – more rights, more opportunities, more freedom – than girls and women. Men are not subject to the very restrictions on reproductive freedom that Lila Rose and Live Action are demanding. And that is why some parents want to have boys rather than girls. That’s while they’ll go to great lengths to avoid having a girl. Because sexism of the kind that Lila Rose endorses makes it so much harder to be a woman in this world.
Sex-selective abortion is not the disease, it’s the symptom.
It is, however, a form of abortion that horrifies a lot of people, which is why Rose and Live Action have targeted it. But make no mistake; for all their talk about missing girls and gendercide, they’re not interested in ending sexism. They’re not interested in talking about the larger structural and cultural problems that make sex-selective abortion a fact of life in many communities around the world. They’re interested in restricting women’s rights – and if they have to play on people’s sense of gender justice to do it, they will.