We’re used to thinking about sex-selective abortion as a Third World phenomenon, but a new study finds that the barbarous practice has reached England’s shores. An investigation by The Independent into birth data for immigrant populations in England finds good evidence that sex-selective abortions have lead to the “disappearance” of between 1,400 and 4,700 women in the UK:
We found that in two-child families of some first-generation immigrants, having elder daughters significantly increases the chances of the second child being male – an imbalance in the sex ratio that should not occur naturally […]“The only readily available explanation that is consistent with a statistically significant gender shift of the sort observed in the census data is gender-selective abortion,” Dr Anagnostopoulos [lecturer in statistics at Imperial College London] said.
It will be interesting to see whether sex-selective abortion turns into a flashpoint for European immigration and assimilation debates, which, in an era when nationalists and Euroskeptic parties are on the rise, are already very heated. This story also sets up a telling contrast with America. As the story explains, sex-selective abortions are illegal in England, but in 2012 a bill that would make them illegal in the United States failed to pass the House.This is just a specific illustration of a more general principle: In several ways, abortion law in Europe is more restrictive than in America. The American political battle lines, between zero-restriction abortion on demand and a total ban, are foreign to almost all other countries, where abortion is accepted and often state funded in ways that pro-lifers dislike, but also restricted in ways that the other side wouldn’t accept.