Monday, January 14, 2013

Changing hearts not laws

Is there a relationship between sex-selection abortion and rape?

I wondered about this, after reading yet another horrid crime in India about gang rape this morning.

So I googled "sex-selection abortion and rape", and sure enough others have put that idea forward as well here and here.

And this article says that according to official data, rapes have more than doubled in India between1990 and 2008.

And Wikipedia says that:
"According to the decennial Indian census, the sex ratio in the 0-6 age group in India went from 104.0 males per 100 females in 1981, to 105.8 in 1991, to 107.8 in 2001, to 109.4 in 2011. The ratio is significantly higher in certain states such as Punjab and Haryana (126.1 and 122.0, as of 2001).[2]"

So sex selection abortions are also on the increase in India, just like rapes.

Then there is this news item from India where the Indian government agency (NCPCR) actually links sex-selection abortion to rape.
"The spate of rapes in Haryana is a reflection of the adverse sex ratio in the state as well as the way the female sex is treated in society, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) said Tuesday and demanded severe punishment for the rapists. Gender discrimination and caste discrimination is reflected in the adverse sex ratio in Haryana. It is reflected in the way girls are treated," Shanta Sinha, NCPCR chairperson, told a TV channel."

Seems to me that the relationship between sex-selection abortion and rape is a factor that cannot be ignored.

Shouldn't we at the very least then, as a country, condemn sex selection abortion?

We already have an MP who wants to do just that: Mark Warawa's motion M-408 which states:
"That the House condemn discrimination against females, occurring through sex-selective pregnancy termination.”

Can we get Mr. Harper on side?

At the time that Mr. Warawa announced his motion, the Globe and Mail said that:
"A spokeswoman from the Prime Minister’s Office declined to comment directly on Mr. Warawa’s motion, noting that it would not come before the House for several months. “The Prime Minister has been clear that we do not intend to reopen the debate on abortion,” Julie Vaux wrote in an e-mail."

But then I remembered Mr. Harper's comments he made to Peter Mansbridge about abortion a year ago:
"No, no, no. Look Peter, I've spent my political career trying to stay out of that issue. It's one on which people, including in my own party have passionate views, they're all over the map, and you know what I say to you know, many people I know are pro-life...what I say to people, is if you want to diminish the number of abortions you've got to change hearts and not laws, and I'm not interested in having a debate over abortion law".

Mr. Harper refuses to have a debate about abortion law, but by his own admission, he is in favour of changing people's hearts. Doesn't it follow then, that a really good vehicle to changing people's hearts is to condemn sex-selection abortion, a practice that may very well be also contributing to some of the very worst violence against women, namely rape?

Mr. Harper says we need to change hearts. This motion will do just that. I don't know how Mr. Harper can not support it.

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