Canadian parliament refuses to condemn gender-selective abortion
According to the United Nations, “about 140 million women are ‘missing’ in the world – the result of preference for boys, including sex selection based on sex, a form of discrimination.” Ten years ago, United Nations agencies including OHCHR, UNFPA, UNICEF, UN Women and WHO issued a position paper condemning the elimination of girls.
The United Nations Population Fund said last year that gender selection has dire consequences for societies. “The increase in sex selection is alarming as it reflects the persistently low status of women and girls. The resulting gender imbalance also has a detrimental effect on societies. Cases of increased sexual violence and trafficking have already been linked to the phenomenon.
Nonetheless, in one of the overwhelming inconsistencies in modern politics, this week Canada’s Parliament voted overwhelmingly against a bill banning gender-selective abortions.
Bill C-233, introduced by Saskatchewan MP Cathay Wagantall, would have criminalized “the fact that a doctor performs an abortion knowing that the abortion is requested only because of the genetic sex of the child” .
He lost by a margin of 248 to 82, with the Liberals, the Bloc Québécois, the NDP and the Green Party all voting against. Members of the Conservative Party had a free vote, and most opposed it, but not the leader, Erin O’Toole. Status of Women Minister Maryam Monsef called the bill “dangerous”.
The problem, of course, is abortion. Regardless of MPs’ views on “gendercide”, they believe that a vote against selective abortion should be a vote against abortion. And it is unthinkable. “The debate is closed,” Ms. Monsef said. “Women and single women are in control of their bodies and their health care choices. It is not a place where politicians can influence.
Michel cook is editor of BioEdge