Sunday, May 17, 2009

yo, sweden, WTF!?

I have taken to reading the Huffington Post through their fabulous app on the iphone. Today, I stumbled across this: "Sweden legalizes gender-based abortion". It's actually from, and as it is not very long, here it is:

Don’t like Your Baby’s Gender? Sweden Rules 'Gender-Based' Abortion Legal
Posted by Cole Gamble
Now, according to a Swedish medical ruling, if a mother or couple discover the gender of their baby and decide “that’s not what we were hoping for” they can get an abortion on that basis.
Here’s how it broke down. A Swedish mother of two girls requested two abortions in a row after learning the gender of her fetus. It became apparent to doctors her decision to abort was based on the discovery of gender, which obviously was not the one she was aiming for. Doctors at Mälaren Hospital expressed concern and asked Sweden’s National Board of Health and Welfare to draw up guidelines on how to handle requests in the future in which they "feel pressured to examine the fetus’s gender" without having a medically compelling reason to do so.
The board found such requests cannot be refused, and neither can abortions, thus medical staff cannot refuse to perform an abortion based on gender.
Now the idea of isolating a “gay” gene in fetuses and therefore “eliminating” it has been bandied about by rather tacky political pundits. But before we get to that moral maelstrom, pick-and-choose baby gender is already here. Sure, the day when doctors can fudge your baby’s DNA to increase the probability of a boy or girl is possibly coming sooner than later, but for now, if you don’t like what you got, scrap it and start again.
Does this already happen discreetly in America? I can’t imagine anyone would ever openly admit to their doctor or otherwise that they want to abort the baby because “I really had my heart set on a girl” but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. Do you think this is more common that people are admitting?

Okay, so women's studies majors and feminists worldwide have been arguing for YEARS against this very practice in India, China, and other "non-Western" nations who are supposedly not as "enlightened" as we are. Now, Sweden has gone and fucked the curve. No self-respecting "western" feminist can talk to gender-based abortionists from any sort of high ground any longer. One of our own has gone to the dark side.

Anyone who knows me knows that I am pro-choice to the hilt. Whether you wish to terminate your pregnancy because it is a health risk, the result of a rape, or simply because you know full well you can't raise a child right now, I will walk you through the clinic doors. But there is a limit to everything, and this is it. I understand that this legalization would make it just as easy for someone to abort a boy as a girl, but...What started this was a woman who had two abortions because she didn't want another GIRL. I am all for the rights of the woman first, but where does common sense begin? As a pro-choice feminist, it's hard to talk about something that would in all technicality limit abortion rights, but if this is wrong for women in India or China or wherever, it is wrong for women in Sweden. The argument is that they do it because of how their societies devalue women, but just what do you think is the reasoning of a woman in Sweden? The "West" may have slightly better views of women, but that does not equal truly valuing them. And this just proves it.

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