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Killed for being the wrong gender

By Bill Muehlenberg - posted Tuesday, 30 April 2013

A bill being debated in a Senate inquiry on gender-selection abortion is most timely given the headline in today's Sunday Herald Sun. It reads: "Couple abort girl because they wanted a boy". Definition of barbarism: Killing a human being simply because selfish adults wanted one of a different sex. But the front-page story today reminds us of the urgency of all this. Here is how the story begins:

A Melbourne doctor has blown the whistle on parents who demanded an abortion - because they didn't want a girl. And obstetricians have proposed keeping the sex of unborn babies secret until it is too late to terminate, to prevent gender-based abortions. In an exclusive interview with the Sunday Herald Sun, Dr Mark Hobart revealed a Melbourne couple had asked him to refer them to an abortion clinic after discovering at 19 weeks they were having a girl, when they wanted a boy.

Dr Hobart said he refused to give them a referral and reported the specialist, who later terminated the pregnancy, to the Medical Board. 'The parents were upfront and told me that was the reason for the abortion,' Dr Hobart said. 'I was dumbfounded. To get a request for an abortion for that reason, I just couldn't believe it. It was the husband who did all the talking - he was so insistent.


Despite being refused a referral by Dr Hobart, the woman had an abortion a few days later. The Medical Board told Dr Hobart on Friday it would not pursue the matter because Victorian doctors are allowed to terminate pregnancies of up to 24 weeks.

One of Melbourne's biggest abortion clinics has revealed that couples have requested abortions on gender grounds - although it is 'extremely rare' and always refused. And a Senate committee is inquiring into draft legislation prepared by 'pro-life' Democratic Labor Party Senator John Madigan, which would ban Medicare rebates for gender-selective abortions.

The inquiry is also investigating 'the prevalence of gender selection - with preference for a male child - among some ethnic groups'. Senator Madigan said that 'we do know there are cultures where a boy is preferred over a girl', although he did not have statistics on the prevalence in Australia.

The article continues: "The National Association of Specialist Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has suggested that laboratories that perform publicly funded chromosomal tests during pregnancy be banned from revealing the sex of the embryo until after 20 weeks, except in cases of gender-based diseases such as haemophilia. 'You don't keep the test results secret, you just keep the sex secret,' association president Andrew Foote told the Sunday Herald Sun."

However, "Australian Medical Association president Steve Hambleton said women had the right to know everything about their pregnancy."

Oh really? You mean that? Oh, so you will then fully and properly inform each woman about this living, growing human being in her womb, and what bloody and barbaric methods are used to kill this unborn baby?

Why do I suspect that this is somehow not at all what he has in mind? Truth in advertising is sorely missing in the abortion industry. And genuine informed consent is also quite rare, since women are hardly ever told anything other than the standard pro-death PC line: 'Oh, it's just a clump of cells, and we can fix you up in no time'.

Can I suggest that if we really did inform women about everything they need to know about their abortions, that we would have a whole lot less of them? Indeed, that is exactly how we seek to prevent or curtail other ugly activities.


As one commentator put it: "It is understandable why the distribution of graphic literature describing and depicting [abortion] makes pro-choice people uncomfortable. They don't like to see their dirty trade secrets revealed any more than a fur seller wants to find a poster of a trapped, dying animal hanging on his showroom window. Both remind us that someone else suffered tremendous pain and agony so we can have our lifestyles of convenience or comfort."

And some of the more honest pro-abortionists do admit that abortion takes a human life. Feminist Naomi Wolf for example has conceded that the "pro-life slogan, 'Abortion stops a beating heart' is incontrovertibly true. While images of violent fetal death work magnificently for pro-lifers as political polemic, the pictures are not polemical in themselves: they are biological facts. We know this."

Another significant factor which gives lie to the claim that the unborn baby is simply a collection of cells is post-abortion trauma and guilt. If a fetus is indeed just a blob of tissue, why all the trauma, why all the guilt? When an appendix is removed, no one experiences guilt - a little pain perhaps, but no psychological and emotional upheavals.

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About the Author

Bill Muehlenberg is Secretary of the Family Council of Victoria, and lectures in ethics and philosophy at various Melbourne theological colleges.

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