Miriam Clegg (attorney, wife of deputy Prime Minister) has reminded British women that they can do anything--be anything they want; and yet one mother, en route to Oxford University with her 10-yr-old daughter, was perplexed:
On the train, though, I read with horror that it is now legal for couples to abort babies simply because they are girls. How to explain this to my daughter? How to tell her that we now live in a country where girls, because of their sex, can be prevented from being born? The words of Miriam Clegg suddenly rang hollow. She talked of learning and professional achievement – yet there are girls killed in the womb simply because of their unwanted sex.
I wanted to respond to this outrage – but calmed myself with the thought that a million feminists would jump in and shout about this injustice. In the campaign for equal rights, surely the right to exist is the biggest right of all.
In vain, I looked last night for reactions among feminists. All I saw was a bunch of bouquets for the Miriam Clegg line about girls aiming for the stars. Yes of course they should – but they can't if they are not allowed to be born in the first place.
Yes, there's a big empty space where that outrage should be. And, ironically, part of it is due to the shallow "grrl power" message that Ms Clegg offers, in which she decries the lack of role models for young women. Following the male model of "careerism," she leads the charge that girls must "do something," and "shine brightly!" So she's launching an initiative which will cater to girls (who, evidently, haven't benefited enough by all the attention over the last 50 years).
As long as a person's value is based primarily on doing, and not being, girls will be second-class citizens. The yawning divide will remain between those who think women are worthless, and those who think that women who don't "reach the stars!" are worth less. Feminists who are busy with statistics based on achievements don't rank the unborn in their equations because:
- they cannot achieve anything yet, being so dependent on others; and
- they hinder the mother from achieving Stuff That Matters (TM)
Why not simply meet in the middle? The feminists need to learn to chill, and to value motherhood, which has such a decisive influence on the culture; and those who want to abort girls need to be educated about the intrinsic worth of all persons, regardless of what they will accomplish. The simple fact is that our existence is a gift. We have been redeemed by God, whose Image we all bear.
As for role models for girls, the Church is chock-full of them. They're called saints.
ADDENDUM: Columnist Sarah Ditum effectively sums up the callous stance supporting sex-selection abortions:
“In a world where it’s possible to end a pregnancy safely and legally, it seems like rank brutality to force anyone to carry to term against her will.” While admitting that her position may make her “sound like a radical,” she added, “It’s the woman’s say that counts, and even the most terrible reason for having an abortion holds more sway than the best imaginable reason for compelling a woman to carry to term.”