A New Study Demolishes the Racist Myths Behind Sex-Selective Abortion Bans
This week, the University of Chicago Law School released a new study that scrutinizes large sets of data for evidence of sex-selective abortions in America. Titled “Replacing Myths with Facts: Sex-Selective Abortion Laws in the United States,” the paper kneecaps the racist arguments behind the bans.
Surprise! The “pro-women” bans are just another way to block abortion rights.The authors draw on an analysis of US birth data, numerous interviews in the field, and a broad survey of peer-reviewed social-science publications to identify and bust numerous myths used to promote sex-selective abortion bans. Notably, the study undermines one of the only pieces of empirical support proponents of these bans can point to, a 2008 paper by economists Lena Edlund and Douglas Almond. Edlund and Almond concluded that when foreign-born Chinese, Korean, and Indian women have two daughters, their third child will tend to be a son—a trend that suggests sex-selective abortions are being performed, ban proponents say. Their source is US census data that is nearly 15 years old. The University of Chicago study, using newer data from the 2007 and 2011 American Community Survey, found that when all their children are taken into account, foreign-born Chinese, Korean, and Indian parents actually have more daughters than white Americans do.
The study also notes that India and China are not, as proponents of these bans claim, the only countries with male-biased sex ratios. In fact, the countries with the highest ratios are Liechtenstein and Armenia.