On 8 October the European Parliament will vote on the Report “Gendercide: the missing women?”. Whilst not legally binding, the report presents an opportunity to counteract prenatal sex selective practices such as infanticide and sex selective abortions. The inherent dignity of each person, whether born or to be born is threatened by this phenomenon which is in stark contradiction with a recent ruling of the European Court of Justice, Brüstle vs. Greenpeace (C-34/10). The latter defines the human embryo as the beginning of the development of the human being, a EU wide legal basis on which is founded the European Citizens Initiative One of Us which has already gathered more than 1 million signatures.
Across the world abortions are regularly performed simply because of the sex of the child, boys are preferred to girls. This situation leads to a disequilibrium between women and men as outlined in a study presented by Directorate General for External Policies of the European Parliament in 2012 that states that “Some countries have for many years witnessed distorted sex ratios in the sense that the share of male population is larger than one would expect based on “natural” gender ratios at birth and mortality rates. This imbalance is often the result of son preference, rooted in cultural and economic experiences, and accentuated by declining fertility and pressures to have smaller families. With a focus on China and India, where skewed sex ratios have been highlighted by the international community and recognized by their governments, this study reviews the key literature exploring the causes, current trends and consequences of sex selective practices from infanticide and neglect to more modern sex determining and selective practices such as ultrasound tests and consequent sex selective abortions. Despite legislation regulating sex selection in both China and India, these practices are difficult to monitor, with medical practitioners and equipment suppliers reaping profits from the procedures. Skewed ratios have also been observed in other countries, such as Vietnam, Albania, Azerbaijan and Georgia.”
The draft report condemns abortion 7 times, whether forced or voluntary when it is based on prenatal sex selection, namely of the female fetus. The Declaration of the Rights of the Child of the United Nations states that “the child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth”a principle that will hopefully be respected by the Members of the European Parliament when the report is voted. The European Parliament recently condemned forced abortions, a consequence of population control policies, in a resolution adopted in July 2012 on the forced abortion scandal in China.
Taking advantage of the special consulting status bestowed by The UN Economic and Social Council, Ordo Iuris calls for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein to take a stand against a series of human and children’s rights violations which took place in the case of Alfie Evans.