Abortion is barely a controversy in America these days.  Most people, men and women, are against it for themselves but it has been the law of the land for two generations.   Crazy politicians like Barbara Boxer of California still campaign on abortion by insisting if a Republican beats her in a Senate race they could somehow overturn it but for the most part it is a non-issue outside zealots.   It isn't going anywhere.

But progressive insistence on choice and then ironically getting government to mandate it also has a downside.  If it's really a choice people, can make that choice for any reason they...choose.   And since the late 1970s, 163 million female babies have been aborted by parents because they chose to have sons, even using abortion to make it happen.

Over time, there will be 104-106 boys born for each 100 girls, but in many countries the results have become skewed - 112 to 100 girls in India and 121 to 100 in China, not to mention many other countries.   Mara Hvistendahl contends that selective abortion has resulted in 163 million fewer girls due to selective abortion in Unnatural Selection.

And it isn't poor people, it's the rich.   If that trend starts to occur in America, NOW will be in a bind.   The victims are clearly women and the people engaging in choice are women, the people doing it are rich, not poor.  Hvistendahl notes the numbers get even more extreme if the couple already has a child; as much as 209 to 100 if they have three children.    And that's with the governments there declaring sexual selection illegal.  Imagine if it were legal.

But maybe there is an economic reason to let it continue.   Imagine that, a way to get conservatives to support abortion.   With fewer women in those countries, men have to compete more for a woman and so parents build up substantial savings early to pay a dowry and otherwise make young men more attractive when they come of age.   Until that happens, they have to do something with the money, and they buy US Treasury bonds.     Without abortion, our interest rates might skyrocket.

There are many, many reasons why gender-based abortions are bad, now and for the future, but making them illegal does no good.   The solution is not an easy one - take away choice or accept parents will choose to only have sons.

Fascinating stuff.

The War Against Girls - Jonathan Last, Wall Street Journal