Double X Syndrome

May 25, 2006 | 38 comments

It is wicked to kill an unborn baby because she is female.

38 Responses to Double X Syndrome

  1. DHofmann on May 25, 2006 at 1:48 am
  2. Adam Greenwood on May 25, 2006 at 8:22 am

    Even then, DHofmann (grins).

  3. Elisabeth on May 25, 2006 at 8:28 am

    Geez, Adam. We’re _joking_ about this now?

    “And” should be “an”.

  4. Adam Greenwood on May 25, 2006 at 8:33 am

    I fixed that while you were commenting, Elisabeth. But thanks.

    I presume that while you may *appear* to be condemning my responding to DHoffman’s joke, you are actually aware of the possibility that I have heartfelt concerns and deep emotional reactions and such that I’m defusing through humor, and you would never be so insensitive as to respond with dismay or dismissal. I really like that about you, Elisabeth. Its one of the reasons why, though you are afflicted with Double XX Syndrome, I’m glad you weren’t aborted.

  5. Seth R. on May 25, 2006 at 8:46 am

    Abortion is wicked even when it is justified.

    It is sinful – even when it is the right choice.

  6. Kimball L. Hunt on May 25, 2006 at 9:13 am

    Had a gee ef in college — from Beijing. With a doctorate in some kinda biology — who often related intense shame due her father’s dissapointment she’s a beautiful, bright, kind, considerate — girl.

  7. gst on May 25, 2006 at 10:21 am

    Don’t judge others. You aren’t walking in their shoes. You aren’t the one who gets to say what’s wicked and what isn’t. You aren’t the one who gets to decide when an embryo becomes a human being.

    It’s unhelpful and downright cruel to discuss such a sensitive issue in this manner.

    I seriously question whether making absolutist statements like this serves much of a useful purpose.

  8. Seth R. on May 25, 2006 at 10:36 am

    It doesn’t serve a useful purpose if you shut yourself off to the possibilities.

    Abdicating all responsibility for a decision simply on the grounds that “it had to be done” doesn’t serve a useful purpose either.

  9. Bookslinger on May 25, 2006 at 10:49 am

    I fail to see how aborting a fetus because of Down’s Syndrome falls into one of the 4 allowable exceptions for abortion outlined by the Brethren. Down’s Syndrome alone does not endanger the life/health of the mother, nor does it significantly impact the survivability of the fetus or newborn baby.

    So far, Kimball seems to be the only one to have picked up on Adam’s apparent reference to China in his statement.

    I believe Adam is justified in bringing up this topic in these threads. In the U.S. it is estimated (even by pro-choice factions) that approximately 46 million legal abortions have been performed since Roe v. Wade.

    This subject is going to come to the forefront in world politics within the next 10 to 20 years. China currently has an excess of approximately 20 million males, and it will eventually swell to 40 million. (Looked at another way, China will almost catch up to us in number of abortions.)

    Without sufficient females for them, with whom they would reproduce, they become “societal excess” and serve little purpose other than to take care of their aged parents. But then that excess will have no children to take care of them.

    The Chinese government may consider the main value of a few million 20-something men to be cannon-fodder for military purposes. And without hope for a wife and progeny, many of those young adult men may willingly agree.

    China’s saber-rattling in the past few years, along with their current military build-up shows that the “peace dividend” due to the end of the Soviet Union was indeed short-lived.

  10. danithew on May 25, 2006 at 10:55 am

    Adam, to save further time and effort you could create a post entry that states “It is wicked to kill an unborn child because he/she _____.” Comments could then be used to fill in the blank.

  11. Bookslinger on May 25, 2006 at 11:02 am

    Another way in which abortion has factored into national and regional politics is immigration (illegal and otherwise) due to the pressure for additional labor (cheap labor and in the professions.)

    With 46 million abortions since 196? (Roe.v.Wade), the United States is “short” 46 million people. What’s the current estimated number of illegal immigrants, 18 to 24 million?

    One could argue that had we allowed those 46 million Americans to be born, there wouldn’t be a labor shortage and the needs for which many of those illegals fill.

    Of course it’s not an immediate direct effect, but if you connect the dots one can see the relationship.

    Look at who abortion proponents targeted for ‘service’ during the early years, the poor. Abortion created a labor shortage, and a consumer shortage.

    And as abortion for convenience sake became acceptable in all social strata, it created “shortages” of people in all those strata. We even created special classes of visas to easily import professionals to “make up” for the people we prevented from being born.

    One only has to look at present-day Europe and Russia to see where we are headed in terms of demographics.

  12. Wacky Hermit on May 25, 2006 at 11:13 am

    Bookslinger #9: I could see how a mother’s health might be endangered by having to raise a Downs child; one example might be the mother mentioned in the other thread who already had a Downs baby. If she was truly on the point of mental breakdown, it might be too much for her to raise a second. On the other hand, there’s nothing that says that she’d have to raise the second Downs child she bore. If she could handle the pregnancy knowing that the child would be put up for adoption, that would be a viable option.

  13. Adam Greenwood on May 25, 2006 at 11:49 am

    I understand you’re being lighthearted, but how dare you joke about something so sensitive and personal as the decision to kill your baby because she’s a girl?

  14. Adam Greenwood on May 25, 2006 at 11:53 am

    That’s an interesting thought, Danithew. What would you fill the blank in with, if anything?

  15. Nate Oman on May 25, 2006 at 12:11 pm


  16. Kaimi Wenger on May 25, 2006 at 12:37 pm


    I’ll add a more extended comment in a minute. For the moment, let me suggest that you may have just made the most feminist post of your entire blogging career. (You’ll doubtless be nonplussed).

  17. Adam Greenwood on May 25, 2006 at 12:45 pm

    One hopes, Kaimi. I’ll wait for your longer post. But I think you might be disappointed to find that I would still be against aborting girl babies because they were girls even if it could somehow be proved that girl babies weren’t as smart or as strong or as sensible or as economically useful or as spiritual and so on as boy babies.

  18. danithew on May 25, 2006 at 12:46 pm

    Adam, just in case you think I’m utterly pro-choice, I’m not. I believe in the LDS Church’s stated acceptable exceptions … otherwise I’m basically opposed to abortion.

  19. Kaimi Wenger on May 25, 2006 at 12:47 pm

    The clearest examples of abortion of women take place in China and India, where the combination of access to abortion, knowledge about the fetus, and strongly antifeminist social norms that devalue women, creates an environment in which large numbers of girl babies are aborted.

    Once again, we’re on the question of individual decisions versus eugenics.

    For each individual family, the decision to abort a girl baby may be the one that creates the least trouble. Girl babies are expensive, less socially desirable, and so forth. A family may _really_ want a boy; the prospect of having a girl may cause all manner of anguish. Should that factor into their decision?

    There are a number of counter arguments.

    Abortion of girl babies sends a terrible message. It reinforces antifeminist ideas about women’s place. It is, frankly, quite possibly the most antifeminist thing anyone could ever do. The message it sends is chilling — women are worth so little that they might as well not even be born. And even those girl babies born are then born into a social framework that reinforces their inferior status.

    It also creates a very harmful social environment, one where men outnumber women in such degree that crime and social unrest are likely by-products.

    What’s the take-away, for a liberal? I’m not sure. I think that Adam is right in his implication, that there are a number of people who find aborting Downs babies acceptable in individual cases, but who disagree on aborting girl babies. The issue is complicated, and I’m not sure about the answer. But there are real issues there, that Adam (in his own inimitable way) has highlighted.

  20. Jack on May 25, 2006 at 12:56 pm

    Oh the irony–that abortion has become antifeminist.

  21. Adam Greenwood on May 25, 2006 at 12:57 pm

    I would add, Kaimi, that in countries with dowries and no welfare for the old, having girl babies can be a drain economically. Also, even if a woman might want a girl baby herself, she could face lots of pressure from relatives. But I’d still think its wrong.

  22. Lynnette on May 25, 2006 at 1:42 pm

    Re #7,

    I seriously question whether making absolutist statements like this serves much of a useful purpose.

    I couldn’t have said it better myself. ;-)

  23. Adam Greenwood on May 25, 2006 at 2:18 pm

    Lynette, that’s appalling. Seriously.

  24. Lynnette on May 25, 2006 at 2:30 pm

    Umm . . . gst’s parody quoted that particular comment of mine from the other thread, and I was attempting to lightheartedly and a bit self-deprecatingly affirm that my position was the same in both cases (as you’d inquired there about my views here). Apologies if the attempt at humor fell a bit flat.

  25. Adam Greenwood on May 25, 2006 at 2:36 pm

    “affirm that my position was the same in both cases”

    That’s what I found appalling.

  26. Lynnette on May 25, 2006 at 2:47 pm

    Fair enough. I think we’ve already established that we differ about the optimal way to discuss the issue (though I suspect that we might not be substantively that far apart.)

  27. Adam Greenwood on May 25, 2006 at 2:59 pm

    All right. Fair enough back at you.

  28. Ivan Wolfe on May 25, 2006 at 3:06 pm

    This post (and the previous one by the same poster) has made Adam G. my favorite Bloggernacle poster.

    Keep up the good work. I have noting substantive to add, other than agree with others to say that the narrow exceptions given in the church’s stance does not equal carte blanche (or however you spell that) to abort whenever they want.

    But debates like this are usually pointless. People have conflicting loyalties, and clearly in this issue, some people (pointing at no one in particular) have decided their political loyalties trump their religous loyalties.

  29. APJ on May 25, 2006 at 3:47 pm

    Adam, I’m not danithew, but since you asked (comment 14):

    It is wicked to kill an unborn baby solely because one fears that the baby may become a narrow-minded person who makes unnecessarily inflammatory and insensitive comments on a blog. (I included ‘solely’ to cover my bases; this allows the baby to still be killed if the pregnancy was because of rape or incest).

  30. Adam Greenwood on May 25, 2006 at 3:53 pm

    That may be a moral principle dictated by your self-interest, but I still thinks it right.

  31. Diebold on May 25, 2006 at 11:53 pm

    Could someone explain to me what happens to families that don’t abort female fetus’s?

  32. Bookslinger on May 26, 2006 at 2:58 pm

    In China they currently have a 1-child policy dictated by their government. As I understand it, those engaged in agriculture in rural areas can sometimes get a waiver to have a second child.

    In China, the responsibility for taking care of aged parents traditionally has rested on the sons.

    Many Chinese couples have feared that if they have a daughter, then there will be no one to take care of them, because their daughter’s husband will want to take care of his parents first. And because their daughter’s husband will be an only child also, he will have no siblings with whom to share the costs of taking care of his elderly parent, and therefore he will not want to take care of her parents too.

    Since the majority of the Chinese can’t (or haven’t been) able to afford prenatal diagnostics and abortions, the sex-selection of children has been mainly through infanticide rather than abortion.

    In India, they don’t have an official one-child policy, but daughters are a heavy financial burden because parents are expected to provide a large dowry. Hopefully, sex selection will eventually be a self-correcting phenomenon there, because as the “supply” of women is reduced, the competition among men for wives will hopefully do away with the demand for a dowry.

    (Excuse me for adding the following light-hearted tidbit on this gruesome thread. I picked up a bilingual Hindi/English newspaper at an Indian restaurant or market once. The ads of men looking for wives, and families looking for husbands for their daughters, were a bit funny, especially compared to American style dating (women seeking men, men seeking women etc.) ads. After I got over the initial shock of how different it was from our culture, I considered it, and the ads started to make sense.)

    We can now go back to our discussion of abortion and infanticide, which doesn’t make sense.

  33. Bookslinger on May 26, 2006 at 3:09 pm

    I forgot one gruesome item. There are varying reports about what is done when a couple (or woman) has a living child, and then becomes pregnant. I’ve read at various times:
    1. The “official” Chinese gov’t position is that the parents are “fined heavily.”
    2. there have been reports of women coerced into abortions
    3. there have been reports of forced abortions.
    4. there have been reports of infanticide of the 2nd child, either by the parents, or by the doctor or midwife.

  34. Jeff Day on May 27, 2006 at 6:30 am

    People talk about exceptions approved by “the Brethren”. I don’t think that is true. I’ve read these guidelines and they ask the would-be mother to counsel with her Bishop and pray to God about it! This should be enough to allow them to get a resounding response of No, from God if not from the Bishop. The “exceptions” listed are an item of political purpose, so we can say “Look here, see, you aren’t going to hell” by pointing out the list after the fact. Everyone knows God condemns murder, and when the last line is talk to God about it, guess what the answer will be?

  35. Tatiana on May 27, 2006 at 10:41 am

    I feel it’s very sad that we can’t seem to discuss this issue respectfully and lovingly here. I’m sorry if I’ve contributed to the contention with my tendency to speak with finality, as though the matter is settled now that I’ve pronounced upon it.

    I agree with Seth R. I feel that any abortion is a tragedy and an ugly sad thing, but I believe that sometimes it’s the least tragic option we’re given, and I believe strongly that nobody can decide for someone else. My friend and her family are one illustration of that.

    I feel we would have much stronger moral ground from which to ask people not to have abortions if we did a better job taking care of the unwanted children that are here already. Why, if we want to decrease the number of abortions, would we not make birth control and sex education freely available? Why would we not have medical care and prenatal care available to those who would give up their babies for adoption to loving families eagerly waiting for them? I’m so glad for everything the church does along those lines.

    What you do when you make abortion illegal without providing any alternative is to take the last remaining bad choice away from someone in a desperate situation. It’s not true that all abortions are done for the convenience of rich lazy people who didn’t bother to use birth control. Often it’s simply desperate people doing their best in bad situations.

    Another huge thing the church does to help prevent abortions is teaching families what they need to be strong and healthy enough to raise children who are wanted and loved and well cared for. Things like sound family finances, good nutrition, the word of wisdom, and all the lessons about love and reverence in the home. When I read these lessons, and when I see the strong and loving Mormon families that I know, I sometimes yearn with a deep ache for all that to become part of my family, for it to have been there when I was growing up, the unconditional love, support, and acceptance, instead of the abuse.

    I think it might help if we focus on all that stuff more often, that I think we all agree on, and leave aside, sometimes , the issues that bring such contention here.

    The church and the restored gospel have come into my life, and one by one, they’ve taught me how to quit spending my energies in negative, destructive ways, and channel it instead into growth, health, peace, and happiness. The contention we get into here is another of the negative destructive uses of our energy. I think one of the most important functions of the bloggernacle is to teach us all how to rechannel that into the positive.

  36. Tatiana on May 27, 2006 at 10:53 am

    Like, for every subject that we argue about, we could actually join together and do something that all sides agree would make the situation better. Like for every abortion argument, we could donate money or volunteer time for some good cause that has to do with family services. One that both sides feel good about.

    Does anyone else want to do that? I feel that we should do more than talk, here. I want to know we’ve accomplished something. We’ve been given so many gifts, those of us who post here, of intelligence, wealth (relative to most of the world), and knowledge. Surely much is expected of us.

  37. jjohnsen on May 27, 2006 at 7:17 pm

    “People talk about exceptions approved by “the Brethrenâ€?. I don’t think that is true. I’ve read these guidelines and they ask the would-be mother to counsel with her Bishop and pray to God about it! This should be enough to allow them to get a resounding response of No, from God if not from the Bishop. The “exceptionsâ€? listed are an item of political purpose, so we can say “Look here, see, you aren’t going to hellâ€? by pointing out the list after the fact. Everyone knows God condemns murder, and when the last line is talk to God about it, guess what the answer will be?”

    I know a couple that were told yes by God and a Stake President. I don’t know any specifics, but they must have had a good reason for God to do something different than what you’ve said he will do.

  38. Jeff Day on June 29, 2006 at 2:24 pm

    jjohnsen, I appreciate your counter-example. Nephi was told to kill a man, too. You are right, God can sometimes give the opposite but the problem is: Babies are Innocent! And there is sufficient ability to give the baby a loving home and healthy life even if neither parent is able to take care of it … The only righteous exception listed, is if the baby has birth defects to the point that it would not live anyway, or if it would cause the mother’s death to have the baby. Therefore, unless the example you have is that righteous exception (intended to preserve life by abortion, and reduce suffering caused by a baby destined so quickly to die anyway, and even this last one is somewhat questionable), I refuse to believe God would tell them Yes. I think it very likely that a Stake President told them Yes, that they believe the Stake President and through their blind faith (and own undesire to deal with the baby) determined that God had told them Yes. I’m sorry, but I cannot justify deliberate and entirely unnecessary murder of an innocent human being.


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