May 26, 2018
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Sex-selected abortion

From wire reports

Refusing a woman information about the sex of her fetus is the wrong way for Canada to try to stop a trend toward sex-selected abortions — if in fact there is such a trend.

But this is precisely the approach urged by Rajendra Kale, interim editor of the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Citing research that suggests Asian immigrants to Canada abort female fetuses, hoping instead to conceive a boy, Kale has called for a ban on disclosing the sex of the fetus until 30 weeks into a pregnancy. At that point, abortions are harder to obtain.

But the problem behind sex-selected abortions is cultural, and the solution to it must also be cultural. Changing beliefs that denigrate the worth of women and girls is a difficult proposition, but it is the only approach worth trying. Manipulating information so that people can’t act on such belief is an effort that is doomed to fail.

Canada places equal value on men and women. It is opposed to practices such as sex-selected abortion. We need to make sure that this message is heard by all Canadians.

Women being coerced to abort is a real problem. If we want an end to sex-selected abortion, helping women resist pressure from their families is a far better place to start.

The Montreal Gazette (Jan. 19)

Genuine outrage

Brutality is a fact of war. America’s enemies have long practiced it, and so in some instances have our troops. None of that makes it any easier to stomach, and so U.S. officials’ outrage over an incident in Afghanistan that allegedly involved Camp Lejeune-based Marines is genuine.

Urinating on Taliban corpses — if what a video purports to show is in fact the case — violates military rules and legal codes. If the allegations prove out, punishments are in order — something that sets the U.S. military above many of its foes.

Bad conduct by our troops also complicates the U.S. mission in the entire region. Yes, that mission involves killing the enemy. But it also means gaining trust and respect among the Muslim population. That is why our defense secretary and the secretary of state spoke out so quickly and strongly, and why our troops must keep the big picture — not gloating videos — always in mind.

The News & Observer of Raleigh (Jan. 19)

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