Prosperity and Sex-Selection (and Language)

A very grim story, sent by the Jender-Parents: Apparently as people in India get wealthier, sex-selective abortion is on the rise. (The older, cheaper method of female infanticide is still going strong, too, as evidenced by a recent finding of 40 female foetus and baby skulls in a well.) This article serves as a reminder of how complicated things are. Increasing prosperity: Good. Increasing access to abortion: Good. But put these in an unjust context, and the effects may not be so good. This is why it’s vital to look at the total picture, as advocates of reproductive justice urge.

(At the risk (make that ‘certainty’) of being a pedant, I can’t help but notice that the BBC article also offers some interesting linguistic tidbits:

Even though it is illegal in India for a doctor to reveal the gender of an unborn child, the law is rarely enforced.

First, we’ve got the use of ‘gender’ where sex is clearly what is meant, then we get the use of ‘unborn child’ for foetus.)