A Final Note on Hvistendahl’s Incoherence

Prior to my summer blogging hiatus, I had posted a couple of entries on some responses to Mara Hvistendahl’s recent book on the social consequences of widespread sex-selection abortions in Asia. I ended up requesting the book from my local public library, and checked it out in mid-July. I couldn’t get past the prologue; it was dreadful. As Hvistendahl laid out her project in the prologue, it was hard not to detect something like a sadness for a great hope gone bad; a belief that abortion should have been not just a means for individual women to “gain con...

The tragedy is that they’re dead

Quote of the Day for June 27th, 2011: The New York Times’ Ross Douthat’s take on the Mara Hvistendahl book I posted on last Wednesday: This places many Western liberals, Hvistendahl included, in a distinctly uncomfortable position. Their own premises insist that the unborn aren’t human beings yet, and that the right to an abortion is nearly absolute. A self-proclaimed agnostic about when life begins, Hvistendahl insists that she hasn’t written “a book about death and killing.” But this leaves her struggling to define a victim for the crime th...

‘I want to abort because if this baby is born it will be a Gemini, but I want a Libra.’

Quote of the Day for Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011: Jonathan Last, in a review published at the Wall Street Journal Online of Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls and the Consequences of a World Full of Men, a recent book by feminist Mara Hvistendahl: Ms. Hvistendahl is particularly worried that the "right wing" or the "Christian right"—as she labels those whose politics differ from her own—will use sex-selective abortion as part of a wider war on abortion itself. She believes that something must be done about the purposeful a...