Category archives: Life & Bioethics

Is China becoming the boys club?

by Jared Bridges

January 12, 2007

In the past, communist states were known for periodic shortages of things like eggs, milk, and toilet paper. However, the People’s Republic of China may have an even bigger problem on their hands — a shortage of girls. If officials’ predictions are correct, within 15 years there will be 30 million less women of marriageable age than men in the country.

The gender imbalance doesn’t appear to be due to growth of the “He-Man Woman Haters Club,” but to a rise in sex-selective abortions. The government’s encouragement of one-child per family has prompted a society with a traditional preference for sons to illegally abort girls.

As China has about a third of the world’s population, a gender imbalance like this will give rise to major problems not only for China, but the world. From the AP story:

The report predicted that by 2020 the imbalance would mean men of marriageable age especially those with low income or little education would find it difficult to find wives, resulting in possible social problems.

The problem is not just a rural issue, with the newborn gender imbalance also widening in cities. In the first 11 months of 2006, there were 109 boys born in Beijing for every 100 girls.

China Daily said one way to solve the problem would be to create a proper social security system so rural couples would not feel they needed a son to depend on when they get old.

Somehow a social security system doesn’t seem quite adequate an answer. Perhaps it’s time China revisits its population control polices before they lose their feminine side altogether!

The Great Stem Cell Error”

by David Christensen

December 22, 2006

I highly recommend reading “The Great Stem Cell Error,” an oped by Tom Bethell in The American Spectator. He makes some excellent points about the hype over embryonic stem cell research. I could summarize a few of the key points, but wont. Instead, read it!

Treating babies and teaching Iraqi doctors….

by David Christensen

December 21, 2006

This story about a Mumbai toddler treated by stem cell therapy provides some good news about a baby girl treated for a heart condition with her father’s blood stem cells.

I don’t know how accurate this story is, but it is consistent with the use of adult stem cells to treat patients for heart damage. The hospital mentioned, Frontier Lifeline Hospital, is focusing on cardiac care. In fact, according to this recent story, An invaluable exposure, Frontier Lifeline Hospital is working with Iraqi doctors and surgeons to help them get up to speed on newer techniques for treating heart damage. Iraqi doctors are struggling to treat heart trauma resulting from the war in Iraq, so some of them have gone for more training in India.

Sex-selection in India Increases

by David Christensen

December 19, 2006

The Associated Press reports that 7,000 fewer girls are born in India every day. The increased use of ultrasound in India has made sex-selection that much easier. The number of abortions of girls is staggering. Indian officials aren’t pleased:

Female feticide should be treated as a crime and not just a social evil, therefore stringent punishment and punitive action is required,” said Renuka Choudhury, India’s women and child development minister.

She’s correct. But why isn’t abortion of any child regardless of sex viewed as a form of feticide?

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