When it comes to causes and issues they champion, few media outlets are more enthusiastic about abortion than The New York Times. In fact, when the High Court overturned Roe back in June of 2022, the publication’s editorial board decried the decision as “an insult to women and the judicial system.”
So imagine my surprise to see the paper’s Sameer Yasir, a reporter based in New Delhi, India, file a moving essay about Sunil Jaglan, a local father who has committed years of his life to banning prenatal testing.
In India, the world’s most populous nation, and one which has experienced tremendous economic progress, gender inequality remains deeply entrenched. In many households, especially in rural areas, girls are considered a social and financial burden whose parents still pay thousands of dollars in dowry gifts to a husband’s family after arranging a marriage.
Despite an official ban on prenatal sex testing, advertisements for the service were pasted on market walls and highways across Haryana, and aborting fetuses because they were female was common. Although there are some restrictions, legal abortion is widely available in India through the first 20 weeks of pregnancy.
As a way to further combat the sex-selective abortions, Mr. Jaglan leveraged his election to “Village Headman” to require all families to register a pregnancy within four weeks. Anyone who violated the law and pushed ahead with the testing faced the penalty of imprisonment. The program worked. The Times reports:
In four years, the sex ratio in the village improved from 37 girls/63 boys per hundred newborns to 51 girls/49 boys, according to government health records.
This model of reporting pregnancies was soon copied in other parts of Haryana — though without Mr. Jaglan’s contentious mandatory requirement.
The latest results of India’s national health survey show that the state has improved the sex-ratio balance to 926 women per 1,000 men in 2020-21, from 876 in 2015-16.
It seems the reporter and The New York Times are lauding Mr. Jaglan because they see his efforts as taking on the “patriarchy” and fighting to elevate girls to equal status of boys. They acknowledge Jagal takes this issue personally – he recalls being handed his own daughter after she was born by a nurse who was ashamed that she wasn’t delivering a boy. The reporter notes Jaglan will “do whatever he can to stamp out female feticide.”
Of course this is a very good thing, but one wonders why the Old Grey Lady doesn’t apply the same concern and standard to all “feticide” both in America and everywhere since half of all abortions in America kill girls.
Why are Mr. Jaglan’s efforts noble – but those of pro-lifers everywhere else an “insult” to women?
It would be comical if it weren’t so serious and deadly, but the Left’s illogical and blatant inconsistencies are once more on display.
We applaud Sunil Jaglan’s campaign to protect preborn life. We’d also encourage The New York Times to realize they can’t have it both ways. If this gentleman’s efforts are commendable in India, so is the work of the millions of pro-life champions in America and elsewhere who advocate for the rights of all preborn lives.
Photo from Shutterstock.