New York City, N.Y., Oct 11, 2016 / 03:57 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Today is International Day of the Girl Child, declared by the United Nations as a day to raise awareness of programs and services that are needed to empower girls around the world, particularly in the areas of health, safety, education, and rights. But millions of girls won’t experience this day, because their right to be born was never acknowledged.
That’s what Reggie Littlejohn, president of advocacy group Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, said in her message about the International Day of the Girl Child. An estimated 200 million girls in the countries of India and China, where male children are valued more than female children, have fallen victim to sex-selective abortions.
“The message of sex-selective abortion is that girls and women do not deserve to live. The selective elimination of 200 million women demands the passionate outrage of the women’s movement. It should be the number one priority of the international women’s movement,” Littlejohn said in a message marking the day.
Sex-selective abortions are not just limited to underdeveloped countries — it is a persistent problem around the world, including in the United States. A study released by the Charlotte Lozier Institute, the research arm of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, analyzed U.S. census data from 2000 and found that third births in families of foreign-born Chinese, Indians, and Koreans in the U.S. who already had two daughters displayed a ratio of 151 boys to 100 girls — an extreme male-biased ratio. The normal ratio for boys to girls is 103 to 106 per 100. But the situation is especially dire in China, where families were asked to limit their offspring to just one child since 1980. Many families who desired male offspring to carry on the family name aborted female children in hopes of bearing a son. The policy was only recently changed to a two-child policy in October 2015, but the perception that males are more valuable continues.
That’s why Women’s Rights Without Frontiers launched their “Save a Girl” Campaign in China, which rescued hundreds of baby girls from gendercide and spared their mothers from forced or coerced abortions. The campaign offers struggling mothers a monthly stipend for a year to help with expenses as they care for their newborn girls.
In her message, Littlejohn described the story of Lian, a little girl who was saved through the campaign. Her mother, who lived in a rural village in China and was already helping with medical expenses for other family members, was told when she found out she was pregnant that it was not a good time for the family to have a baby. When she found out her baby was a girl, the pressure to abort increased. Lian’s mother did not want an abortion, and reached out to Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, who sent a fieldworker to her home to help.
“(The fieldworker) told Lian’s mother that girls are just as precious as boys. She offered Lian’s mother a monthly stipend for a year to empower her to keep her daughter,” Littlejohn recalled. “Lian’s mother gratefully accepted our offer of help. She gave birth to Lian, a beautiful and healthy baby girl, and she is delighted with her new daughter. Lian’s mother told our fieldworker that, without our help, she ‘would have no chance to see her daughter, who now makes her so happy.’”
On the International Day of the Girl Child, Littlejohn asks: “In honor of the International Day of the Girl Child, won’t you help us save more girls like Lian? So far, we have saved more than 200 girls, and yet there are millions more who are being aborted and abandoned just because they are girls. Each one of these girls is infinitely precious.”
Donations to the campaign can be made here. Women’s Rights Without Frontiers also works to help combat a host of issues that constitute violence against women, including forced abortion and sterilization, female suicide and sexual suicide.