[FOUNTAIN]‘Erasing’ our own future

Home > Opinion > Columns

print dictionary print

[FOUNTAIN]‘Erasing’ our own future

During the 1990s, an anti-abortion association in America launched an advertisement campaign in the form of questions and answers, as follows:
1. A teenage girl is pregnant. Her husband is not the father of the child.
2. A family has three children. The first child is blind, the second is deaf, and the third has Tuberculosis. The mother also has TB. Suddenly, she discovers she is pregnant again.
3. A preacher and his wife are living on the edge of poverty. They already have fourteen children. The mother is once again pregnant with their fifteenth child.
The pamphlet asks, “Would you consider abortion in these following situations?” If you answered “yes,” you would regret it. The resulting offspring follow in tiny letters: 1. Jesus; 2. Beethoven; 3. John Wesley, the famous Biblical scholar.
Bill Bennett, an anti-abortion radio host, once argued, “If you wanted to reduce crime... you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down.” The author of “Freakonomics,” Steven D. Levitt, supported this through statistics, writing that legalizing abortion in 1973 greatly reduced the birth of black babies who would have ten years later committed crimes and thus, the crime rate in the latter 1990s decreased drastically.
However, when it comes to the East, it’s a whole different story. A couple of days ago, Deutsche Presse Agentur reported on abortion in India. The reason why at least 10 million females were aborted during the past 20 years was because of a preference for sons. In India, where sons carry on the family name but daughters require a dowry to marry, the root for preferring sons is very deep.
The result is too depressing to ignore because this is not just someone else’s story. Korea’s abortion rate is estimated as 1.5 to 2 million per year, a number similar to that of America. Our abortion rate per population ranks top in the world. The reason why one life is “erased” every 20 seconds is also because people prefer sons.
The Family Health and Welfare Federation of Korea, which launched in 1961 as the Family Planning Association of Korea, recently changed its name to the Planned Population Federation of Korea. As the Family Planning Association, it was criticized for supporting abortion. But the world has changed now. Its initial slogan of “Stop at two and bring up them well” changed to “A well-raised daughter surpasses ten sons” in the 80s and has become “Papa! I don’t want to be your only child.” The next slogan could be “The life that you ‘erased’ today could have been another Beethoven or Madame Curie.”


by Yi Jung-jae

The writer is a deputy business news editor at the JoongAng Ilbo.

More in Columns

A new epicenter of social conflict

Lessons from a president

Tales of Chairman Lee

Chinese way of tackling challenges

Time to step up climate action

Log in to Twitter or Facebook account to connect
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
help-image Social comment?
lock icon

To write comments, please log in to one of the accounts.

Standards Board Policy (0/250자)

What’s Popular Now