Accuracy in Media

In “Too Many Men,” its longform reporting piece from China and India, the Washington Post omitted any discussion about the morality of abortion as the taking of innocent human life and fails to interview any pro-life activists or experts that fight to prevent abortions, sex-selective or otherwise.

“Nothing like this has happened in human history,” the Post’s Simon Denyer and Annie Gowen reported. “A combination of cultural preferences, government decree and modern medical technology in the world’s two largest countries has created a gender imbalance on a continental scale. Men outnumber women by 70 million in China and India.”

By reporting on the negative impacts of sex-selective abortion, the Post takes a sympathetic tone toward the surplus young men unable to find wives and start families. But it offers no pro-life voices who provide an alternative cultural narrative to the widely accepted abortion norms in the developing world. Instead of providing a balanced presentation of pro-life thought, (thought that is common in the United States), that might help prevent these problems, The Washington Post focuses only on the problems associated with the developing world’s gender imbalance such as:

“Village life and mental health. Among men, loneliness and depression are widespread. Villages are emptying out. Men are learning to cook and perform other chores long relegated to women.

“Housing prices and savings rates. Bachelors are furiously building houses in China to attract wives, and prices are soaring. But otherwise they are not spending, and that in turn fuels China’s huge trade surplus. In India, there is the opposite effect: Because brides are scarce, families are under less pressure to save for expensive dowries.

“Human trafficking. Trafficking of brides is on the rise. Foreign women are being recruited and lured to China, effectively creating similar imbalances in China’s neighbors.

“Public safety. With the increase in men has come a surge in sexual crime in India and concerns about a rise in other crimes in both countries. Harassment of schoolgirls in India has in some towns sparked an effort to push back — but at a cost of restricting them to more protected lives.”

The Post does report that “The Indian government has tried to ban sex-selective diagnostic testing, but the practice remains widespread.” But the overall reporting neglects any questions around whether abortion itself, not merely sex-selective ones, is morally questionable.





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