In a recent post, we discussed the cultural components involved in the developing Indian trend of financially middle- and upper-class elderly women giving birth through IVF. I ended that post with the statement “I honestly can’t imagine living in such a culture. “
I’ve read a few things since that only intensify my revulsion.
The life expectancy of a child born in India in 2008 is <64 years. The life expectancy for a child born in the entire world in 2008 is <70 years. Further manipulation of the page will show that all of the Western European countries life expectancy for a child born in 2008 range from 78 to 82.
In the manipulated chart, as shown below, the bottom line is India, the next line up is the entire world, and the rest are the clustering of the Western European nations.
In a country so overcrowded and slum-filled that large swaths of urbanites don’t have clean water or electricity, with such under-developed infrustructure that people sit in traffic for four hours one way, with a birthrate (22.22/1000 vs. the US‘ 14/1000 in 2008) and infant mortality rate (currently 52/1000 vs the US’ 7/1000) so high that poor couples are being paid to delay childbirth and train-rage incidents involve tossing two year olds to their deaths, a dowry expectation that is such a crippling expense that a female child is considered an insufferable burden, and a strict social (but illegal) caste system that, for the most part, prevents social and financial mobility . . .
How have the women in this society not risen up en masse against the pressures to selectively abort female fetuses and to continue bearing children into their dotage, whatever the means, because of the need for male heirs?
I used to think that India was a civilized democracy. I’m no so sure about the “civilized” part anymore.