Imagine hearing some of the most exciting news of your life: A doctor tells you you're going to have your first baby. But then your doctor does an ultrasound — and says what have become the three deadliest words in the world: “It's a girl.”

In China, India and other parts of the world, those words are a death sentence for millions of unborn baby girls.

In both countries, part of the problem is a centuries-long cultural preference for boys, combined with coercive government policies. If the mother is pregnant with a girl, her family pressures her into aborting her daughter or abandoning her once she’s born. In China, the vicious one-child policy also plays a large role. If a woman becomes illegally pregnant with a second child, she is forcibly aborted, and even newborn babies are killed.  If a mother wants to save her baby’s life, she must go into hiding.

According to the United Nations, up to 200 million females are missing because of gendercide — victims of a systematic, methodical extermination of a gender. Incredibly, India and China eliminate more girls than are born in the U.S. every year. This has created a severe gender imbalance in the affected countries; to deal with it, women from other countries are kidnapped and forced into sexual slavery, or forced to live as wives to men who cannot find them in their own countries. Women forced to abort their babies often commit suicide.

To bring attention to this horrific problem, documentary filmmakers and human rights groups created a film titled It's a Girl. It tells the stories of women who are pressured to literally kill for a son, and of mothers who would do anything to save their daughters. It follows the lives of unwanted girls, who are abandoned and trafficked.

You can arrange a showing of this film in your home or church. Come to BreakPoint.org and we’ll link you to it. You can also directly help save the lives of baby girls in China and India by visiting the website of Women's Rights Without Frontiers. You'll find information under the heading of “End Gendercide — Save a Girl” campaign. This campaign will tell you how you can help fight government policies that target girls, and it allows you to donate funds to help mothers who are at risk for committing gendercide by aborting or abandoning their baby girls.

The campaign also helps women who are fleeing forced abortions. The founder of Womens' Rights Without Frontiers, Reggie Littlejohn, explains: “Once we learn of a woman who is pregnant with a girl and is being pressured to abort or eventually abandon her, or who is fleeing a forced abortion, one of our field workers contacts the woman and offers financial support of $20 a month for a year, if the woman will keep her daughter. In every case so far, the women have kept their daughters. They have been able to push back against husbands and mothers-in-law who want the woman to abort or abandon the girl by saying that this girl is bringing money into the family.”

In the ancient world, Christians were known for their compassion for abandoned babies, taking them into their homes and caring for them. You and I can do the same today by helping mothers in China and India save their daughters' lives, and provide them with food, a home and an education.

So that what should be the best news in the world — “You're going to have a baby” — doesn’t turn into the worst news in the world, simply because “it’s a girl.”

Eric Metaxas is a co-host of BreakPoint Radio and a best-selling author whose biographies, children's books, and popular apologetics have been translated into more than a dozen languages.

BreakPoint commentary airs each weekday on more than one thousand outlets with an estimated listening audience of one million people. BreakPoint provides a Christian perspective on today's news and trends via radio, interactive media, and print.

Publication date: November 13, 2012