by Dr. Hsien-Hsien Lei
Posted May 12, 2007 in DNA Testing
DNA tests like the Early Baby Gender Mentor and Pink or Blue may soon be banned in Australia. The mail order kit is prompting fears that parents may use it to decide whether they should get elective abortion.
I have to say, speaking as a citizen rather than as a health minister, I tend to view kids should be regarded as a gift to be cherished rather than as a commodity.
Abortion is tragic and I think abortion for sex selection is something that should be avoided.
It doesn’t strike me as something that people ought to be doing.
Putting aside the controversy of abortion, up till now, parents used prenatal ultrasounds to determine the sex with girl fetuses aborted far more often. As in India where elective abortion for sex selection continues unabated, “family balancing” without a history of sex-linked hereditary disease was outlawed in Australia two years ago. But parents who are determined to have a boy or girl will always find some way of hedging the bet.
In a NEWS.com.au article, one family with five boys who “desperately want a baby daughter” said:
If the Government had not banned the IVF technology, which costs lots of money, only people who wanted it would use it.
And how many people would that be? Sex selection in the petri dish, in the womb, or soon after birth happens every day. Will banning a DNA test put a stop to the practice?
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