Monday, May 7, 2007

Home Gender Test Will Lead to Sex-Selection Abortion, Experts Warn

New test called “very dangerous” by UK charity spokeman

By Gudrun Schultz

LONDON, United Kingdom, May 7, 2007 ( - A new DNA test that parents can use at home to determine the sex of their unborn child in the early weeks of pregnancy is being condemned as a sex-selection abortion tool by concerned pro-life leaders and medical professionals.

Available for sale on the Internet by DNA Worldwide, the Pink or Blue Early Test Kit tests the blood of the mother to check for the male Y chromosome in the unborn baby’s DNA, present in the mother for the first six weeks of pregnancy. Pregnant women use the kit to prick their finger and obtain a small blood sample, which is sent to a lab and analyzed by technicians. The test is claimed to be 98 percent accurate.

Prior to the new test, parents-to-be had to wait until 20 weeks gestation before an ultrasound could pick up the gender of the baby. Abortion on demand is legal in the UK up until the 24th week, limiting the number of women who could obtain an abortion based on the gender of their child.

Michaela Aston, with the charity LIFE, told the Sun Online the new test is “very dangerous.”

“It could lead to babies being abortion simply for being the ‘wrong’ sex.”

Julia Millington, with the Pro-Life Alliance, said, “There is a real risk that some people would choose to abort babies of a certain gender.”

Sex selection abortion has become a massive problem in Asia, with China and India suffering a serious imbalance in the ratio of boys to girls--cultural preferences for boy children has led to the wide-scale abortion of girl babies. Demographic experts estimate the number of “missing” girls worldwide to be about 200 million.

The problem is not limited to the East, however. Recent reports have shown a growing discrepancy in the boy-to-girl ratio among Asian ethnic communities in Western nations. A report in Canada’s Western Standard alerted Canadian’s to the existence of sex-selection abortion in Chinese and Indian communities in British Columbia and in Ontario in the Toronto region.

The growing incidence of the practice in the UK, with its large Asian immigrant communitites, is evidenced by several hospitals’ refusal to reveal gender information from pre-born scans.

“That hospitals adopt this policy shows it is already a real problem,” Millington told the Sun. “Abortion for gender does not fall within the terms of UK abortion law.”

Dr. Carol Cooper, writing for the Sun, also said she fears the early gender test will lead to abortions “just because the baby is the ‘wrong’ sex.”

“[Y]ou have to ask yourself why parents need this test. You don’t have to decorate the nursery or buy baby-grows when six weeks pregnant. But there’s still plenty of time to consider abortion. Those with the money can have this test and have the girl or boy they want. Those without money have to leave it to nature.”

It costs parents about £4,000 to have the gender-determination test done.

See related LifeSiteNews coverage:

7,000 Unborn Girls Die From Sex-Selection Abortion Daily in India

Internal Hospital Memo Provides Evidence of Sex-Selective Abortion in Canada