Australia’s New Gender Test Kit Prompts Worries of Sex-Selection Abortions

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 11, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Australia’s New Gender Test Kit Prompts Worries of Sex-Selection Abortions

by Steven Ertelt Editor
May 11
, 2009

Canberra, Australia ( — Pharmacies in Australia are selling a new kit today that claims to be able to detect the gender of an unborn child when used. The test is prompting worries for pro-life advocates on the island nation that it will be used to determine whether an unborn baby is a girl and then parents will have sex-selection abortions.

IntelliGender, which appears to be the first of its kind in Australia, will be sold at pharmacies across the country.

The test kit makers claim the test offers a 90 percent accuracy rate in determining the gender of the baby. Sold in the United States since 2006, the test takes 10 minutes and supposedly identifies a "confidential element" found in the hormones of a pregnant woman when she is carrying a girl.

Mothers carrying a boy baby would not have the element present, and the test would reveal the results in a similar manner to a pregnancy test by using urine. It reportedly reveals the sex of the baby as early as seven to nine weeks into pregnancy.

Ted Weaver, the president of the Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, told the Sunday Telegraph he doesn’t think such a test can discern whether a mother will have a boy or girl.

"We’re all about women having choices, but we want the choices to be valid," Weaver said. "The concern we would have is that people would then terminate pregnancies on the grounds of sex selection."

Jim Wallace, the head of the Australian Christian Lobby, told the newspaper the product should be banned because it would prompt gender-selection abortions.

"That we would allow a product that would allow eugenics to be practiced and started in the home is just unbelievable," he said.

Tasmania’s Human Life Protection Society spokesman Noel Roberts, also fears the test kit will be misused.

"A pregnant woman could use the result of an IntelliGender test . . . to seek an abortion," he told the Mercury newspaper. "To destroy a human individual solely because it is not of the desired sex is particularly offensive."

"Unfortunately, the high abortion rate in Australia indicates that some people may use the test to achieve an infant of the desired sex rather than accepting the child that is conceived," he added.

The test kit costs $95 and national distributor Early Image is marketing the product to Australian pharmacies.

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