Intelligender Test That Could Lead to Sex-Selection Abortions Heads to New Zealand
by Steven Ertelt
June 8, 2009
Wellington, New Zealand (LifeNews.com) — The Intelligender test kit that has prompted concerns that it could lead to an increase in the use of sex-selection abortions is headed to New Zealand. That’s after pharmacies in Australia began selling the kit, which claims to able to detect the gender of an unborn child when used, last month.
The test kit makers claim the test offers a 90 percent accuracy rate in determining the gender of the baby after eight weeks into the pregnancy.
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.
When a pregnant woman’s urine is mixed with the chemicals in the kit, it supposedly turns green or black to indicate a boy and orange or yellow to indicate a girl.
The New Zealand Herald reports that David Portnoy, managing director of Melbourne-based Early Image, which makes the controversial test, hopes to bring it to New Zealand within weeks.
Early Image is reportedly negotiating with Douglas Pharmaceuticals and API to put the test on pharmacy shelves in New Zealand.
That concerns both pro-life and medical groups.
"The concern we would have is that people would then terminate pregnancies on the grounds of sex selection," Dr. Ted Weaver, head of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said.
Bernard Moran, the head of the pro-life group Voice for Life, said he worries about sex-selection abortions, which are more common in Asian nations like China and India, becoming prevalent in New Zealand.
"Certain ethnic minorities here might be more prone to use it," he said.
Moran also said he is upset that the Intelligender test kit appears as if it will not need the approval of the Health Ministry’s Medsafe unit.
Portnoy dismissed the concerns about sex-selection abortions in some sectors of the New Zealand population or anywhere else.
"I would be amazed if anybody was to do anything so drastic based on a urine test that has a 90 per cent accuracy rate," he told the newspaper.
Weaver previously said he doesn’t think such a test, which costs $95, can discern whether a mother will have a boy or girl in the way an ultrasound or an amniocentesis can.
"We’re all about women having choices, but we want the choices to be valid," Weaver said.
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