A test allowing parents to find out the sex of their baby after just seven weeks of pregnancy could impact much more than a nursery being painted pink or blue.
Some worry that the tests could lead to sex-selection abortions.
The simple blood test works by analyzing the unborn baby’s DNA in the mother’s blood. Studies found that the test is highly accurate as early as 7 weeks of pregnancy, LifeNews previously reported. It is noninvasive and is not risky to the baby’s health.
Whether its result could impact the baby’s life, however, is another story.
That sex-selection abortions occur is a widely known concern all across the globe. In countries like China and India, women are sometimes forced to abort their unborn baby girls. LifeNews previously reported that men outnumbered women in China by 33 million in 2014, due, in part, to sex-selection abortions and infanticide.
An Australian study released earlier this summer found that more than 1,000 unborn baby girls were missing from that country, suggesting that they had been targeted for abortions. Several American studies suggest the practice also is occurring here.
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Two young British mothers recently weighed in on the question of whether the sex-identifying test could lead to more abortions. The tests are widely available in the UK.
Kathryn Blundell, a mother of two, told The Daily Mail that she doesn’t see any good coming from the new tests.
“Yes, I’m talking about the grisly practice of terminating pregnancies because the baby is the ‘wrong’ flavor,” Blundell says. “Do we really want to reward people who lack the insight to see the value of both genders by giving them such a choice? Or create a world where one gender dominates?”
However, Julie Bell, also a mother of two, says knowing the baby’s sex could help more mothers connect with their unborn babies at earlier stages.
“You see, I found out the sex of my two children as early as I possibly could,” Bell says. “In fact, I think knowing the sex of your child is one of the most important milestones in pregnancy. It aids the bonding process between a mother-to-be and her baby.”
In the U.S., exact statistics and figures on how often healthy baby girls are aborted in favor of boys is not available, but anecdotal evidence as well as a number of studies show that these abortions are taking place.
Until the seven-week test came onto the market, sex-selection abortions tended to be late-term abortion procedures. Generally, women find out the sex of their baby via sonogram around 18 to 20 weeks.
Dozens of countries ban sex-selection abortions, including Australia, Canada, France, Germany, South Korea and the United Kingdom; but the U.S. as a whole does not.
Abortion advocacy groups such as Planned Parenthood and NARAL consistently fight state and national bills to end sex-selection abortions in the U.S. The investigative pro-life group Live Action, which has released videos exposing the abuses at the Planned Parenthood abortion business across the country, released a video in May 2012 showing a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in Austin, Texas encouraging a woman to get a sex-selection abortion.
Eight states – Illinois, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Arizona, North Dakota, South Dakota, Kansas and North Carolina – have enacted laws prohibiting sex-selection abortion. Abortion advocates stalled a bill to ban sex-selection abortions in Louisiana earlier this year.