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  • Doctors: Don’t Tell Sex of Fetus to Prevent Selective Abortion

    Doctors propose non-disclosure of sex in order to prevent selective abortion of female fetuses.
    Published Jan 17, 2012
  • ultrasoundIn countries where girls are the less preferred gender of children, it is no longer unusual to hear of parents having female fetuses aborted. When research was conducted in Canada and the U.S., it was found out that immigrants from China, India and Korea also opt to selectively abort daughters.

    Usually, pregnant women are told of their fetus’s sex between the 18th and 22nd week of gestation, to check for any abnormalities. But according to Dr. Rajendra Kale, interim editor-in-chief of the Canadian Medical Association Journal, doctors should wait at least until the fetus is 30 weeks old before disclosing the sex to the parents. This is in order to prevent an “unquestioned abortion”, called “sex selection”, due to the parent’s preferred gender…

    Commented Kale, “Female feticide happens in India and China by the millions, but it also happens in North America in numbers large enough to distort the male-to-female ratio in some ethnic groups.” Research shows that many couples with two daughters tend to undergo more female fetus abortions until they naturally conceive a boy for their third child.

    "What this means is that many couples who have two daughters and no son selectively get rid of female fetuses until they can ensure that their third-born child is a boy,” Kale explained.
    In addition, Kale also urges Canadian hospitals to ban abortions of fetuses before the seventh month of gestation.


    Other experts from the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) argue, though, that it would be unethical to keep such information from the parents. Said a 2007 committee report, “Because a patient is entitled to obtain personal medical information, including information about the sex of her fetus, it will sometimes be impossible for health care professionals to avoid unwitting participation in sex selection.”

    Despite this, however, Kale also defends that technically, knowing the child’s sex has no bearing on the mother or the fetus’s wellbeing or care, except of course, when sex-linked illnesses are involved. 


    January 16, 2012. “Don’t Tell Baby’s Sex to Prevent ‘Sex Selection’ Abortions, Doctor Says” livescience.com

    January 16, 2012. “Don’t disclose sex of fetus until 30 weeks: doctor” edmonton.ctv.ca 

    January 16, 2012. Michel Viatteau. “Keep sex of fetuses a secret to prevent selective abortion of girls: journal” nationalpost.com 

    January 17, 2012. “Campaign to stop women knowing the sex of baby until 30 weeks ‘to stop them aborting female foetuses’” dailymail.co.uk 

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    Photo by rbarenblat via flickr creative commons 

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