Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Choosing sex of children: repugnant in Britain but not in U.S.

The Times reports: US clinic offers British couples the chance to choose the sex of their child

"A new clinic in Manhattan is appealing to British couples who want to pick the sex of their next child — a process that is banned in the United Kingdom.
Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), which can reveal the sex of an embryo, is prohibited in Britain except when it is used to screen for genetic diseases.
The United States relaxed its regulations on sex selection in 2001 and American medical centres report interest from British patients who find out about their “family balancing” services through online advertisements. "
...
"As recent healthcare debates show, many Americans balk at government involvement in medicine. Robert Brzyski, chairman of the ethics committee at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, said: “The tradition in the US has been to not interfere with the reproductive choices of American citizens.” "
...
"Although evidence suggests that British patients tend to pick sons and daughters in roughly even numbers, most US clinics will treat only those parents who already have a child of the other sex. "
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"David Karabinus, a director at the Virginia institute, believes that elective sex selection will eventually be seen as just another form of reproductive medicine. “Just as there was an overreaction about IVF, there will be a gradual acceptance as we prove it’s safe. It’s there if people want it.” "

1 comment:

dWj said...

I have read that, west of Delhi, there are a lot of small towns with very little in the way of health facilities, certainly by western standards, except that every one has an ultrasound machine and the facilities for performing sex-selective abortions.

I get the impression that there are significant numbers of Americans who find these practices repugnant, but it's apparently not enough to shut down the practice altogether.