Knowing Your Baby’s Gender…Too Early

Over the years, I’ve learned of many reasons to have babies:

1. a loving, married couple decide to begin or grow their family.
2. an unloving couple figure a baby will save the day and their marriage
 (how do no sleep and ’round the clock feedings do that?)
3. some girls think that having a baby will make the boy love them.
4. some boys think getting a girl or girls pregnant is a sign of manhood.
5. some loving couples get surprised.
6. some folks make a baby in order to use the new baby’s blood or bone
 marrow to save an existing child with a serious illness.
7. some unmarried women make babies in order to feel “fulfilled”

 ….and the list goes on.

What’s more worrisome than numbers 2-7 above is a new test to reveal the gender of a fetus in early pregnancy.  The American-designed IntelliGender test kit (which can be used from 8 weeks after conception – that’s two months) went on sale in Australia last month.  They’ll sell for about $125.

Since the kits do not test pregnancy, they don’t require state approval under the New Zealand Medicines Act.  To use the new kit, the company says that a pregnant woman needs to mix her urine with the kit’s chemicals in the supplied container.  If it turns green or black, the fetus is a boy; if it turns orange or yellow, it’s a girl.  It’s purported to be 90% accurate, but no one has revealed the science of how this test works.

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and I are worried about what the test might lead to.  “The concern we would have is that people would then terminate pregnancies on the grounds of sex selection,” said college president Dr. Ted Weaver.  A spokesperson for the company suggests that it is unlikely that abortions would follow a test with only 90% accuracy.  In fact, he said he’d be “amazed.”  Then what is the test for?

Gee, he pointed out, for hundreds of dollars more, the woman intent on sex-selection abortions could pay for amniocentesis, or she could wait until she’s 5 months pregnant and have a state-funded ultrasound. 

Is he kidding?  Pay more money?  Wait till more than half the pregnancy is under way?

This kit is FOR the purpose of sex-selection abortions.  Just remember:  ten percent of the time, you’ll abort – kill – the wrong (at least according to your desires) baby, and there is no guarantee that the next 10 times you try to get pregnant that the same thing won’t happen.

But don’t worry…be happy.  Eventually, you could probably get the gender of baby you desire.  I just hope your baby is understanding (once he or she grows up), and grateful that you terminated so many of his or her siblings to get to him.  And I hope he lives up to your expectations.  I wouldn’t want you to be disappointed that he or she just doesn’t have the personality, looks or smarts to justify what you did.