January 20, 2012

Canadians consider banning prenatal gender information

Now here's a piece of bio-legislation that's a complete non-starter in my opinion: Rajendra Kale, interim editor of the Canadian Medical Association Journal, has called for a ban on disclosing the sex of a fetus until 30 weeks, at which point it is difficult to obtain an abortion. The idea is to prevent Canadian parents from engaging in gender selection. The fear is that boys will be favoured over girls, causing a gender imbalance.

Aside from this being a gross violation of reproductive rights, this also flies in the face of actual experience. While there's no question that some ethnicities practice sex selection in Canada (namely Canadians of Sikh, Hindu and Chinese descent), far more Canadians would use the procedure for family balancing purposes. Moreover, if anything, the latest word is that Canadian couples are favouring girls over boys.

And as a recent Globe & Mail article noted:
“You may disagree or feel uncomfortable with the practice but people who practise family balancing are not evil or nefarious,” said Tim Caulfield, the Canada Research Chair in Health Law and Policy at the University of Alberta in Edmonton.

He stressed that he is not endorsing sex selection, just underscoring that it is a complex issue with many nuances.
Read more.

1 comment:

ZarPaulus said...

"Family balancing".

I'd think it would less risky to use IVF if having the idealized one boy one girl family is that important.