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About Sex Selection



Frequently Asked Questions



Sex selection means choosing the sex of a future child, either before or after conception. In most of the world, it is used to promote the birth of boys, which exacerbates discrimination against girls and women. Prenatal screening followed by sex-selective abortion is still the primary means of ensuring sons, and has created lopsided sex ratios in countries such as India and China. New technologies such as sperm sorting and preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), which provide additional ways to select sex, are being openly promoted in the United States.

Sex selection raises concerns about exacerbating sex discrimination and violence against women, and normalizing the "selection" and "design" of children. The use and marketing of sex selection technologies are largely unregulated in the United States. Although the ongoing attacks on abortion rights complicate efforts to address even pre-pregnancy methods, a number of countries—including Canada, Germany, and the United Kingdom—prohibit "social" sex selection without affecting abortion rights.



In Thailand, Baby Gender Selection Loophole Draws China, HK Women to IVF Clinicsby Byron Kaye and Khettiya JittapongReutersJuly 15th, 2014A Hong Kong mother and her husband wanted a second child. To make sure it would be a boy, they paid $9,000 and flew to Thailand, the last place in Asia where sex selection is legal.
China Approves DNA-Sequencing Devices to Detect Genetic Defects in Unborn Babiesby Angela MengSouth China Morning PostJuly 3rd, 2014Controversial testing products for prenatal detection of birth defects get the green light.
Brides For Sale: Vietnamese Women Trafficked to Chinaby Cat BartonAFPJune 25th, 2014Women from countries including Vietnam, North Korea, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar are being forced into marriages in China, where there is one of the worst gender imbalances in the world.
Report Debunks Conservative Case for Sex-Selection Abortion Bansby  Jessica Mason PiekloRH Reality CheckJune 4th, 2014The new report identifies six major inaccuracies commonly associated with legislation seeking to ban sex-selection abortions.
Danish Company Offers Gender Selectionby Alina ShronThe Copenhagen PostMay 15th, 2014Ads promise that parents can both choose their baby's sex and avoid it getting hereditary diseases, and that there is no waiting period for donor eggs.
Preference for Sons Hurts Mothersby Gayle Tzemach LemmonCouncil on Foreign RelationsMay 1st, 2014A recent paper released by the World Bank suggests that son preference could be doing more than skewing sex ratios in India: It may be partly responsible for driving high mortality rates seen among mothers in India whose first child is a girl.
Is it a Boy?by Eloise LyntonThe Harvard IndependentApril 4th, 2014Today, the use of PGD to select gender is a multi-million dollar enterprise. I would argue that prenatal gender selection is worrisome both from an ethical and societal standpoint.
South Dakota Governor Signs Sex-Selective Abortion Banby Teddy WilsonRH Reality CheckMarch 31st, 2014South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard signed a bill Wednesday to punish any physician in the state who is found to perform sex-selective abortions.
Abbott Launches Sweeping Review of IVF EthicsSunshine Coast Daily [Australia]March 17th, 2014The ethical rules governing the use of egg and sperm donations, embryos, surrogacy and sex selection for IVF patients could soon be overhauled, with a sweeping review underway.
Sex-Selective Abortion Bans Highlight Faultlines in the Reproductive Rights Movementby Eesha PanditRH Reality CheckMarch 12th, 2014The South Dakota bill that would ban “sex-selective” abortions is a means to an end — the end, of course, being banning all abortions.
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