Sex selection: Consumer right or violence against women?

Posted by Marcy Darnovsky February 27, 2008
Biopolitical Times
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Is the main problem with sex selection that do-it-yourself kits for testing fetal sex aren't as accurate as their makers claim?

From this point of view, the issue is one of consumer choice and rights. That's how it's portrayed in a recent Los Angeles Times article about a federal lawsuit filed by more than 100 women against one of the several makers of such sex selection tests.

Or is sex selection a pressing social issue? That's how it's understood in much of the world. At the United Nations, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has just announced that opposition to sex selection - which he describes as denying "countless" women "the right even to exist" - is part of a new 15-year UN campaign to end violence against women.

The UN has been raising alarms about sex selection since 1995. In a short video called Girls Gone Missing, the UN Population Fund says it "undermin[es] demographic balance and the human rights of women and girls" and explores its "long-term negative consequences for social, economic and gender parity."

Previously on Biopolitical Times: