In a little over a decade, the number of foreign children adopted by Spanish parents has plunged from 5,541 to 531, representing a drop of more than 90%.
The effects of the economic crisis, the refusal by some countries to...
Sex selection is taking place not just in countries in Asia, but it's spreading around the world. And, unfortunately, the United States has become a destination for people who want to escape policies in their own countries that restrict the use of some technologies for what is called 'social sex selection' – sex selection because that's what the parents prefer.Dr. Sunita Puri has examined sex-selective practices among South Asian families living in the United States, as well as the divergent perspectives of American primary care physicians and sex selection providers about the procedure. Additionally, Mara Hvistendahl's recent book Unnatural Selection provides an unprecedented examination of the severe and globe-spanning consequences of sex selection. Hvistendahl estimates that 160 million girls have gone "missing" because of sex selection due to son preference, largely in China and South Asia. But sex selection also appears to be worsening in a number of regions around the world where development, modernization and access to affordable sex determination technologies are on the rise.
On a national scale, normalizing the offer of NIPD to all pregnant women can create significant pressure on women both to test their fetus and terminate affected fetuses, as the information is available via a risk free medium. This pressure can create a loop-back effect, such that the ease of testing and termination create disapproval for and reduction in support of women with disabled children, which, in turn, may increase the pressure to test.
As more genomic information becomes available at early stages of pregnancy, will parents select for non-medical traits like eye color, skin tone, height, or athletic ability? In such a scenario, one would decide which baby to keep based on whether or not it carries certain preferable and socially valued traits. How would this differ from past eugenic endeavors, which have led to nothing but catastrophe?
Public deliberation and attention from reproductive justice and other civil society advocates are sorely needed if we are to eschew NIPD's potential to exacerbate social discrimination and inequality, and to trivialize fraught questions around testing and sex and trait-selective abortion. And we have to do this while we ardently defend women's right to choose to terminate a pregnancy. The prospect of abusing technology and reproductive freedom to design future generations is a threat to both women's and children's rights and the common good.
Previously on Biopolitical Times: