U.S. Parents Choosing Babies' Sex

February 26, 2008 05:16 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) is being used by parents to choose the sex of their child. Not everyone approves.

30-Second Summary

PGD was initially created as a way to distinguish healthy embryos from those predisposed to genetic diseases during in vitro fertilization.

By identifying genetic defects in embryos, the process allows prospective parents to select only healthy embryos to be implanted in the uterus.

Now PGD has a new use, enabling parents to choose the sex of their child.

However, Dr. Mark Hughes, a pioneer in the process, does not believe PGD should be used for sex selection.

“I went into science and into medicine to diagnose and treat and hopefully cure disease, and the last time I checked your gender wasn’t a disease,” he told ABC News

Yet Dr. Jeffrey Steinberg, who offers PGD sex selection, told Florida television station WFTV that just as people were hesitant about in vitro fertilization 30 years ago, so PGD seems “scary and new.”

But in time people will come to accept sex selection, Steinberg says. “We shouldn't impose ourselves on other people's decisions. If they've got a problem with it, stay away from it.”

Although sex selection for non-medical reasons is legal in the United States, it is illegal in a number of countries, such as China, Britain, Germany, Italy and Canada.

Headline Link: ‘Baby Quest! Boy Or Girl—You Decide’

Background: Couples who have used PGD, home-prenatal sex tests and the UN

Related Topics: Sex selection in China and India and a Down syndrome screening test

Reference: PGD


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