Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Quick hit: Pregnancy gender test about to reach NZ

From the Herald yesterday:
A new test to reveal the gender of a fetus in early pregnancy has sparked a row over whether it will lead to sex-selection abortions.

The American-designed IntelliGender test kit, which can be used from eight weeks after conception, went on sale in Australia last month. Its Australian distributor hopes to launch it in New Zealand within a fortnight...

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists is worried about what the test might lead to.

"The concern we would have is that people would then terminate pregnancies on the grounds of sex selection," said college president Dr Ted Weaver.

Anti-abortion group Voice for Life echoes this concern. Spokesman Bernard Moran said abortions for sex selection were a problem overseas and the test would facilitate this in New Zealand. "Certain ethnic minorities here might be more prone to use it."...

Mr Portnoy, responding to the concerns about sex-selection abortions based on the test, said, "I would be amazed if anybody was to do anything so drastic based on a urine test that has a 90 per cent accuracy rate."

If a woman was intent on that course, she could, for a few hundred dollars, have a much more accurate test, such as amniocentesis.

Women can also have a state-funded ultrasound scan at 18 to 20 weeks after conception, or earlier in some cases, and these can mostly determine the sex of the fetus.

Medsafe group manager Stewart Jessamine said that until the maker of IntelliGender stated how it worked, "none of us know much about it as to whether it's anything better than a guess".
I've snipped some bits out for length (including some guff from Voice for Life that I figured might derail the thread to other matters), and you can read the whole thing here.

Seems to me this is another way to make a ($125) buck(s) off pregnancy, when if you really want to know the gender you can currently find out for free later on...


Jeremy said...

Interested in your thoughts on the substantive issue of this article (ie. being able to know your baby's gender within the termination period).

As much as it pains me to admit it, I think the anti-abortion crowd have an almost valid point here.

portia said...

Or maybe it has more in common with a ouija board...

Boy, Girl, or Hoax?