found this clip from morning report yesterday (radio nz, 8.39am) about testing kits that will tell you the gender of your baby from 2 months into the pregnancy. these are seen as controversial, in that there are fears that people will choose to abort if they have the wrong gender baby. and of course, the fear is that they are more likely to abort if there is a female feotus.
when i got pregnant, i wanted to find out the gender of my baby as soon as i was able. however, i was disappointed when the specialist who was looking after me announced that she never revealed this information to parents. it really annoyed me at the time, and it still really annoys me. i wonder if a medical professional actually has the right to withhold that information. at the time, i assumed that the doctor was always right and that i had to accept whatever i was told. "patient's rights" were a concept that had never occured to me. now that i'm older and wiser (or maybe just older!), i might actually have thought about challenging her position.
as for the fear about increased abortions, if i remember correctly, someone mentioned in the clip that there was no evidence for this happening in other countries where the test was already available. and if someone really doesn't want a daughter, they'll find ways to get rid of her, whether this test is available or not. i've heard some pretty nasty stories about female infanticide which i don't feel the need to repeat here, but it certainly isn't a modern concept. not by a long shot.
the point is that if you want to stop abortion of female foetuses, you have to improve equality for women. there's no point mucking around trying to withhold technology. it's the underlying societal values which must change. otherwise all you get is people working around the ban to achieve the same thing.