It may be unfathomable to so many women, particularly to those struggling to conceive, but it is not uncommon in some parts of the world for women to choose abortions based on the sex of their unborn children.
The practice is so common in places like India and China (and the practice of gender reassignment surgery in newborns in even frighteningly not unheard of in some places), where boys are valued more than girls, that one physician is now arguing that doctors should wait 30 weeks before telling a pregnant woman the sex of her baby, according to the New York Daily News.
While sex selection is more commons in countries such as Korea, Vietnam, India and China, it also happens in North America. Dr. Rajendra Kale research on the topic, “It’s a girl — could be a death sentence,” was published as an editorial earlier this week in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, of which he is the interim editor-in-chief.
He calls the practice of sex selection the “starting point of female feticide.”
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists argues, however, that withholding the sex of the baby isn’t ethical.
“Because a patient is entitled to obtain personal medical information, including information about the sex of her fetus, it will sometimes be impossible for health care professionals to avoid unwitting participating in sex selection,” the organization has said in a report, according to the New York Daily News.
Most women learn the sex of their baby around 18 to 22 weeks via routine ultrasounds.
If you were inclined to learn the sex of your baby before birth, could you imagine being forced to wait 30 weeks?