Sex Selection for Non-Medical Purposes


Milliez J.M *,

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Sex selection of the future offspring is usually regarded as acceptable when medically indicated, in order to avoid the transmission of sex linked severe genetic diseases. The principle of sex selection for personal or social convenience opposes those who support women’s right to reproductive autonomy and those who condemn any gender discrimination. Sex selection can be performed before conception by sperm separation, before pregnancy by selection of in vitro fertilized embryos, in early pregnancy by abortion after foetal DNA analysis in maternal serum, chorionic villous sampling, amniocentesis and above all after mid trimester echography. Most procedures concern selective abortion of girls, specially in India, China and South East Asia where it is considered that, for economic and traditional reasons, 100 million girls are missing. Most scientific societies have condemned abortion sex selection. Many countries, including India, have enacted anti sex selection abortion laws but very few have efficiently enforced these laws. Should these practices be tolerated in the name of cultural identity and economic hardship, or banned in the name of gender equality, is ethically debatable.