February 23, 2024

Over the counter baby gender test goes on sale in US

Could it be used for sex-selective abortions?
US pharmacy chains CVS and Walgreens are selling a US$34.95 over-the-counter product which can tell a pregnant woman whether she is carrying a boy or a girl. The Boy or Girl Gender Prediction Test "bridges the curiosity gap between conception and sonogram", says its manufacturer, IntelliGender. More than 50,000 tests have sold online. IntelliGender only claims that the test is 80% accurate.

While most couples are just trying to satisfy their curiosity, some may use the primitive test to abort a child who is not of the desired sex. A recent study suggests that the sex ratio for some Asian communities in the US and Canada is skewed because girls are being aborted in greater numbers.

Canadian bioethicist Margaret Somerville told CTV that she was worried. "It’s not just the loss of those babies, and it’s not just the trauma to the women who are forced to have an abortion if it’s found they are carrying a girl. It’s also the societal impact, in the lack of women to marry. Later on, all these men have the problem that they can’t find a wife. That causes all sorts of problems." ~ CTV.ca, June 10