Law Would Ban Parents From Learning Baby's Sex Before Birth

boy and girl As a consummate planner, I would never be one of those parents who chooses to wait until a baby's birth to learn his or her sex. As romantic as the whole "It's a ..." moment in the delivery room sounds, I found out both of my children's sexes the instant I could ... and that was about 12 weeks too long to wait as far as I was concerned. In Europe, however, couples may not have such a choice for long as the Council of Europe committee is considering a resolution that would "withhold information about the sex of the foetus" from parents to be.

Upon reading about it initially, I was outraged. How could they take that privilege away from parents? Why should a doctor have say in such a personal matter? But the more I read into the reasoning behind the potential ban, the more I understand, and even support it to some extent.

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The ban is an attempt to stop couples from aborting children just because of their gender. While it seems extreme, if that's what it takes to stop what seems to be a large problem in Europe, then it may have some merit.

It's nice to be able to plan, decorate your nursery, and buy clothes in colors other than yellow, but it's not necessary. Plenty of patient souls do just fine not knowing the sex of their baby until birth, and if enforcing such patience on everyone prevents countless, needless abortions, then it may be worth it. No, everyone shouldn't have to suffer for the bad behavior of a few, and I'd like to see an alternative approach to stopping such acts, but in many regards, the ban seems the lesser of the evils. And, of course, there are plenty of private means couples can seek out if they really want to know, but the government shouldn't sanction or pay for it IF the problem is that large.

I understand preferring one sex over another, but I do not understand nor believe it right to use abortion as a tool to just conveniently design your ideal family. To do so is one of the most selfish things I can imagine doing whether you're pro-life, pro-choice, or somewhere in the middle. If there's a reason for a sex-selection abortion, such as a likelihood of a genetic disease for one sex over the other, that's one (debatable) thing, but to just do so because you prefer pink over blue is beyond abominable. Anyone who would consider such an act really shouldn't be a parent anyway.

Besides, sometimes it's the things you think you didn't want that you end up cherishing the most. As inherently girly as I am, no one believes me, but I never wanted a girl. I knew all the drama that goes along with girls and thought I'd be a better mom to boys ... and not have to endure the whole I-hope-you-get-a-daughter-just-like-you karma. Then I got a girl, and now I can't imagine my life without her sweet, sparkly presence. Everything I thought I knew went out the window, because she is mine.

While most people have an idea of their ideal family in their minds, most people fall in love with a child because he or she is theirs, not because the child is a he or a she. At the core, having a child is about being ready to show unconditional love for the human you bring into the world -- a world full of unexpected and unforeseeable challenges. To even begin one's journey as a parent with such selfish and idealistic expectations and actions is a very unfortunate but likely indicator of one's potential to adequately parent any child. 

Do you think parents should be banned from learning the sex of a fetus in areas in which selective abortion is an issue?


Image via hoyasmeg/Flickr

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