Why Baby's Sex Shouldn't Be Revealed to Parents Before 30 Weeks


bootiesAs we've become accustomed to the ability to find out our baby's sex long before he or she is born, it's jolting to think that privilege (or right, depending how you feel about it) could be taken away. No more gender reveal cakes! But some doctors say the information should at least be delayed in order to prevent people from aborting babies who aren't the sex they want.

In Canada, a call has been made to delay the revelation of a fetus's gender until 30 weeks. Typically the information is given during an ultrasound in the 20th week, when abortion is a more readily available option.

While it's not a widespread problem in the United States or Canada, gender-based abortion does happen. In an article in the Canadian Medical Journal, Dr. Rajendra Kale referred to a small study in the U.S. of 65 immigrant Indian women. In it, 40 percent had terminated earlier pregnancies, and 89 percent had an abortion in their subsequent pregnancies because they were having girls. He says a baby's sex is "medically irrelevant," besides special cases in which gender-related diseases are an issue.

It seems extreme and ridiculous to punish the masses for the choices of a few, but if that's what it takes to prevent such atrocities, then perhaps it's for the best. A little patience is small price to pay.

Much of the practice is cultural and based on how women are treated in certain countries, but there are and will certainly be those who do it for simply selfish reasons as well. And the bigger implications are frightening as more and more information about our unborn babies becomes available. First, it's things like diseases they may carry and their sex, and before you know it, people are aborting babies because they don't have blue eyes or they have a birth mark somewhere. At some point we have to stop and question how much information is really valuable and how much creates unnecessary ethical problems.

The bottom line here is this: Knowing the sex of one's baby is nice for planners, but it's not necessary. Stopping something as abhorrent as sex selective abortions is.

Do you think information about a baby's sex should be withheld from parents if it helps prevent some abortions based on sex selection?

Image via handmaidenbymaria/Flickr

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amysa... amysangelsfcc

People are SICK! And some people (the ones who would do THIS) should not have children.

Mandago Mandago

I agree that it's sick that people would terminate based on gender, but do we really want to force them to carry unwanted babies to term? What will they do then? Sounds like it could cause worse atrocities.

Sierr... SierraLynn

That's just sad that a mother who can feel her baby kick and move and full of life abort it because its not what they want. Makes me sick.

nonmember avatar blh

I'm prochoice but I think anyone who'd abort because of gender is a disgusting piece of sh*t. And I think abortion should be limited to the first trimester unless there is a very serious medical risk to the mother.

nonmember avatar Cynthia

While I don't agree with aborting for gender reasons, I also don't feel it's right to take another person's RIGHT to make that choice. I live in a city where there are large communities of "minorities" who will terminate based on gender and in those areas it's common to not reveal the gender. Unless you go for a paid out of pocket scan to learn the gender, it's not generally offered by the technician or the doctors. I would rather people terminate the pregnancy based on gender than have families kill a small child, toddler or older child because of who they are!

nonmember avatar Stephanie.r.e

It's disgusting. The "people" that would do this are disgusting and really should not be able to have any children, ever. But I don't know what's worse a woman aborting the baby or having a baby they don't want. If the mother treated the baby badly (and chances are if they were willing to abort the baby they would treat it badly) he/she could grow up with all kinds of issues.. It's just difficult all the way around. That person just shouldn't be able to have kids.

SueOr... SueOrder66

Why don't these people see adoption as the wonderful option that it is?

kjjakjja kjjakjja

I went to a birth class with 23 other couples and we were the only one waiting until delivery to learn the gender. Gender selective abortion is a big problem in countries like India and China and a law is needed there to not allow the sex to be revealed, although I bet the doctors would still let it slip out or get paid off to tell. If the problem isn't widespread in the US and Canada, why block finding out the gender here? Some people abort if they find out the baby has physical or genetic abnormalities. Should we ban all testing and leave the parents in dark about what special needs their baby made need or will make the pregnancy a high risk?

poshkat poshkat

thats horrible. but i agree the sex should not be told until atleast  30 weeks.  it would have helped alot if my mother in law  wouldnt have had to go out and exchange all that pink stuff  when my son was born because the doctor told us he was a  girl at 20 weeks!!

Stacey. Stacey.

This will only cause more later term babies to be aborted. If someone is going to abort a baby because of gender, chances are they will get it done one way or another.

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