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Gender Selection New Aisle in the Family Supermkt

19 June 2008

Gender Selection the New Aisle in the Family Supermarket

Family First NZ is opposing the recommendation of the Bioethics Council to give parents the right to choose the sex of their unborn babies.

“Many people describe children as a gift and we believe this is a very healthy understanding,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ. “Gender selection turns the ‘gift’ of children into a shopping experience for parents, and creates a level of control which is not in the best interests of the child or the parents.”

“Children should be created without an underlying pressure to fulfil parental wants or expectations.”

“The next step is parents wanting to ‘order’a blue eyed blond haired rugby playing sensitive male baby. Where does the selection process stop?”

A recent UK report warned that with a 1 in 10 failure rate, the relationship between the ‘wrong gendered’ child and their parents would be damaged. Even where a child of the preferred sex is produced, there was concern that parents might have stereotypical expectations of how their child will behave.

The director of the UK watchdog group Human Genetics Alert, Dr David King says "sex selection is the exercise of sexism at its most profound level -- deciding who gets to live. If you are not prepared to accept and parent both a boy or a girl, you should not be a parent."

The Ethics Committee of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine warned that “sex selection holds even greater risk of unwarranted gender bias, social harm and the diversion of medical resources from genuine medical need. It therefore should be discouraged.”

“A child has a right to be loved and accepted into a family, irrespective of its gender,” says Mr McCoskrie. “Sex selection crosses a dangerous line of seeing children as a commodity to be pre-ordered online rather than as a gift.”


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