Sex Selection Ad Creates Controversy in Canada

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An ad in a Canadian newspaper offering sex selection is causing an ethical stir. The “pre-conception gender determination” offer is made by a Washington state fertility clinic to Indo-Canadians. The clinic claims to perform biopsies on embryos prior to in vitro fertilization, using DNA to determine gender and then implanting only male embryos in the mother’s uterus.

"A lot of times, girls are fighting for their lives before they're even born," said SabrinaAtwal, a project director with the Indo-Canadian Women's Association in Edmonton, in the Calgary Herald.

A Gallup Poll last year found Americans prefer boys. Of 1,020 respondents to the question regarding whether they’d prefer a boy or girl if they could choose, 40 percent said they’d pick a boy, 28 percent would choose a girl, and the rest didn’t have a preference.

Is Picking the Gender of Your Baby Ethical?

The ability to test embryos for sex was originally developed to screen for genetic diseases, according to the Calgary Herald. Among people approaching a clinic that developed the process years ago, more than half were parents who had a daughter and wanted a son, the newspaper’s website reports.

Live Science Staff
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