Hide Babies' Sex to Stop Immigrant Abortions: Doc

Delay disclosure until 30 weeks to halt sex-selective abortions among immigrants
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 17, 2012 8:01 AM CST
Hide Babies' Sex to Stop Immigrant Abortions: Doc
"It's a girl" could be a death sentence for many fetuses, Kale warns.   (Getty Images)

Immigrants from countries where sex-selective abortion is widespread are bringing the practice with them to North America, a prominent Canadian doctor warns. Rajendra Kale—pointing to skewed gender ratios among South Asian communities in Canada—says health care workers should withhold the fetus' gender until after 30 weeks of pregnancy, the CBC reports. Letting a pregnant woman know the sex of the fetus at a time "when an unquestioned abortion is possible is the starting point of female feticide," he writes in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Knowing the sex shouldn't be considered a right, because it is almost always "medically irrelevant information," Kale argues. A prominent OB/GYN group disagrees, saying that "a patient's request for disclosure should be respected," and adding that withholding such information could drive pregnant couples to the United States or to try gender tests readily available on the market. Rather, the group says, education is the key: "It is the cultural values and norms in specific segments of the Canadian population that must change." (More abortion stories.)

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