Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Sex Selection Pregnancy Kits: The Latest Horror of the "Base New World"

Sex selection abortion a taboo? Not anymore. Now there are special pregnancy tests on the American market that allow you to make an appointment with the abortionist (or use your own chemical poison) to destroy the child you've conceived if "he" isn't the "she" you wanted -- or vice versa.

Tragically, this isn't a nightmare. It is an all-too-real example of the malignant inhumanity that marks modern culture.

Here are excerpts from the article in Slate that reviews and comments on a Los Angeles Times story about the practice of sex selection abortions. It will probably be the most revolting reading you've done in a long while.

...Notice how the new transforms the old. What's old is sex selection: choosing whether to abort your fetus based on whether it's a boy or a girl. What's new is the combination of ease, safety, and privacy with which you can now do this deed.

"In the past," Kaplan notes, "virtually all testing was done in medical laboratories for diagnostic purposes, such as searching for the mutations in the BRCA1 gene that are related to breast cancer." Today, however, prenatal sex tests have come down in price to $300 or less, cheap enough to sell directly to would-be parents. And instead of waiting the "10 to 16 weeks needed for traditional medical tests, such as ultrasound," you can now find out at just five to seven weeks whether you're carrying a boy or a girl. That's early enough to get the most basic surgical abortion or, possibly, a chemical abortion instead...

One company tells Kaplan it has sold 3,500 prenatal test kits. How many thousands more have been sold by other companies? How many of those tests have led to abortions? Nobody knows. And that's the point: Because the test is taken at home, nobody but the couple has to know that the subsequent abortion is for sex selection...

If you blame the Times for this loss of dismay, you're missing the larger trend. The article exists because the underlying stigma has already decayed. Scores of women are suing over erroneous sex tests. The Jains are unashamed to tell their story and put their names on it. So are the other women quoted in the article. As technology makes it possible to break the sex-selection taboo privately and inexpensively, the practice spreads, and we get used to it. The question of whether to restrict it becomes, as with other prenatal tests, a mere question of consumer protection.

Eventually, we'll establish rules to ensure the safety and efficacy of fetal sex tests. At that point, we'll declare them adequately regulated. That's how a taboo begins to die.