Sex Selection Medical Tourism


Couples from around the world are coming to U.S. fertility clinics to use pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) to select the sex of their children, according to an article by the Associated Press. Why? Because sex selection is banned in most countries. The article notes:

The Chinese want boys, and the Canadians want girls. If they have enough money, they come to the United States to choose the sex of their babies. Well-fff foreign couples are getting around laws banning sex selection in their home countries by coming to American soil–where it's legal–for medical procedures that can give them the boy, or girl, they want.

"Some people spend $50,000 to $70,000 for a BMW car and think nothing of it, but this is a life that's going to be with us forever," said Robert, an Australian who asked that his last name not be used to protect the family's privacy.

He and his wife, Joanna, have two boys. Now they want a girl. Australia only allows gender selection of embryos to avoid an inherited disease.

The United States' lack of regulation means a growing global market for a few fertility clinics. These businesses advertise in airline magazines or post Web sites aimed at luring clients worldwide.

Naturally, some bioethical busybodies want to ban it here too. But why should the government interfere with parents choosing the sex of their children?

Bioethicist Julian Savulescu is right when he declares, "The Nazis sought to interfere directly in people's reproductive decisions (by forcing them to be sterilized) to promote social ideals, particularly around racial superiority. Not offering selection for nondisease genes would indirectly interfere (by denying choice) to promote social ideals such as equality or 'population welfare.' There is no relevant difference between direct and indirect eugenics. The lesson we learned from eugenics is that society should be loath to interfere (directly and indirectly) in reproductive decisionmaking."