Coming soon: A further surge in sex-selective abortions?

Tests using DNA to determine a fetus’s sex were shown to be remarkably accurate, able to tell with 95 percent certainty as early as seven weeks into pregnancy, if a woman is carrying a boy or girl. The tests, which detect the fetus’s DNA in a mother’s blood or urine, are available in drugstores and online, and reports about their accuracy are likely to increase their popularity…

“I think over the long run this has the potential of changing attitudes toward pregnancy and to family,” said Audrey R. Chapman, a bioethicist at the University of Connecticut Health Center. “Women may be less invested in their pregnancies earlier than they are later, and the question has been raised whether women will look at their pregnancies increasingly as being conditional: ‘I will keep this pregnancy only if.’”…

After all, one concern is whether immigrants from countries like India and China would use sex tests to abort female fetuses here. Dr. Egan and Dr. Chapman’s study found that Asian-American mothers, especially with third pregnancies, had more boys than girls in ratios strongly suggesting sex selection.