From those who beg ultrasound techs to offer their “best guess” as to baby’s sex at an early prenatal visit (guilty as charged!) to those who host gender cake parties or (gulp!) those who have the patience to wait to find out at the birth, all expectant parents seem to have a strong opinion as to when and how they find out the sex of their baby. But, for pregnant couples in Europe, that may soon change, following the passage of a ruling that would bar them from learning the sex of their baby until the birth, reports the UK’s Telegraph.
In a well-meaning effort to prevent parents from “selectively aborting” fetuses based on their sex, the Council of Europe’s Committee on Equal Opportunities has passed a draft resolution requiring medical staff to “withhold information about the sex of the foetus.” Although concerns about selective abortion as a means of “choosing” the sex of a child stem mainly from some former Soviet states like Armenia, Azerbaijan and Albania (all of which have a birth ratio of 112 boys for every 100 girls), the council’s recommendation covers all 47 member states, meaning that public hospital medical staff in all of the member countries could be forbidden to share the news of a baby’s sex. While the council, which is an international organization promoting cooperation between all European countries, cannot impose binding orders on governments, it is influential in policy-making. The draft resolution will now go before the council’s full Parliamentary Assembly for approval next month.
British doctors told the Telegraph that they thought it would be hard for hospitals to follow the recommendations, and that it was unlikely that the recommendations would prevent selective abortions there, given that the majority of expectant parents who wanted to learn their baby’s sex found out at 20 weeks (when it would be too late to obtain an abortion without medical grounds). Additionally, they added, any couples interested in selective abortion would likely resort to blood tests that can reveal baby’s sex as early as seven weeks and are readily available online.
What’s your take on this proposal? When and how did you find out the sex of your baby?