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Australian guidelines for the ethical use of IVF allow selecting a child’s sex for medical reasons. But draft guidelines that are now open for public submissions raise the possibility of extending this and allowing the choice for social reasons.
The draft guidelines recognise that sex selection is a controversial practice; it’s banned in several states of the United States, in Europe, New Zealand and in parts of Asia. It acknowledges that it can reinforce gender stereotyping and that legalising the selection of a child’s sex could open up the way for choosing a range of other non-disease traits.
But it also recognises the importance of respecting reproductive autonomy and choice, and that some parents travel abroad to access sex selection at overseas clinics.
To stimulate public discussion, the draft offers five case studies that involve issues around “family balancing”, selection to “replace” a dead child, reproductive tourism, parental autonomy, and “slippery-slope” claims.
These case studies provide examples of sex selection that suggest two arguments in its favour: first, that sex selection for family balancing is ethically more permissible than selection based on a strong gender preference. And second, that parents have the right to select their child’s sex based on respect for reproductive autonomy.
Read full, original post: Choosing children’s sex is an exercise in sexism