Journal urges docs not to reveal foetus’ sex

PHOTO: Journal urges docs not to reveal foetus’ sex

An editorial in a major Canadian medical journal on Monday urges doctors to conceal the gender of a foetus from all pregnant women until 30 weeks to prevent sex-selective abortion by Asian immigrants.

A separate article in the same issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal warns that Canada has become "a haven for parents who would terminate female foetuses in favour of having sons" due to advanced prenatal testing and easy access to abortion.

"Female foeticide happens in India and China by the million, but it also happens in North America in numbers large enough to distort the male-to-female ratio in some ethnic groups," said the editorial by interim editor-in-chief Rajendra Kale.

The editorial points to research that suggests sex-selection is more common among immigrants from India, China, South Korea, Vietnam and the Philippines who already have at least one daughter.

It cites United States census data from 2000 that shows male-biased sex ratios among US-born children of Asian parents, and a study of 65 Indian women in the US from 2004-2009 that showed 89 per cent of them terminated pregnancies with female foetuses.

Mr Kale's controversial proposal was welcomed by conservative groups but opposed by pro-choice advocates who warned that the debate extends much further than sex-selective abortion among minority groups.