tiffanybruiser : This is just fearmongering. If you seriously think that allowing parents in the UK to find out the gender of their baby through the NIPT will result in such a drastic increase of male vs female babies being born that it will sway a future election in the U.S….I dunno what to say.
I think what techmom : is trying to say (sorry if presumptuous) is that:
1) it is not just a few who are doing this. UK peeps are not only worried about “tourists” but also about sectors of the UK population itself. These could be not only recent immigrants but 2nd, 3rd, even later generations from these specific cultures where son preference and general misogyny run deep. It runs so deep, even my own parents who both have advanced degrees and who while growing up did not (discernibly) treat me differently for being born a girl, have expressed happiness that my first child is a boy, saying things to me like “you’re lucky you already have a boy.” I’m like what do you care…going by the “boys carry on the family name reasoning”, he doesn’t even have your last name! Plus my mother in law really wanted a girl (By the way this would very very rarely happen in the home country unless you already had like 4 boys or something, and my parents would not be the only ones to feel apologetic towards their in-laws for their daughter not having given birth to a son). This compared to their disappointment when my sister, who is much younger than me, was not a boy. I really don’t know how to describe just how pervasive this is.
and finally getting to 2) what happens in one country’s population does have global ramifications. “Surplus” men cause social unrest because these men will also tend to be from poor/rural areas and as a result have a higher likelihood of being unemployed. I misspoke in an earlier post of mine that China has hundreds of millions of surplus men. Correction: we *only* have tens of millions, I think official estimate is about 30 million by 2020. 30 million young, largely unemployed men is going to make the crime rate soar, decrease the efficiency of the labor force, and that in turn will affect global economy. Or China might decide to get in an armed conflict somewhere so they can throw these men at it…
I really don’t know which way I would come down on the ban and my conflict comes from several considerations which I will list in no particularly coherent order:
* It’s generally NOT the pregnant woman’s choice to have a sex-selective abortion. So this issue really isn’t very much about women’s choice, per se. The pressure comes from her immediate family. The usual suspects are husband and mother-in-law. So if I were living in the midst of these pressures, I might be grateful for a ban so that I will not be pressured into aborting my daughter.
* The people who will choose a sex-selective abortion also might not hesitate to do it at 16 weeks, 20 weeks…so if they’re going to do it anyway then at least finding out earlier with the NIPT, it will be easier on the woman’s body.
* Just thwarting someone from a sex-selective abortion is only treating the symptom but not the underlying cause. The mother and her baby girl will suffer a lot in life. If the baby girl ends up having male siblings later, she will be treated even worse. But maybe it’s still better than nothing.