Is gender choosing in IVF permissible or not?

One of the private clinics of Barcelona, dealing with issues of family planning and reproduction, started collecting signatures for adopting a law, which would allow people to choose the sex of the child before the in vitro fertilization. Now like most European countries do, Spanish government forbids such procedures unless they are required by medical reasons.

The initiative is aimed at amend to the existing legislation and was made by the representatives of the Institute of Reproductive Technology «Cefer» back in January of this year. If the public responds to the call of the Institute of Management and authors of amendments manage to collect five thousand signatures, the initiative will be considered by the Spanish Congress. The founder of the Simon center, Marina is sure that it’s all about "the issue of freedom and democracy," and there are no reasons for the prohibition on sex selection procedures. "This is a right that does not disturb anyone," - says Mr. Marina.

Well, it’s not that harmless, let’s say... According to some demographers, after 50 years, humanity might face such problem as a deficit of the female population. Experts point out that every year the quantity of female babies born in the world, is reducing, and this fact is associated with the spread of ultrasound technology, which allows to determine the sex of the baby before birth. This has led to the fact that in some Asian countries, due to certain socio-cultural factors and the primeval traditions, which, alas, still exist, so-called selective abortions have become widely used. It means that women go for abortion after learning that they are carrying a baby girl.

For example now there’re one hundred female infants to 112 boys in India and Vietnam, and 130 boys in some areas of China. To compare, 25 years ago there were 105 boys to 100 girls.

Demographers are already talking about the lack of 160 million women. In the last decades, the problem has become urgent for several European countries, such as Serbia, Macedonia and Bosnia, as well as for the territories of former Soviet republics, particularly Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan.

For today, the only reliable way to determine the sex of the child before pregnancy is a method of pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). However, it was invented not to satisfy the whims of those who want to "order" in advance a child of a certain sex, but to identify serious genetic abnormalities. I understand the enthusiasm of the Spanish clinic’s management, because PGD is not cheap, not to mention the fact that permission for sex selection in IVF will attract a lot of patients from countries where this procedure is prohibited. I’m quite sure that there is no need to pour oil on the fire and allow things that have no urgent need. Preimplantation diagnosis definitely has its merits, but this method should be used only for medical reasons and after the compulsory conclusion of a clinical geneticist.