Academic journal article Issues in Law & Medicine

Kelly M. Plummer, Ending Parents' Unlimited Power to Choose: Legislation Is Necessary to Prohibit Parents' Selection of Their Children's Sex and Characteristics

Academic journal article Issues in Law & Medicine

Kelly M. Plummer, Ending Parents' Unlimited Power to Choose: Legislation Is Necessary to Prohibit Parents' Selection of Their Children's Sex and Characteristics

Article excerpt

47 ST. Louis U. L. J. 517 (2003).

The two most commonly used methods of sex selection, amniocentesis and chorion villus biopsy, permit sex selection by terminating a pregnancy between eight and twenty weeks into the pregnancy But recent technological innovations do not even require the production of an embryo for sex selection to occur. When couples undergo in vitro fertilization, eggs and sperm combine in a lab dish to create an embryo and specialists can tell with near 100% accuracy which embryos are male or female by genetically testing a single cell. Fertility clinics long have used this technique to help couples at high risk of bearing children with gender-linked genetic diseases to pick which embryo to have implanted.

A very recent advance in reproductive technology provides parents with an accurate method of selecting the sex of their children prior to conception. Preimplantation genetic diagnosis and sperm sorting through flow cytometry are two innovative reproductive methods that offer parents the chance to select the sex of their progeny Scientists at a fertility clinic in Fairfax, Virginia, announced in May 2001 that they developed a sperm-separation method that will allow parents to choose the sex of their child. Sperm carrying the Y-chromosomes, which create male offspring, contain two and a half percent less DNA than X-chromosomes, which create female offspring. By separating and removing sperm more likely to produce boys or girls and then using the preferred sperm for artificial insemination, this technology allows parents to choose the sex of their offspring with remarkable accuracy. …

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