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This is progress?

Last night, a friend forwarded me a link to a new sort of pregnancy test.  Technically, not a pregnancy test, because there aren’t many ways to make that ‘new’.  The pregnant of old is the pregnant of the future.   This test didn’t test for pregnancy. In fact, pregnancy was assumed.  This test would reveal the gender of your baby.

That’s not earth shaking.  For years, couples have discovered the gender of their baby via ultrasound.  When Kelsey was carrying Jackson, I huddled with a technicians staring at a (then) grainy screen, until she asked “Do you want to know the sex?”Before Kelsey and I could confer, I blurted “Yes!”.  In that moment, we knew we were having a Jackson, not a Juanita.  (ok, even had he been a girl, we wouldn’t have named him Juanita, but you get the idea).

This new test, however, isn’t administered at the fifth or sixth month of pregnancy.  It promises to reveal the sex of your child at seven weeks.  Does this seem unusual to you?

This isn’t a test to reveal abnormality.

This isn’t a test that would enable a doctor to better treat the mother and baby.

This is a test that says ‘boy’ or ‘girl’.

In a world of boutique babies, being born to couples who have been able to custom order everything from their In-n-Out burgers to their Chuck Norris All Stars, they can now discover if they’re having a Jackson or a Juanita at seven weeks – and, unmentioned on the website – well within the window when an abortion is easily obtained.

I’m a big fan of technology and progress, but somehow, this seems like an inside track to gender selection.  Have three boys and really, really want a girl?  Maybe you just keep trying until you get one.  You can know at seven weeks.

A New York Times article mentions that the company won’t sell the test to people who have this sort of intention.

Does this comfort you?  It makes me roll my eyes.

God have mercy on a consumer culture that projects it’s market driven expectations to the point of pressing delete on a pregnancy because the child is not the gender we hoped for.

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3 Responses

  1. I think I saw something about this on the Bound4Life blog and they mentioned that there could be one positive aspect to it, in the sense that when you find out your baby has a specific gender and that it’s a “boy” or a “girl”, it makes your fetus suddenly more human and gives it an identity that may in fact make it more difficult to go through with an abortion. Agree? Disagree?

  2. I think the motivation for having the test is most likely to color the interpretation of the results. And I can’t see anyone thinking “Imma gone drop $200 to make this baby more human to me….”, but anything is possible.

  3. Wow…I want to know what I’m having, too, but I think I can wait another few weeks. I think there is an issue with waiting in our culture. That may be the understatement of the year.

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