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Mother and father-to-be shouldn’t be allowed to make use of blood exams to seek out out the intercourse of their child at the start of a being pregnant, Labour politicians say.

Consultants worry extra folks may have abortions in the event that they discover out they’re having a woman.

Within the UK it’s authorized to have an abortion till the 24th week of being pregnant, however proof suggests folks discover it ‘simpler’ to make the selection within the earlier levels.

In some cultures, notably from South Asia, households want having boys to ladies and there are considerations dad and mom will use testing to regulate the intercourse of their kids.

At the moment the non-invasive prenatal check (NIPT) is used to display screen for genetic issues resembling Down’s syndrome.

However the DNA check can reveal the newborn’s gender after round 9 weeks and, though the NHS doesn’t share this data, dad and mom will pay to have the check privately for round £170.

Labour’s shadow minister for girls and equalities, Naz Shah, mentioned the federal government ought to implement restrictions on the apply.

NIPT means parents can find out the gender of their baby as early as nine weeks into a pregnancy, which experts fear could lead to mothers having abortions based on their baby's sex in some communities 

NIPT means parents can find out the gender of their baby as early as nine weeks into a pregnancy, which experts fear could lead to mothers having abortions based on their baby's sex in some communities 

NIPT means dad and mom can discover out the gender of their child as early as 9 weeks right into a being pregnant, which specialists worry may result in moms having abortions based mostly on their child’s intercourse in some communities 

A 2017 report by the Nuffield Council on Bioethics found web sites supply child gender exams for round £170.

The controversial exams can work out the gender of a child from about 9 weeks into the being pregnant, whereas the NHS doesn’t reveal it till a scan at 18-20 weeks. 

The Nuffield Council’s report mentioned that there’s not a lot proof to show ladies are having abortions based mostly on their child’s gender.

However it may be onerous to inform as a result of they provide medical doctors different causes, the BBC reported.

It added there’s ‘an actual chance that allowing NIPT for intercourse dedication within the UK could also be encouraging intercourse choice’. 

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The early check might make it simpler for girls to undergo with an abortion, one knowledgeable suggests, as a result of the foetus could possibly be as much as 5 months outdated earlier than the NHS reveals its gender.

Professor Tom Shakespeare from the College of East Anglia, mentioned final March: ‘We strongly imagine there ought to be a ban on [NIPT’s] use to seek out out the intercourse of the foetus, as this might result in sex-selective abortions. 

‘Only a few folks will resolve to have an abortion at that stage of the being pregnant.

‘However at 10 weeks an abortion is far simpler.’ 

The check includes taking a pattern of the mom’s blood to seek out the foetus’s DNA and study it for genetic abnormality.

‘NIPT screenings ought to be used for his or her supposed objective, to display screen for critical situations resembling Down’s syndrome,’ Ms Shah instructed the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme.

‘The Authorities must look into this exploitative apply and implement applicable restrictions.’

The Nuffield Council mentioned there isn’t a purpose for revealing a child’s gender early on within the being pregnant until it’s getting used to diagnose a well being situation.

A desire for boys has been widespread for years in China and India – in China there are 34 million extra males than ladies as a result of dad and mom abort child women.

That is partly as a result of males are historically the breadwinners of the household so ladies are thought of to be extra of a legal responsibility.

WHAT IS NIPT AND WHY IS IT CONTROVERSIAL?

NIPT stands for non-invasive prenatal testing.

The check might be finished as early as 9 weeks and includes taking a blood pattern from a pregnant lady.

Medical doctors can extract fragments of DNA from the foetus that are circulating within the mom’s physique.

The DNA can then be examined to display screen for genetic issues which may severely have an effect on the being pregnant or the well being of the mom or child.

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It’s mostly used to display screen for Down’s syndrome, which it could actually precisely predict (although not 100 per cent sure), so dad and mom can resolve whether or not to proceed with the being pregnant, and to be ready in the event that they do.

NIPT is controversial as a result of it additionally reveals different details about infants, resembling their gender and doubtlessly features of their look.

This, specialists fear, may elevate the chance of fogeys aborting infants due to undesirable traits.

Earlier this yr, specialists raised considerations the testing may result in a ‘genocide’ of feminine infants in nations like China and India, the place boys are historically most well-liked.  

Official studies discovered India already has 63 million fewer ladies than it ought to as a result of households select to abort feminine infants, whereas in China males outnumber ladies by 34 million for a similar purpose.   

Hugh Whittall, director of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics instructed MailOnline in April: ‘Revealing the intercourse of the foetus at such an early stage of being pregnant will increase the chance of terminations on the idea of intercourse happening.

‘Provided that there are few advantages to most pregnant ladies of discovering out the intercourse of the fetus within the first few weeks of being pregnant, we imagine that check suppliers shouldn’t be allowed to present out this sort of data.’  

Labour MP for Slough, Tan Dhesi, added: ‘Communities in South Asia have made enormous strides in tackling this social evil.

‘That is been primarily by way of laws, banning gender dedication clinics.

‘Within the UK I believe we have to be doing likewise, as regards to the non-public sector as effectively.’

Rani Bilkhu works for Jeena Worldwide, an organisation working to guard ladies and youngsters from spiritual and conventional discrimination.

She says many ladies face violence or are pressured into abortions as a result of they don’t seem to be giving beginning to sons.

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‘No marvel they’re resorting to sex-selection abortion as a result of they have no alternative,’ she instructed the BBC.

‘They do not wish to be homeless, they do not need their marriage to fail – all as a result of they could not give beginning to a boy.

‘Not solely do the federal government not perceive there’s a difficulty round sex-selection abortion, but in addition charities and statutory sectors aren’t asking the questions.’

NIPT testing has induced controversy prior to now as specialists worry it result in ‘designer infants’.

The exams can reveal a child’s gender, its hair or eye color, and whether or not it’s going to have any genetic defects resembling Down’s syndrome.

And campaigners worry extra folks could possibly be inclined to abort infants which might prior to now have been born and lived wholesome lives.

Hugh Whittall, director of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, beforehand instructed MailOnline: ‘Many pregnant ladies and {couples} discover out the intercourse of their foetus merely to allow them to put together for a child of 1 intercourse or the opposite, or as a result of they’re curious.

‘Nevertheless, revealing the intercourse of the foetus at such an early stage of being pregnant will increase the chance of terminations on the idea of intercourse happening.

‘There may be restricted proof concerning the extent to which intercourse selective terminations are happening within the UK, however there’s a actual chance that allowing very early exams for intercourse might encourage intercourse choice, each amongst UK residents and thru “intercourse choice tourism”.

‘Provided that there are few advantages to most pregnant ladies of discovering out the intercourse of the fetus within the first few weeks of being pregnant, we imagine that check suppliers shouldn’t be allowed to present out this sort of data.’

A spokesperson for the Division of Well being and Social Care mentioned: ‘The pre-natal check is rarely meant for use for gender. We’ll proceed to evaluate the proof.’

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