A new gender test that is accurate by week seven of pregnancy has been developed. The blood test, which causes no harm to the developing foetus and costs £300, checks for male Y-chromosomes in the mum’s blood. If these are found, the foetus is male and if not, female.
The test is reportedly already available in the US, Israel and some European countries, but there have been concerns that an early gender test may raise abortion rates.
“The easier it is to find out the sex of the child, the earlier a woman can decide to take action,” said Josephine Quintavalle, a pro-life campaigner. “There have long been problems of gendercide in countries such as India and China where female foetuses are terminated. This test could encourage it.”
The team behind the discovery have suggested its use could help women with genetic conditions affecting a particular sex make decisions about their pregnancy. Experts have also claimed that there is no evidence that women in the UK are likely to abort a particular sex.
The British Pregnancy Advisory Service said, “At BPAS we believe women can be trusted to make the ethical decisions that are right for them. Good laws allow women to do this.”