Sunday, January 9, 2011

Would You Prefer a Boy or Girl?

In the news today is the story of a couple who wants to choose the gender of their baby.  They have three boys, and want a daughter.  Using IVF, they conceived twins.  Since the twins were boys, they aborted them.  Now they are seeking the right to use sex selection.

Sally Morrell has written an editorial about this for the Herald Sun.  Morrell isn't anti-abortion, but she does not support using abortion as gender selection.   However, she does think this incident might be an argument FOR allowing it. She says,  But it's precisely the decision to abort the twins that leads me to think we need to reconsider this ban on sex-selection.   I can't help but wonder that if this couple had been allowed to have their girl, the twin boys would never have been aborted and the IVF process would not have been abused. 

I don't really agree with her reasoning.  This might be a bad analogy, but oh well.

It reminds me of when Jack was five.  In a Disney World hotel gift shop, he had a huge tantrum because he wanted me to buy him a Disney version of Candy Land.  I refused to buy it for him, and we created quite a scene.  Someone could say. Perhaps she should have just bought the game for him.  It would have prevented the tantrum.  

Yeah. That probably is a bad analogy.  I guess what I'm saying is we shouldn't give into people just so they don't do bad/annoying/unethical things.

And yeah. I'm like Morrell.  I can support abortion in some cases. But aborting kids for being the "wrong" gender goes below my personal ethics line.

The Herald Sun has another editorial on the subject.  This one's written by Rebecca Wilson.  

She says, Having babies is not like exchanging a bad Christmas present. Greedy consumerism should not be applied to embryos.

Well, I don't think it's greedy to exchange a bad Christmas present.  Why keep something you don't like?  But I don't that should be applied to babies.  I think part of parenthood is accepting that you don't always get EXACTLY what you want.

I'm not sure I have the right to say that, because I kind of lucked out.  Jack IS my dream child. I'm not just saying that to be sweet and sentimental.  He really is exactly the type of child I, creative, quirky, a nice combination of masculine/feminine traits, etc.

Although, I HAD been hoping he was a girl.  I did dutifully go along with the as long as he/she is healthy......  But if I had a choice back then, I would have picked a healthy SHE over a healthy HE.

When I found out I had a HE in my uterus, I quickly adjusted.  Very probably a fraction of second.  Because in the end, gender really isn't a huge deal.  Compare that to getting an ultrasound and learning your child has some kind of fatal debilitating disease.  

The thing about gender is it does not guarantee certain traits. My parents came with to the ultrasound, and I remember conversations about taking this future grandson to gun shows and stuff like that. We were all a bit nervous about entering this world that didn't quite fit us.

It turns out Jack is not that type of boy. He's not obsessed with sports, or guns. He does love video games, and I guess that's kind of a stereotypical boy thing. But he also was excited when I got new make-up, and wanted to give me a makeover. 

Having a son doesn't guarantee there'll be basketball games in the driveway. Having a girl doesn't guarantee that you'll have someone super excited to inherit your old Barbie collection. 

Hey, you might even end up with a boy who wants to be a girl....or vice-versa. 

All this being said, I don't think there should be a law against sex-selection. I don't think it should be there to prevent abortion, or anything like that.   But if the science is out there, and people want to use it the government's right to stop them? 

Would it really be that horrible if people chose the gender of their children?

I guess we could end up with a horrible imbalance, but wouldn't there be enough people out there to want what the other people do not want? 

I personally don't think it's a huge deal. 

The only problem I see is it gives people another excuse to judge parents.

People get annoyed if you choose to not find out the gender of your baby.  How dare you want to be surprised?  How dare you not take advantage of modern technology.  How the hell do we shop for your shower? We won't know whether to buy blue or pink. 

People get annoyed if you have the "wrong" number of children.

I can just imagine the comments people will get if gender selection becomes available. 

Five boys? Why did you want five boys? Did you actually CHOOSE that?

You're not going to choose another girl, are you? Isn't two enough?  

But stupid interfering comments is not a good excuse to not make the technology available.

Yeah. There is something superficial and selfish about choosing your baby's gender.  But you know what.  Conceiving a baby and giving birth is pretty selfish in itself. We hardly need more people on this planet. And there are lots of children needing a home. It's a bit self-serving to want to pass on your genes.  I think the more selfless and giving choice is to adopt.  But we're not perfect. We're all a bit our various ways.  I don't think gender choosing is going to make things too much worse.