Church opposes baby sex selection

The Dominion Post 06 October 2008

Presbyterians have called for the Government to reject a proposal to allow parents to select the sex of their children. A recommendation from a committee of Protestant bioethical experts calling for a ban on sex selection for non-medical reasons was voted in virtually unopposed at the Presbyterians’ biannual general assembly. The Bioethics Council, a ministerial advisory committee, recommended in June that the ban on using pre-implantation genetic diagnosis to select a baby’s sex purely for social reasons be lifted.

However, the joint Presbyterian, Methodist and Anglican Inte-church Bioethics Council declared the idea “undesirable” on social and cultural grounds. Chairwoman Audrey Jarvis, a retired ethicist and molecular biologist, said the practice offered no benefit to the child and served only the needs of the parents. “The situation should not be that the value of a child depends on its gender.”