Pink or Blue

Test can tell baby’s sex 6 weeks into pregnancy

Fetal DNA checked for Y chromosome; experts worry about ethics, accuracy

updated 3:35 p.m. CT, Tues., May 15, 2007

LONDON - A new test dubbed “Pink or Blue” promises to tell parents the sex of their fetus just six weeks into pregnancy, but critics question its reliability and say it could pose an array of ethical issues.


“The earlier in pregnancy that you do these tests, the less fetal DNA there will be around, and possibly, the less accurate the test will be,” said Dr. Patrick O’Brien, a consultant obstetrician and spokesperson for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

“At six weeks of pregnancy, it’s questionable whether the technology is that good.”

Parents willing to wait longer can get a head-to-toe ultrasound at 20 weeks that is almost 100 percent accurate. Invasive procedures like an amniocentesis — which carry a small risk of miscarriage — can be done at about 11 weeks.

This news story caught my eye today, as I've been sitting here anxiously waiting until July when we will know if the baby is a boy or girl. I have to admit that I'm irritated that we can tell at this point, but have to wait until the scheduled ultrasound. Would I get this new test? I would say no. What I've been hearing on CNN is that it's not that reliable, granted sometimes the ultrasound is wrong too. I can also see how this test could have a negative impact, and apparently that's why it's not available in China or India, where boys are desired. There are so many things that people can use as an excuse for an abortion, and to me this is just one more. In my opinion, if you're that picky about your baby's gender that you'd have an abortion if it wasn't what you wanted, then those people shouldn't have kids in the first place (ha, along with many other reasons some people shouldn't have kids...anyway...). I think that finding out gender by ultrasound would decrease abortions, because they're done so late (average 20 weeks) and at the same time you're looking at the baby on the monitor. Tests like this can begin a slope towards genetic selection, gender being just one piece. (Has anyone seen the movie Gattaca?) Personally, abortion is wrong regardless, why not just use the test for it's intended purpose (early gender detection) and leave it at that.