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Fears grow for massive rise in sex-selective abortions


Photo credit: AFP

Scientists have sparked controversy after creating a pin-prick test that can determine the gender of a baby after just eight weeks.

Concerns have been raised the test could trigger a rise in sex-selective abortions, especially in countries such as India and China where families desire boys over girls for cultural reasons.

A recently published government report in India found that the country has 63 million fewer woman then it should because families are choosing to abort their female babies.

The situation is much the same in China, where men outnumber women by 34 million – significantly more than the entire population of Australia.


Experts claim the controversial one-child policy, which lasted from the 1970s until 2015, helped to create the imbalance as families sought to have a son.

It is feared the new pin-prick test could fuel a ‘genocide’ of female babies in India and China as parents are given more time than previously to make a decision on whether to abort their babies.

The pin-prick test has been created by Brazilian researchers who set out to improve the existing non-invasive prenatal test (NIPT), which already spots Down’s syndrome and two other genetic conditions.

The updated test, created by a team at Sabin Laboratory in Brasilia – the capital of Brazil – have updated the NIPT to make it able to spot the sex of a foetus with just a drop of blood.

In experiments on 101 pregnant women, the team led by Dr. Gustavo Barra found the test was completely accurate from eight weeks gestation.

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