8 Jun 2009

Gender test will lead to more abortions, says group

5:46 pm on 8 June 2009

An anti-abortion group says an over-the-counter kit that can tell the gender of a foetus in early pregnancy could lead to sex-selection abortions.

Australian company Early Image says the kit, which will enable pregnant women to discover the sex of a foetus at eight weeks, will be available from pharmacies in New Zealand within a few weeks.

Managing director David Portnoy says many parents want to know the sex of their baby before the usual ultrasound scan at 20 weeks, so they can start planning.

But Bernard Moran, spokesperson for Voice for Life, says the kits could lead women to abort their babies on the grounds on gender.

Mr Portnoy says more than 4,000 tests have been sold in Australia since the product's launch on Mother's Day this year and he expects the kits to be as popular in New Zealand.

He says the test is about 90% accurate.

The Pharmacy Guild says it will be up to individual pharmacists to decide whether to sell the kits.