Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Early Gender Prediction

Wow! You can find out as soon as seven weeks if you're having a boy or a girl. That's before the parts are even visible! I found out what I was having with my first and was "surprised" with my second. I didn't realize finding out early was such a controversial thing. I guess I always thought "go for it if you want to." But $175 is a lot to spend on such a thing IMHO.

FROM ABC: $24.95 for pregnancy test+gender test kit, plus $149 gender lab fee-- results in 3-5 days from Sunnyvale Lab. Silicon valley company "Consumer Genetics" launched a new product that bundles a pregnancy test with an early DNA gender collection kit. it tests fetal d-n-a from a mother's dried blood sample... not only such consumer product on market. "Early Baby Gender Mentor" Test by maker Acu-Gen has been sued in a class-action lawsuit claiming misrepresentations regarding accuracy.

Such gender tests also pose ethical questions. Find out early-as early as seven weeks into the pregnancy! Terry Carmichael from Consumer Genetics said, "And so Sunnyvale-based company "Consumer Genetics" is capitalizing on that desire with the development of a direct-to-consumer genetic testing product that reveals a baby's gender early. It's called the "pink or blue" test. Anna Vitebsky from Consumer Genetics said, "To avoid any possible contamination of male DNA giving an in-accurate result, this super-sensitive test requires *no men* be present while the pregnant woman pricks her finger to draw a blood sample for the lab card. Consumer genetics claims an accuracy of 95-percent, or greater.

Dr. David Magnus, a Stanford Univ. biomedical ethicist says accuracy rate is not his only concern. He believes consumer tests like these could lend to gender disappointment, upsetting a woman who isn't carrying the gender she desired. But ethically even worse-- it opens the door for gender selection-- leading to abortions of the undesired child, which is a cultural issue in some countries and can skew sex ratios.

Anna Vitebsky, consumer genetics consumer genetics, insists its product was never designed for gender selection purposes. Since first launching in 2006, its lab has processed results for more than 6,000 women worldwide. because the pink or blue test is classified as non-medical, it's not regulated by any federal medical guidelines, but ethicist will be watching.

-NewsAnchorMom Jen


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