Is sex selection a right?

Couples are being offered a £14,000 procedure enabling them to choose the sex of their unborn child.

Gynaecologist Charles Kingsland has been accused of referring women to a clinic in Cyprus to undergo embryo implantation, allowing them control over the gender of their baby. But is such control controversial?

Mr. Kingsland, director of Britain’s biggest NHS fertility unit in Liverpool, allegedly agreed to make the arrangements for an undercover reporter to undergo the procedure, which is illegal in the UK, despite no evidence that she could not conceive naturally.

The UK Cypriot Fertility Association, of which Mr. Kingsland is a shareholder, offers the procedure to women who want to choose the sex of their baby for social reasons.

Last night, Lord David Alton, a member of the all-party Parliamentary Pro-Life group, said: ‘If you have a doctor with a vested interest in organizing treatment that’s illegal in the UK, it raises enormous moral issues.’

The undercover reporter paid £200 for the initial consultation with Mr. Kingsland, but couples could pay up to £40,000 for the service, which is more than four times the cost of private fertility treatment.

Mr. Kingsland defended himself by saying: ‘At no point did I tell you we could offer you sex selection in the UK because that’s the case – we can’t. It’s illegal.’

‘But I did make clear I could point you in the right direction,’ he said. ‘We haven’t done anything wrong.’

Should couples be given the right to choose the sex of their baby for social reasons? Do you agree that the controversial procedure raises enormous moral issues? Perhaps you think women are entitled to a choice?

Whatever your thoughts, however extreme, Marie Claire wants to hear from you by posting a message below.


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