Sex selection of fetus has been concerned for many parents for a long time. Some parents strongly want to get a boy rather girl for several reasons, such as make him the successor of the family. On the other hand, some mothers are fond of having a girl to enjoy a friendly talk with her later.
Each desire is understandable. However, there is no way to determine the sex of a new child artificially. If we could, it would cause an ethical issue.
Even a lack of sex selection method established, some parents are eager to seek one. They sometimes rely on alternative medicines. In India, this idea seems to have become a serious health concern.
In India, there remains a discriminative tradition in which women are to be despised. Therefore, most parents are keen to have male offspring. Some parents buy remedies which are believed to have the power to make a male fetus.
The Wall Street Journal: Folk Remedies for Sex Selection are Risky, Study Finds
The current situation regarding sex selection in India was reported by Sutapa Bandyopadhyay Neogi in BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, an academic journal. The authors gathered several indigenous medicines available in India as drugs used for sex selection, to examine their components. As a result, two-thirds of them contained phytoestrogens, potentially harmful to the growth of the fetus. Thus, these kinds of the drug were biologically active, in terms of adverse effects, unfortunately.
Pubmed: Consumption of indigenous medicines by pregnant women in North India for selecting the sex of the foetus: what can it lead to?
Of course, no effective way to select the sex of a new-born baby has been detected. Instead, some academic articles mention the risk of this concept in the society. It will be possible to know the sex of the fetus much earlier. But we should be extremely cautious in utilizing this method, because it can be the cause of abortion in some situation.
Pubmed: Why parents should not be told the sex of their fetus.
The prenatal examination is often a subject of argument for its ethical dilemma. In real, some parents cannot take care of a child with the serious congenital disease. I understand their thought to consider abortion when they know the destiny of their fetus. In contrast, it will never be acceptable to kill a fetus only for its sex.
There is an easy way for the Indian government to make citizens stop seeking sex selection. The government should adopt an affirmative action. If parents get a considerable amount of money when they get a girl, they will be less likely to hesitate to have a girl. It will take a long time to extinct the discrimination against women in India. Rather, the introduction of affirmative action is reasonable, I think. The situation is similar to that in black people in the US.
Every culture should be respected as it exists to some extent. At the same time, we have to be aware of the global standard. Keeping a discriminative thought is not advantageous for everyone in longitudinal point of view. I expect the strong leadership of the Indian government.