Fetus‘ gender: tell or not?
Telling parents the gender of a fetus has been a hot issue for a long time in Korea.
Parents and obstetricians claim that parents have the right to know a fetus' gender whereas religious and ethics groups say that it is unnecessary.
It was illegal until 2009 when the Constitutional Court ruled that the law prohibiting the disclosure of a fetus' gender was unconstitutional. Since then, many opinions clashed regarding when they should be allowed to do so.
The Constitutional Court said the information can be revealed after 32 weeks of pregnancy, but obstetricians are opposed. I don’t think fetus' gender should be disclosed, but if they have to, I think they should reveal a fetus' gender only 32 weeks after pregnancy.
First, dignity of life is more important that parents' right to know. The right to pursue happiness and to know is important.
But when the rights are fulfilled, if the life of fetus is threatened by something like abortion, protection of life should take priority over satisfying parents' desire.
Ignorance about fetus' gender is not a big inconvenience. Especially, if they could know that 32 weeks later, two months are enough time to prepare the baby room and the other supplies.
Second, abortions might increase. Because many Koreans still prefer sons to daughters, the judgment of a fetus' gender is connected with abortions of girls.
Though favoritism of boys is dwindling, the disparity in the male to female ratio remains acute. If parents want a girl, they might abort the opposite sex. As there are illegal abortions in Korea to this time, it is hard to abolish all abortions except miscarriages.
Lastly, the determination of fetus' gender can damage the health of both fetus and parturient. For example, after those test a fetus can be infected with bacteria. It is true that the probability isn't high, but a possibility of a miscarriage can't be excluded.
And if parents decide to abort their fetus, women who have abortions could undergo both mental and physical sufferings. During the administration of medicine, the uterus can be perforated and some disease such as peritonitis or blood poisoning can occur.
Still, there are some opposite opinions. A medical association claims that prohibiting parents from knowing the fetus' gender infringes on doctors' and parents' fundamental rights. They claim that at least the determination of fetus' gender after 24 weeks of pregnancy should be allowed. But I am against their opinion.
There were reportedly about 350,000 abortions in 2005 in Korea. The causes are various, but we can't ignore the still prevalent favoritism of sons.
A baby should be cherished regardless of their gender. Is their gender really important? The determination of a fetus' gender is unnecessary. Life should take priority over the right to know. We should avert dangers to increase abortions because of fetus' gender. It jeopardizes not only fetus' but also mother's health. Please wait, and be attentive to your children, whether they are boys or girls.
The writer is a second year student at Kangwon Science High School.