In its 1973 landmark decision, Roe v. Wade, the US Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution guaranteed a woman’s right to an abortion. This decision gave women control of their own reproductive choices, and freed them from the potential slavery of unwanted children.
However, in 2012 there is growing concern that some parents may be abusing this fundamental right. Although a relatively insignificant problem in the West, sex-selective abortion has radically changed the demographic makeup of countries like China or India, where boys are more highly prized than are girls. To prevent the wholesale erasure of an entire generation of girls, advocates say that even in countries like the United States where sex-selection is rare, parents shouldn’t be told the gender of their child until late in the pregnancy, except in the most extreme cases.
If fetal identity protection is enshrined into law, it could prove a godsend for all women, even those as-yet unborn. The elimination of the gender-selection loophole would limit abortion to those women with any one of the many acceptable reason for undergoing the procedure, such as not wanting a child, but would prevent individuals from terminating their pregnancies for reasons as odious as not wanting a girl-child.