A veteran sonographer shares how one couple years ago, said something along the lines of ‘We need to know the sex, because if it’s a girl we are going to terminate it’.”

He tells Sydney Morning Herald “You have to deal with things like terminal cancer and miscarriages when you’re working as a sonographer. But this occasion, it still sickens me to this day.”

Research, revealed this month, has indicated that a group of parents could be aborting female babies because of a preference for sons.

It’s led experts to questions whether it is necessary to provide parents with early information about the sex of their fetuses.

Many obstetricians and sonographers don’t routinely provide gender information at the 12-week scan when people can still readily access abortion.

However Australasian Sonographers Association, chief executive, Jodie Long, said if the sonographer was confident in being able to identify the gender, then they would provide that information if asked.

“What the parents do with information is not for the sonographer to determine,” she said

“The majority of the examination is to determine if there is an abnormality. If it is communicated to the parent that there is an abnormality, then the parents will decide what to do with that information. And that’s not up to the sonographers to determine either.”

One experienced sonographer, who did not want to be identified, said they believed that medical professions should consider the ethics and accuracy of revealing the sex of a baby at the first-trimester scan, when an “elective termination” could still be performed.

Associate Professor Hui said she felt it was reasonable not to disclose fetal sex information at the first 12-week scan, because there was rarely a medical reason to give that information, and it was not always possible to tell the sex.

Australia’s chief medical officer, Professor Brendan Murphy, argues “it would also be unreasonable to deny access to gender information on ultrasounds for the vast majority of people who want a child of any gender”.

Did you find out the gender of your baby early?

Share your comments below

  • The only time I agree is if there is an chronic hereditary disease that only effects one sex, a problem which does not show in scans. Why allow a newborn to suffer pain and difficulty breathing and muscles gradually paralyse when he/she will pass away after suffering either days or in some cases months. The family were extremely fortunate that they had one healthy daughter prior the tragedy the 2nd baby suffered before passing away. The parents ere advised against having another baby.


  • Each baby in unique, doesn’t matter if you have 10 the same sex they are individuals and should have a parents love. Can’t fathom wanting to abort a child because of their sex. Ridiculous.


  • Think it is wrong for people to feel if it is a girl abort.My 2 sons are growm up ow and I did not know the sex and whats more did not care. It took me seven years to have my second child, lots of tests a miss-carriage. I grew up as only child and did not wnt my children t be alone. Another thing there are so many women wanting to have a child. If there is no other reason than baby being a girl think it is wrong sending piece f my art as prettier than me HaHa


  • After having a stillborn son earlier in the year, I desperately wanted to find out the gender of my next baby when pregnant again. I needed to know to help me heal and bond, from the loss of my son and with this new baby. Our early harmony test failed but we found out at the 14wks scan it was another boy, we would have been happy either way but it was one less thing I had to think about after our loss for many more weeks- pregnancy after loss is so confronting and stressful enough


  • A termination because they are not happy with the gender? I cannot fathom that.


  • I was never interested in the gender of my baby, I just desperately wanted a healthy baby at full term. Whislt I would never have considered a gender scan at 12 weeks, I would not have trusted it that early anyway. There are moral and ethical issues at play here.


  • I couldn’t wait to find out! I wanted to buy some little gender specific items and like to be organised.

    Whilst it saddens me this has happened in Australia I would be extremely interested in the race/culture of the couple who had that mentality. After all it’s what has put China in a female shortage and it is now threatening future generations forcing them to lift the one child policy. Whilst it’s great families now have choice, the Handmaids Tale is vivid in mind. An extremity, I know.


  • I chose not to have any scans, too risky for baby, and I did not feel any need. I wanted a surprise like it has been done for years. It was always the first question after babies were born ‘did you have a boy or girl” not nowadays it is missing the element of surprise and all to planned.


  • while it may not be something id choose just cos, its not my body, not my choice to even judge another for that choice
    For some there are genetic issues that while not life threatening, they life limiting that may affect one sex over another, why shouldnt they have the choice to abort?
    There could be a sexual abuse past, which can make a woman favor one sex over another
    We found out the sex, it was an ounce of control i had in the whole situation. Id consider it medical negligence to not inform me of the sex of the child i was carrying. I have every right to know


  • This is very sad that people are terminating based on the sex of the baby.
    We wanted to know the sex of our three babies. Only as we had preloved clothes either given to us or we had saved for a future baby.
    Cant understand why someone would terminate a pregnancy based on the sex.


  • I think it’s sad that some people would do that, but that’s the reality. I found out the sex for both mine, and I will admit I have/had disappointment finding out both are girls. Would I terminate…definitely not! I love my first born and I am sure I will love my second when she finally decides to join us out here. I try to ensure they experience the world regardless of traditional gender perceived limitations.


  • My 4th babe was a boy at 12 week scan. At 20 week that boy became a girl. And is the only daughter my husband has.
    I dont agree with abortion but respect the fact its a personal decision. Terminating a pregnancy based on a gender is in my opinion wrong.


  • Very sad that people terminate because of the gender. There are also people in certain area’s of the world who kill their girls as soon they get born, which is kind of the same and so heartbreaking.
    Personally I don’t think it is necessary to provide parents with early information about the sex of their fetuses.


  • we accidentally found out with my fourth and then chose to find out with our last, purely so we could be prepared


  • I didn’t find out the sex of my baby because it didn’t matter one bit to me if it was a male or female. All I wanted was a healthy baby. This article makes me so sad because some people have so much trouble conceiving, or carrying full time and would do anything to have a baby and then you have people like this who don’t care ????


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