Couple with three sons abort twin boys conceived with IVF - and they will try again for a girl as their first daughter died
7th January 2011
A married couple who aborted twin boys the wife was expecting after IVF treatment have gone to court to choose the sex of their next child – because they want a girl.
The husband and wife already have three sons and said they now want to have a girl after their baby daughter died soon after birth.
They are both aged in their 30s and have taken their case to a legal tribunal after an independent medical body known as the Patient Review Panel rejected their bid to choose the gender of their next child using IVF.
The couple said they had made the decision to terminate the twin boys but could not continue to have unlimited numbers of children.
And they warned that If their bid to have a daughter fails, they said they would go to America for IVF treatment in a bid to conceive a girl.
The case, in Australia, is to be reviewed by the State of Victoria's Civil and Administrative Tribunal which has the power to reverse the earlier decision and will hear the case in March.
The unidentified woman conceived her three boys naturally and said she loves her sons but would do anything to have a daughter.
Her husband, who also cannot be identified, said: 'After what we have been through we think we are due for a bit of luck.
'We know we definitely won't be replacing her in any way, but want the chance to have the baby girl we don't have.'
Abortion time limits in Australia vary from state to state.
But in Victoria where the couple live and where this is taking place, changes to abortion laws were passed in 2008 after Victoria Premier John Brumby announced: 'Our existing laws are out of step with community sentiment.'
Legislation to decriminalise abortion up to 24 weeks was introduced with abortions after that time requiring two doctors to agree that it is appropriate, based on the women's current and future physical, psychological and social circumstances.
According to law in Australia, sex selection is banned unless it is necessary to avoid the risk of transmission of a genetic abnormality or disease or the independent medical Patient Review Panel has approved such use of an embryo.
All IVF clinics in the country also subscribe to a code of ethics, including that they stay within Australian National Health and Medical Research Council guidelines which say sex selection should not be done except to reduce the transmission of a serious genetic condition.
The husband said sex selection should be determined on a case-by-case basis.
He said:'Girls will go and get abortions and terminate when they know it's not the right sex. That's the reality.
'We think it's our right to have a chance to do it. It's ridiculous that sex selection is illegal, actually.'
And one of the country's IVF pioneers said he agreed the couple should be allowed to chose the sex of their next baby.
Professor Gab Kovacs said:'I can't see how it could possibly harm anyone.
'Laws should be made to protect people from things that are going to damage them.
'Why should we make this illegal? 'Who is this going to harm if this couple have their desire fulfilled ?' But Gene Ethics director, Dr Bob Phelps ,said he did not believe the couple should be allowed the choose the sex of their child.
He said:'I'm sorry they lost their daughter but, in the interests of society as a whole, they should seek some counseling for their grief and look for another way of getting a daughter into their family.'
He suggested the couple adopt a child from overseas.