Rabbinical Council of America Issues Halakhic Perspective on Guidelines of Fetus Sex Selection
Sep 14, 1998 — Rabbi Moshe D. Tendler, Ph.D, Chairman of the Bio-Ethics Commission of the Rabbinical Council of America issued the following statement:
Sex selection of a fetus is in itself without ethical import. The Talmud, the repository of Biblical law and practice, offers advice on sex selection, as does “folk-medicine” of most societies. However, the term is now value-laden because of the use of infanticide in some societies and of legally sanctioned first-trimester abortions in the U.S.A. for sex selection.
The mechanical and chemical manipulation during sperm sorting may introduce a risk of fetal abnormalities. Such risk is ethically unacceptable. However, if the intent is to avoid conceiving a fetus with a sex-linked genetic disease, sperm sorting with the attending risk is preferable to aborting the affected fetus. Orthodox Jews may have a special interest in sex selection. The Biblical imperative “be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:28) is interpreted to mean one child of either sex.
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