June 13, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A recent investigation by the CBC into privately owned ultrasound clinics in Canadian cities found that almost three quarters of the twenty-two so-called “entertainment ultrasound” businesses visited in the undercover operation said they were willing to do a scan solely to determine the sex of an unborn child, some as early as 14 weeks gestation.
The release of CBC’s sting coincides with the release of several undercover videos in the United States by the group Live Action showing employees at Planned Parenthood and other abortion clinics offer to help women obtain sex-selective abortions.
The results of the CBC sting give more credibility to the warning given by Dr. Rajendra Kale, interim editor-in-chief of the Canadian Medical Association Journal, who said earlier this year that Canada should prohibit disclosure of the sex of an unborn child until after 30 weeks of pregnancy to combat female feticide, a practice that is widespread in many Asian countries and is becoming common in some ethnic groups in North America.
“A pregnant woman being told the sex of the fetus at ultrasonography at a time when an unquestioned abortion is possible is the starting point of female feticide from a health care perspective,” Dr. Kale had written in his article, “‘It’s a girl!’— could be a death sentence,” published in January in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. “Therefore, doctors should be allowed to disclose this information only after about 30 weeks of pregnancy — in other words, when an unquestioned abortion is all but impossible.”
“You basically proved that it is happening here,” Dr. Verjinder Ubhi, who practices medicine in Brampton, Ontatrio, told CBC News after being shown the undercover footage. “We had suspicion but no evidence. This is happening here, right in Canada.”
Diagnostic ultrasounds are performed in Canada only by referral of a licensed health practitioner and are considered a routine procedure during most pregnancies to monitor the health and development of the child in the womb.
“Entertainment” ultrasounds are marketed to prospective parents with “keepsakes,” usually 3D photos and videos, that the operators of the private and unregulated businesses claim are a new way to bond with a baby before she is born.
Ray Foley, executive director for the Ontario Association of Radiologists, said the lack of oversight by Canadian health regulatory agencies of these businesses is of concern to health professionals. “There are probably more rules about nail salons than there are about these things,” Foley told the CBC. “I wouldn’t send my wife there, I wouldn’t send any woman I know there. Why would you want to go there if you think that even if there is an extremely small risk to your unborn child that you obviously want to have born happy and healthy?”
Although many of the businesses the CBC visited said they do not do ultrasounds to determine fetal sex until 20 weeks, at which point it is reportedly more difficult to obtain an abortion, the video footage reveals 15 clinics that agreed to test for gender earlier than 20 weeks, including 5 that agreed to test at as early as 14 weeks of pregnancy.
The video footage recorded at the UC Baby ultrasound business in Richmond, B.C., for example, captured an employee discussing gender testing at 17 weeks and sex-selective abortion with the undercover operative.
“You don’t want another girl, right? Yeah, that’s the problem,” the employee told the CBC undercover producer. “You come here between 17 to 18 weeks, we tell you if it is a boy or a girl, if it’s a boy, fine you keep, if it’s a baby girl then you need to talk to family doctor.”
An Angus Reid Public Opinion poll taken in January, following the publication of Dr. Kale’s article in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, found that 60% of Canadians (66% of women and 54% of men) believe Ottawa should enact a law outlining whether a woman can abort her child based solely on his or her gender. A majority (51%) also said the government should regulate abortion in Canada. Currently the country has no law governing the deadly procedure whatsoever.
See the CBC’s full investigation here.