Pro-life groups have welcomed the news that the HFEA has upheld the views of the vast majority of the British public and refused to grant parents the right to choose the sex of their child for social reasons. Professor Jack Scarisbrick, LIFE's National Chairman, said: "This is a much better outcome than we had expected. We feared that the HFEA would endorse social sex selection or 'family balancing' as it is now known. But it appears they have listened to popular opinion and to the British Medical Association's ethics committee. "We are also encouraged by the HFEA's promise to close a legal loophole whereby unlicensed clinics can carry out gender 'sperm sorting'. However, this ruling will not, of course, stop desperate couples from going abroad for the procedure, but the UK has certainly set a standard on this issue that the rest of the world should follow. "Family balancing represents the worst of our society's obsession with 'rights' and 'choice'. These should not extend to fertility and family. We do not have the right to children and we most certainly do not have the right to choose them. They are a gift. "We are, however, concerned that only the status quo has been maintained and sex selection is still permitted on medical grounds. The deliberate creation of a child of one sex or another cannot be tolerated for any reason. Sex selection for babies with sex-linked disorders is as eugenic in spirit as the abortion of babies with Down's syndrome. The 'unconditional nature of parental love', cited by the HFEA Chairperson, Suzi Leather, should extend to all children and not just to the 'right' ones."
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