Over at Faith and Family Live there was a discussion recently about finding out the gender of a baby before it's birth. Among all of the judgment free, this is what we do and why (the numbers were fairly mixed) was this response:
I am a firm believer in waiting to find out. That’s how God intended it. The joy of the reward is intended to be at the end. I actually don’t even think women should be allowed to find out the gender of their babies ahead of time. Finding out beforehand puts too much emphasis on gender, and will eventually lead to gender selected abortions since people feel entitled to mothering a child of each gender since so many people are now only having 2 children. Even if we have a preference one way or another, as Catholics we must trust that God sends us the baby we need. As Catholics, it’s imperative that we understand and accept this if we hope to foster a culture of life and a culture of Trust in God and His blessings. In a culture where the “ideal family” is so often viewed as 1 boy and 1 girl, women now feel entitled to one of each and go to crazy and even take immoral measures to make sure they’re able to have one of each…because they feel it’s their right. I am also the mom of all boys. Don’t spoil the surprise. Open your present at Christmas, which is the way God intended it when He created the mystery of childbearing and childbirth. Plus, it will be more exciting for all of us on the sidelines. ~R. (Childbirth Instructor and Mother)
I'm sorry but I am offended. Not because I am a person who has waited and also found out, but because I am a Catholic. I think it is hardly the place of one of us to tell the others that finding out is anti-Catholic. After all, I don't recall the Holy See sending out any directives instructing women not to find out the sex of their babies before birth. And in India, a country with one of the highest rates of abortion due to the sex of the baby, it has been outlawed for women to find out the sex. Although the author claims it is the way of God not to know, what do we make then of Sarah who was told by an angel, or Elizabeth, or Mary? It is quite a leap to assume that knowledge of the sex of a child in a culture that does not value one sex over another the way many in Asia or Africa do will automatically lead to abortions. Moreover, I have heard many in the pro-life movement state that not finding out the sex of the baby was contradictory to the message of the movement as it gave the baby a value in the eyes of those who are anti-life. Perhaps the author is unknowledgable to the fact that many of us trust in God while knowing the sex of our children. For example, I found out my son was a boy (I was the one who saw it first) at the same visit I was informed he had a possible congenital heart defect and knowing there was nothing I could do but have faith in God brought me great comfort. And my husband and I have always prayed for the child we were meant to have not a boy or girl. Knowing these things does not stop those prayers. In fact, I am unclear as to why this author does not come right out and advocate for no ultrasounds to be offered at all. People who do not find out the sex of their child have aborted for supposed birth defects after all.
I also find it offensive that the author felt the need to list "mother" as one of her credentials as if all the others who posted were not mothers. It was totally unnecessary and seemed to be the mark of a highly insecure person. If I am speaking of my children, and finding out their sexes, is it not implied I am a mother? Why would I need to put that in other people's faces as a reason why my opinion should matter? I am also not sure about including her occupation as a childbirth instructor. Does that mean she is better qualified than other mothers to make this determination about finding out the sex of the baby? She wants to be surprised only at the birth, so does she turn couples out of class who found out the sex of their baby at a 20 week ultrasound or by amniocentesis a bit earlier?
It's a personal decision. The Church has not directed any teachings on it. To tell other's that they are not pro-life because they do or do not know the sex of an unborn child is ludicrous. To flout one's personal and business credentials as proof of her authority on a matter such as this is outrageous. I pray for her that her heart may be lifted of her judgment of others.
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