NZ may sell new controversial foetus gender kit

A controversial test that reveals the gender of a foetus may be launched in New Zealand within a fortnight.

The American-designed IntelliGender test has sparked a row in New Zealand over whether it would lead to sex-selection abortions, the New Zealand Herald reported.

The test could be used from eight weeks after conception.

The kit went on sale in Australia last month, and its Australian distributor hopes to launch it in New Zealand within a fortnight.

But the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and anti-abortion group Voice for Life said they were concerned that people would terminate pregnancies on the grounds of sex-selection.

Voice for Life spokesman Bernard Moran said abortions for sex selection were a problem overseas and the test would facilitate this in New Zealand.

Australian distributor, Melbourne-based Early Image managing director David Portnoy said he would be "amazed if anybody was to do anything so drastic based on a urine test that has a 90 percent accuracy rate".

Mr Portnoy said he was negotiating with health products companies Douglas Pharmaceuticals and API to supply the kits to New Zealand pharmacies. He expected the kits to sell for $125.

The way the test worked was that the pregnant woman mixed her urine with the kit's chemicals and if it turned green or black, it was a boy; and if it turned orange or yellow, it was a girl, Mr Portnoy said.