A report out of Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine found an instance of fetal engineering in which doctors are using a steroid to prevent traditionally masculine traits from appearing in female babies.
The paper’s authors used FOIAs to research a process by which doctors give a particular drug to pregnant women who are at risk of having a child born with congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH), “an endocrinological condition that can result in female fetuses being born with intersex or more male-typical genitals and brains.” The drug is administered before doctors know the sex of the baby or whether it has CAH.
More medical details from the Advocate:
The paper claims that this off-label intervention does not prevent CAH, but in fact just targets sex normalization. Like DES, a drug widely given to pregnant women in the 1970s which has shown to cause cancer and reproductive abnormalities in children and is now banned, dexamethasone is a synthetic steroid. The researchers say that the dose reaching the fetus is 60 to 100 times what the body would normally experience and almost 90% of fetuses exposed do not benefit from it..
The researchers claim this is a dangerous experiment on pregnant women and their fetuses that may turn into a tragedy like the one experienced with DES. In addition to reproductive abnormalities (that extend to second generations as well) and higher rates of certain cancers, male fetuses exposed to DES in utero have also been show to have higher rates of gender dysphoria than in the general population. Research on DES continues.
How scary. We absolutely need to find where this happens and stop it. This kind of intervention is just uncalled for.