3D ultrasound scans are not that commonplace in Europe. The French Health Authorities, for instance, are afraid of the effects of the ultrasound on the foetus. However, there is no formal ban. This type of scan has existed for over a decade in French-speaking Switzerland but is still confidential. Myriam Blanchard, who started her own surgery 8 years ago “offers several options for a simple 3D ultrasound scan lasting twenty minutes, for an overall fixed fee for which her clients, as she calls them, leave with over 100 photos and a video of the foetus with musical backing”. According to a recent article in The Guardian newspaper, “pregnant women in Great Britain can (…) have a 3D print of the face of their unborn baby whereas the 3D-babies.com website offers a mini statuette of your unborn child, based on the ultrasound scans”.
Pregnancy causes stress: “Subject to the whims of hormones, which become unstable as their bodies change, mothers-to-be must undergo regular, equally invasive medical examinations”. Participating in a large study on the risks and follow-up of pregnancy in Switzerland, Solène Gouilhers Hertig, from the Department of Sociology at Geneva University, has noted that this technology is “a double-edged sword. On the one hand, some women have the option of taking ownership of their pregnancy primarily through 3D scans, which allows them to detach themselves from the medical environment and enjoy a more family-orientated experience. On the other hand, however, these images of the foetus give her a social identity. Her life is no longer secret. A woman’s body becomes transparent. This can lead to the foetus being recognised as a person before birth. Staff carrying out the ultrasound scans sometimes even give the foetus a personality – the unborn child is mischievous if it smiles, for example”.
It would appear that “life begins even earlier as evidenced on Facebook where children exist even before they are born!”
Et force est de constater, « le début de la vie recule. La preuve, les enfants existent aujourd’hui sur Facebook avant même d’avoir vu le jour ! »