Also, he added, gender selection through assisted reproductive methods "almost instantly subjects the child to the standards and sort of the pressures, if you will, of production, and of producing an object."
Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis for sex selection, he explained, involves pulling a cell out of a human embryo or zygote to run tests for its gender. This can not only endanger the human embryo, but if it is selected for implantation, the other human embryos that have been created are at risk of being discarded, frozen, or experimented upon.
Clinics are being paid to "deliver a product" according to the customer's wishes, he said of the process, and are ultimately taking actions to simply throw out or otherwise discard human beings, and that's profoundly problematic."
Dignitas Personae makes it clear that in vitro fertilization is wrong: "The Church moreover holds that it is ethically unacceptable to dissociate procreation from the integrally personal context of the conjugal act: human procreation is a personal act of a husband and wife, which is not capable of substitution," the document stated.
It also lists some of the evils resulting from the procedure – foremost the destruction of other embryos in the process, being discarded, frozen, or experimented upon.
"The blithe acceptance of the enormous number of abortions involved in the process of in vitro fertilization vividly illustrates how the replacement of the conjugal act by a technical procedure – in addition to being in contradiction with the respect that is due to procreation as something that cannot be reduced to mere reproduction – leads to a weakening of the respect owed to every human being," the document says.
Ultimately, these assisted reproductive options used for sex selection "the Church would view as no better than abortion, and in some respects worse," Brehany said.
"You're picking one [embryo], you're throwing out the others, and you're doing this outside the context of marital love, which in some respects makes it worse [than sex-selective abortion], not better."
Even the American Society of Reproductive Medicine admits that non-medical sex-selection is "controversial."
Some of the arguments raised against it, the society noted in a 2015 ethics report, are that "long-term risks" to children might exist and that further evaluation needs to be done on the matter, along with the concern that parents will not be showing "unconditional" love to their children who deserve it.