Study finds women carrying babies with disabilities are pressured to abort


The study “Attitudes of Patients after “Genetic” Termination of Pregnancy” in the British Medical Journal found that parents of babies aborted due to disability or “fetal anomaly” suffer depression and grief.  It also explained how doctors often rush women into making a decision whether or not to abort their baby.

The study says:

Despite the shock and grief they may experience upon hearing the news of a fetal anomaly, the pregnant woman and her partner are usually urged to make the decision to terminate quickly. Behind the urgency is the physician’s desire to avoid complications of “late” terminations of pregnancy. Because of the delays involved in amniocentesis, abortions may occur in the second and even third trimester pregnancy.

In health care settings, the issue of such late abortions has raised ethical and legal questions. In one early study, most of the terminations occurred within 72 hours of the woman receiving the news of the abnormality. This hardly allows time for the couple to become informed about parenting children born with that anomaly and thus considering carrying through with the pregnancy. [Emphasis added.]

Donnai P, Charles N, Harris R. Attitudes of Patients after “Genetic” Termination of Pregnancy British Medical Journal 1981; 282: 621 – 622, P622 in Elizabeth Ring-Cassidy and Ian Gentles. Women’s Health after Abortion: The Medical and Psychological Evidence Second Edition (Toronto, Canada: The deVeber Institute for Bioethics and Social Research, 2003) 159

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