Journal article

Pregnant women with fetal abnormalities: the forgotten people in the abortion debate

Lachlan J de Crespigny, Julian Savulescu

MEDICAL JOURNAL OF AUSTRALIA | AUSTRALASIAN MED PUBL CO LTD | Published : 2008

Abstract

Abortion law reform focuses on early abortion. Women wanting to have a family who have a fetal abnormality detected later in pregnancy are neglected in the debate and harmed by the consequences of current legal uncertainty. Unclear abortion laws compromise: the quality of prenatal testing; management when an abnormality is found; and patient care, through obstetricians' fears of legal repercussions. Women carrying a fetus with an abnormality are being denied abortion, even when the abnormality is so severe that non-treatment would be an option if the baby were born. Many women are likely to refuse to consider motherhood if they are denied appropriate prenatal testing and access to abortion i..

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