The Elliot Institute News  
From the Leader in Post-Abortion Research
Vol. 10, No. 2 -- April 22, 2011


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Editor's Note

New medical technologies, including a new test for Down Syndrome, have increased the ability of doctors to test for disabilities and genetic disorders before birth. Parents usually see these tests as a way to assure themselves that their unborn child will be healthy. Medical professionals and scientists, on the other hand, often see the tests as a tool to find and eliminate "defects" through abortion.

The article below is the first in a three-part series on prenatal testing and abortion. Part 1 looks at what available research reveals about the impact of eugenic abortion on parents and families. Other parts will discuss how

pressure and coercion from the medical community are often used to bring about these abortions, stories from those who've been there, and what we can do to help parents who are facing a negative prenatal diagnosis.


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Prenatal Testing and Abortion, Part I
The Impact on Parents and Families


"In advanced industrial countries, prenatal testing in order to detect fetal abnormalities has become routine," as researchers Elizabeth Ring Cassidy and Ian Gentles note below. In many cases, it is assumed -- even expected -- that diagnosis of a disability or genetic disorder will lead the parents to abort the pregnancy and "try again."


Parents of children with Down Syndrome or other syndromes may be asked why they didn't "get the test" or why they continued the pregnancy after receiving a negative diagnosis. The answer many parents would give -- that their children deserve life, and that they bring love and joy to their families  -- flies in the face of widely held assumptions that children with disabilities are "less worthy" or bound to be suffering and unwanted. Further, many people remain unaware of evidence showing that abortion after prenatal testing not only ends the life of the unborn child, but may also negatively impact the parents and other family members as well.


Most recently, a study of women who experienced serious complications during pregnancy found that women who underwent second or third trimester abortions due to fetal anomalies were more likely to experience psychiatric disorders compared to women who gave birth prematurely.


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