Prenatal Testing and Abortion, a History

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Patheos Evangelical blogger Amy Julia Becker has a fascinating article at The New Atlantic on the history of prenatal testing and abortion.
The editors of the Atlantic have titled it Better Prenatal Testing Does Not Mean More Abortion, but the crux of her article is not so much whether better prenatal testing has lead to fewer abortions or not (a commentor suggests that her numbers, based on this study, are a little misleading — at least on an international level), but that parents are “asking the wrong questions about Down syndrome” (her original title for the article).

In a comment on her blog she writes:

My book, A Good and Perfect Gift, is all about misguided wants and unearthing assumptions that needed to be overturned. In this article, and with my original title for it (Asking the wrong questions about DS) I was trying to demonstrate how I thought I knew what I wanted (and what I “deserved” in a child). Then I was given Penny, and I have been delighted to find that in receiving her I was able to let go of many wants and my sense of entitlement while still receiving the joy of her presence in our lives.

I did express concern to my editor at the Atlantic about the title, and I asked Mark to offer his comment over there to make sure the numbers are clear. Still, in the US the data is different than Europe, and my hope is that telling the positive story about Down syndrome will help women make the choice to use prenatal testing simply to prepare to bring those children into the world.

Anyway, go read it.

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