Prenatal Testing and Abortion–Is it Possible to Be Biased but not Judgmental?

I released an ebook (What Every Woman Needs to Know About Prenatal Testing) two weeks ago about prenatal testing. It covers my own experience of prenatal testing as well as providing information for women who are trying to figure out their own approach to testing. It’s a combination of story, facts, and reflections that I hope will serve as a helpful resource for all pregnant women. As I wrote, I had two realizations. One, I wanted to present, without judgment, all the options available for women, which includes aborting fetuses diagnosed with Down syndrome. Two, I am sad that so many women choose to abort fetuses diagnosed with Down syndrome. In the book’s conclusion, I try to explain how it is that I am biased but not judgmental:

I set out to write a nonjudgmental book to provide women and their partners with a way to think about prenatal testing before being offered it. I hope I’ve achieved that goal at least in some small way. But it has probably become clear that I also approach this project with a very particular bias. At the end of the day, I hope that many women will choose to continue their pregnancies even in the face of disabilities. I also hope that our culture will become one in which making that choice is more and more possible, with protection for families with children who have disabilities, including greater social supports, educational options, and health care provisions.

Tomorrow we will hear from a mother who chose to terminate her pregnancy after a diagnosis of Down syndrome, and I hope that readers will recognize that her reasons draw both from personal concerns and from concerns about the culture in which her child would have been growing up. I also hope that whatever our biases, we will approach one another’s stories with grace and compassion.

My Questions About the Ethics of Embryo Selection
I Don't Love Valentine's Day, and That's Okay
Thank you Patheos! (And Continuing the Conversation at Christianity Today)
Politics, Down Syndrome, and What I'm Reading
About Amy Julia Becker

Amy Julia Becker writes and speaks about family, faith, disability, and culture. A graduate of Princeton University and Princeton Theological Seminary, she is the author of Penelope Ayers: A Memoir, A Good and Perfect Gift (Bethany House), and Why I Am Both Spiritual and Religious (Patheos Press).


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