Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2066111
 


 



Mixed Messages: The Intersection of Prenatal Genetic Testing and Abortion


Rachel Rebouché


Temple University Beasley School of Law

Karen H. Rothenberg


University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law

2012

Howard Law Journal, Vol. 55, No. 3, 2012, p. 983
U of Maryland Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2012-26

Abstract:     
This article, prepared for the 2011 Wiley A. Branton Symposium at Howard Law School, provides a snapshot of how current law and practice generate mixed messages about prenatal genetic testing and abortion. The ability to screen and to test for genetic conditions prenatally is expanding, not only because of technological innovations but also because of increased legal and financial incentives. At the same time that prenatal genetic testing is expanding, abortion – one option pregnant women have after testing – is contracting. Federal and state legislation restricts abortion services, for example, by reducing or prohibiting funding; banning the types or limiting the timing of procedures; regulating facilities and physician conduct; and requiring patients to submit to counseling or other informed consent requirements.

The first two parts of this article briefly describe the state of screening and testing today, innovations in non-invasive testing, and the obstacles to and restrictions on abortion services in the United States. The last part considers how similar questions have different answers depending on whether one is discussing testing or abortion – what is defined as prenatal health care; what is the nature and scope of informed consent; how should the integrity of health professionals be protected; and what is the value of women’s autonomy in making decisions about abortion or testing? Drawing briefly on international experience, the article concludes by suggesting how to understand the interplay of abortion and testing decisions in a more nuanced way.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 43

Keywords: pregnancy, screening, health care, informed consent, health professionals

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Date posted: May 25, 2012 ; Last revised: February 24, 2014

Suggested Citation

Rebouché, Rachel and Rothenberg, Karen H., Mixed Messages: The Intersection of Prenatal Genetic Testing and Abortion (2012). Howard Law Journal, Vol. 55, No. 3, 2012, p. 983; U of Maryland Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2012-26. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2066111

Contact Information

Rachel Rebouche
Temple University Beasley School of Law ( email )
1719 N. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122
United States
Karen H. Rothenberg (Contact Author)
University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law ( email )
500 West Baltimore Street
Baltimore, MD 21201-1786
United States
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