The Abortion Conundrum: How Far Israelis Go to Make Sure Their Babies Are Born Perfect

The Abortion Conundrum: How Far Israelis Go to Make Sure Their Babies Are Born Perfect
What do parents do if they discover the baby could be born deaf? Or sterile? Or suffer from a disease? Israelis choose to terminate such pregnancies much more frequently than in other Western countries

By Shany Littman
Jun 13, 2019

It was Yael’s second pregnancy. She had received a sperm donation and gave birth to her first child, a daughter, four years earlier, and went through the same procedure this time, too. All the tests were good but now, because she was 44, the single mother also underwent amniocentesis and paid 2,000 shekels ($550) for a CMA (“DNA chip”) test. The result indicated a problem in the fetus’ genetic sequence.

“The doctor talked about possible intellectual disability and autism, about delayed development and attention deficit problems,” recalls Yael, who lives in the center of the country. (Some of the names in this article have been changed to protect the interviewees’ privacy.) “He showed me a list of all kinds of disabilities, which had a 30-percent probability of happening. That sounded very high. I cried but we reached the conclusion that it would be out of the question for me to give birth to a baby with disabilities. I am a single parent with limited resources. There was no way I could cope with that.”

Continued: https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium.MAGAZINE-the-abortion-conundrum-how-far-israelis-go-to-ensure-their-babies-are-born-perfect-1.7362524

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USA – Clarence Thomas tried to link abortion to eugenics. Seven historians told The Post he’s wrong.

Clarence Thomas tried to link abortion to eugenics. Seven historians told The Post he’s wrong.

By Eli Rosenberg
May 30, 2019

In the opinion he wrote on the Supreme Court’s recent decision about two abortion laws, Justice Clarence Thomas reached back into history.

Thomas argued that the door for abortion rights was opened by the eugenics movement — the now-discredited pseudoscience obsessed with the genetic fitness of white Americans that was popular in the early 20th century — to raise alarm about abortion rights now.

Continued: https://www.washingtonpost.com/history/2019/05/31/clarence-thomas-tried-link-abortion-eugenics-seven-historians-told-post-hes-wrong/?utm_term=.9554b6ed7982

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Norway – Instrumentalising women’s reproductive vulnerability for political gain: where in the world does it stop?

Instrumentalising women’s reproductive vulnerability for political gain: where in the world does it stop?
November 30, 2018

A move to restrict abortion in Norway is a particularly stark example of the readiness with which women’s reproductive vulnerability is traded as a kind of political capital

There is an extraordinary piece of instrumentalisation of women’s health for political gain going on in an unlikely quarter, just now.

Norway has both a relatively good record on women’s rights, and a balanced and popular abortion law with no popular or parliamentary mandate for change. It also has low and falling abortion rates, 80% of which are conducted as a woman’s choice under 9 weeks, and just 4%—far more tightly regulated than, for example, in either Sweden or the UK—in the second trimester.

Continued: https://blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2018/11/30/instrumentalising-womens-reproductive-vulnerability-for-political-gain-where-in-the-world-does-it-stop/

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Amendment to bill on grounds sought for abortion defeated in Dáil

Amendment to bill on grounds sought for abortion defeated in Dáil

Thursday, 29 Nov 2018
By Ailbhe Conneely, RTÉ News Political reporter

An amendment proposing that abortions are not sought on grounds of race, sex or disability under the Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy Bill has been defeated in the Dáil.

Following a lengthy and often tense Report Stage debate which began last night, TDs voted against the amendment by 71 votes to 21.

Continued: https://www.rte.ie/news/politics/2018/1129/1014230-abortion-amendment-dail/

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Abortion demonstrations draw thousands across Norway after prime minister proposes tightening laws

Abortion demonstrations draw thousands across Norway after prime minister proposes tightening laws
Thousands joined demonstrations in cities around the country over politicians suggestion that abortion laws could be tightened

Alex Matthews-King, Health Correspondent
Nov 17, 2018

Thousands of Norwegians joined nationwide protests on Saturday as part of a backlash against proposals by the leader of the ruling coalition government which would tighten the country’s abortion laws.

Prime minister Erna Solberg, has suggested amending a key paragraph of existing legislation which allows abortions after 12 weeks where the child will have a “serious illness” like Down’s syndrome, or in some cases for multiple births.

Continued: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/abortion-norway-protest-oslo-storting-womens-erna-solberg-christian-democrats-march-a8638966.html

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Norway Will Negotiate Discriminatory Elements in Abortion Act

Norway Will Negotiate Discriminatory Elements in Abortion Act

November 5, 2018

Prime Minister Erna Solberg does not want to change abortion practice in Norway, but will remove “discriminatory element in the law”, according to Dagens Næringsliv.

Solberg has been criticized for her willingness to negotiate changes in the Abortion Act, as she needs the support of Christian Democrats (KrF) for her bourgeois government.

In an interview with the newspaper, Solberg says that women should still be able to use abortion right after 12 weeks if there is a high risk of the child having serious disabilities.

Continued: https://www.tnp.no/norway/politics/norway-will-negotiate-discriminatory-elements-in-abortion-act

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Norway plays politics with abortion laws

Norway plays politics with abortion laws

By Lisbeth Kirk
OSLO, 30. Oct 2018

Norway's conservative prime minister, Erna Solberg, has proposed tightening the country's abortion laws, in a political gambit that goes against Europe's liberal trend.

Her idea is to amend paragraph 2c in Norway's Abortion Act - also known as the Downs Paragraph, by reference to Downs Syndrome, a genetic disorder.

Continued: https://euobserver.com/news/143242

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UK – The ethical case against sex-selective abortion isn’t simple

The ethical case against sex-selective abortion isn’t simple

September 25, 2018
Jeremy Williams

A key theme in public debate over abortion in many countries over the last few years has been the morality and legality of sex-selective terminations. Now the use of an early prenatal testing technique in the UK has led to further concerns.

The Non-Invasive Prenatal Test (NIPT) is being fully introduced on the NHS this year, as a safe method of detecting Down’s Syndrome and other genetic conditions. But it has been internationally available from private providers for a number of years, and, as a 2017 report noted, is often offered as a sex-determination test. This has raised concerns that the test may be used to facilitate sex-selective abortion – particularly within communities where women can be subject to strong cultural and familial pressure not to have girls. The current legal status of this practice in the UK is a matter of some controversy.

Continued: http://theconversation.com/the-ethical-case-against-sex-selective-abortion-isnt-simple-103806

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Australia – Play confronts ‘grief for what might have been’

Play confronts ‘grief for what might have been’

By Carolyn Webb
12 September 2018

Emily Steel and her partner Chris knew what their decision would be if they found out their unborn baby had Down syndrome.

She told her loved ones about it, but she concedes that in "real life I tend to play my cards close to my chest".

That is until she made another decision, months later, that enabled her to confront "the depth of the emotion and the pain of it".

Continued: https://www.smh.com.au/national/victoria/you-re-not-alone-one-woman-play-tells-true-story-of-abortion-20180910-p502w4.html

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Irish abortion vote: ‘propagandistic’ use of children with Down’s syndrome condemned

Irish abortion vote: 'propagandistic' use of children with Down's syndrome condemned
Father, doctor and pro-choice campaigner accuses anti-abortion lobby of exploiting ‘vulnerable group’ in referendum

Henry McDonald Ireland Correspondent
Tue 22 May 2018

A doctor, author and father of a son with Down’s syndrome has hit out at Ireland’s anti-abortion lobby for using children with the condition during campaigning for Friday’s referendum.

With only days left before the Irish electorate votes on whether to introduce limited abortion into the state’s hospitals, Dr Chris Kaposy has condemned the “propagandistic use” of children like his son by anti-abortion campaigners.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/may/22/irish-abortion-referendum-propagandistic-use-of-children-with-downs-syndrome-condemned

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