Is choice still choice with strings attached?

According to the documentary The Right Child [Det rätta barnet], which was broadcast on Swedish television recently, a prenatal screening programme in Denmark has started a trend which, if it continues, will lead to no more babies being born with Down’s syndrome. With more advanced screening technology, more and more parents are choosing to terminate pregnancies when the condition is diagnosed. In a leader editorial about the documentary, Hanne Kjöller raises her concerns for the kind of society prenatal diagnostic testing creates. Highlighting that she is a pro-choice advocate, she asks what will happen when screening programmes that can detect autism in foetuses are introduced. How narrow can the perception of the perfect child...

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There is no ’12-week rule’

The first thing you get when you go to your GP and say that you’re pregnant is a calm congratulations, and then a reminder that one in four pregnancies end in miscarriage. Not exactly fireworks. There are reasons for this, of course. First of all, it’s true, and most people are not aware. And maybe, maybe, when you have your first miscarriage, knowing that it happens all the time can help you deal with it differently and stop you from blaming yourself. But this is part of a much bigger picture, and, the way I see it, quite a problematic one. When Victoria, the Crown Princess of Sweden, and her husband Daniel announced the other day that they are expecting, everyone seemed to have an opinion (quite amusing, considering the number of...

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Baby on board – shout it from the rooftops!

“I like to think I’m a fairly tolerant person. I’m not, obviously, but I still like to think it. In truth, as I get older the list of things that disproportionately annoy me gets longer. Grammatical errors. Tourists who walk too slowly down busy London thoroughfares. Pregnant women who wear “Baby on board” badges when travelling on public transport. That kind of thing.” I read the first paragraph of Elizabeth Day’s column in The Observer last weekend and thought: I like her; she’s a bit like me. Because not only am I a notorious grammar stickler, but I used to think exactly that – in fact, I still feel a bit like that – about those stupid badges. Still today, I refuse to wear one. Despite finding out that the back pain...

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