Journal Article

Women in No Man's Land: The Abortion Debate in the USA and Women Terminating Desired Pregnancies Due to Foetal Anomaly

Judith L. M. McCoyd

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 40, issue 1, pages 133-153
Published in print January 2010 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online May 2008 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcn080
Women in No Man's Land: The Abortion Debate in the USA and Women Terminating Desired Pregnancies Due to Foetal Anomaly

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Abortion is a politicized and contested topic in many countries. In the USA, it is subject to particularly polarized debate and increasingly stringent policies. Women who terminate a desired preganancy due to diagnosis of foetal anomaly (TFA) are stuck in the middle of the debate. The debate is framed as “pro-life” vs. “pro-choice” though neither camp fits the experience of women who TFA. These women report a sense of responsibility and love toward the foetus that they refer to as their baby, yet they also make use of the choice to terminate the pregnancy when fetal anomaly is diagnosed. This article summarizes the historical context of abortion in the USA and then reports findings from qualitative data about the impact of the abortion debate on women who TFA. The social work person-in-environment perspective is shown to be crucial to assisting women in their coping.

Keywords: Abortion; foetal anomalies; prenatal diagnosis; disabilities

Journal Article.  9141 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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