The debate over the use of genetic testing to inform expectant mothers regarding fetal anomalies, with the intention of enabling her to decide whether or not to terminate pregnancy based on testing outcomes, is arguably deemed by many physicians and scientists to be major medical advancement. Proponents of testing believe that this information prevents the potentiality of lifelong suffering for of the unborn child, as well as encourages a healthier population. There are, however, scientists, geneticists, theorists, and disability advocates, who disagree with this theory. Furthermore, pro-life allies appear to take very differing stances on this topic, from opposing any termination of pregnancy, even in cases of severe disability or a likelihood of infant or maternal mortality, while some may believe abortion is acceptable under these unique circumstances, even if they oppose others. It is difficult to understand how the criteria is evaluated, particularly in cases of the former, when support and resources for disabled persons are greatly lacking, which can lead to a more challenging life, and when the stigma of bearing and raising a defective child is widespread. Thus, it is a crucial topic in women’s studies to understand when there is a pro-life paradox of disability exclusion is and how it may inform decision-making and advocacy regarding selective termination of pregnancy.
The Pro-Life Paradox of Pregnancy Termination and Disability Exclusion