The Negative Effects Of Prenatal Testing

2526 words - 10 pages

Prenatal tests show the possibility of a child having a genetic disorder, such as Down Syndrome which leads many parents to choose abortion. When it comes to prenatal testing there are many different testing options. Screening tests for example, which are the first tests that are done on the fetus. During the first ten to thirteen weeks of a pregnancy, a woman can get a first trimester screening done. This is an ultrasound and maternal blood test that tests for the genes of Down Syndrome and Trisomy 18. In a first trimester screening, a result of 1/50 means a woman has a 2% chance of having a baby with a chromosome disorder (The Facts on Prenatal Testing). The next testing window is the fifteenth – twentieth week of pregnancy. This is a Quad screening and consists of a maternal blood test the looks for Down Syndrome, Trisomy 1, and neural tube defects in the fetus. In this test there is a 5% false positive rate (The Facts on Prenatal Testing). Lastly, in the screening test options is the anatomy ultrasound, which is done eighteenth-twenty-second weeks into pregnancy. This screening is an ultrasound that assesses for birth defects. Screening tests are non-invasive and therefore leave very few negative impacts on the fetus. The majority of this paper will focus on the more invasive tests, such as diagnostic tests.
Diagnostic tests tell a woman if her baby is affected with a chromosomal disorder. These tests are able to detect disorders beyond just Trisomy 21 and Trisomy 18, which is what the screening tests focus on, but these tests are dangerously invasive. Chronic villus sampling is the first diagnostic test offered to a woman. This test is done between the tenth and twelfth weeks of pregnancy. In chronic villus testing a small piece of the placenta is removed to check for genetic problems. There is a chance that this test could lead to a miscarriage because of its invasive nature. Amniocentesis is the second diagnostic test that is offered. This test is done between the sixteenth and eighteenth week of pregnancy, and it removes a small amount of amniotic fluid from the fetus. Amniocentesis also tests for a wide range of genetic disorders, and also comes with a chance of miscarriage.
Prenatal tests that result in a positive result of any kind push many parents to choose abortion. The number of children with Down Syndrome in the U.S. has decreased over the past few years. This is not because a cure has been found, but because more and more parents are choosing to abort children who were found to have the disorder in prenatal tests. “When people find out that they are having a child likely to have the syndrome, more than 80% of them opt to abort the baby” (Ponnuru). Prenatal testing also leads to selective abortion, which is when parents choose to abort or keep a fetus based off of it’s genetic makeup. In these cases the child is completely under the control of its parents choices. The process of selective...

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