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date: 09 April 2020

Abstract and Keywords

People with cognitive disabilities and their advocates often express uneasiness about prenatal testing and the selective termination of pregnancies because the fetus has a cognitively disabling condition. There are high rates of abortion in such circumstances, and new forms of noninvasive prenatal testing (NIPT) have been introduced to improve the detection of genetic conditions. This chapter argues that the feeling of disquiet about prenatal testing and selective termination is justified. Philosophers working in the field of bioethics often offer reassurance that such feelings are unjustified. This chapter shows that such reassurances fail and presents an argument that bias against people with cognitive disability plays a role in prenatal decision-making. Feelings of disquiet are justified because it is justified to object to bias that is otherwise directed at oneself.

Keywords: abortion, bias, bioethics, cognitive disability, NIPT, noninvasive prenatal testing, pregnancy, prenatal testing, selective termination

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