Unethical to refuse abortion to those with handicapped foetus’
Berge Solberg teaches medical ethics at NTNU. He believes it is wrong to refuse any abortion if medical practitioners have first offered ultrasounds with serious findings.
The professor believes that if the foetus is diagnosed with a serious illness, the woman must be allowed to choose whether or not she will abort it, wrote Klassekampen newspaper.
“When we offer all mothers an ultrasound in week 18, and serious findings are made, we should not deny those who know an abortion,” said Solberg.
The ethics professor argued that depriving women of something that has become an established practice will be unethical.
Professor and general practitioner in gynaecology and obstetrics, Anne Eskild, disagrees. She believes the debate on the Abortion Act is being conducted on false premises and the discussion has been misunderstood.
‘’It seems you are discussing self-determined abortions. That’s not how it is. Unspecified abortion we have got until the end of week twelve. All abortions after that will be decided by the board.’’ said Eskild.
Although in Norway there is self-determined abortion until the twelfth week of a pregnancy, most of them will have their first ultrasound examination only at week 18. If you want to terminate your pregnancy, you must apply.
The decision is taken pursuant to the Abortion Act, where the contested section 2c opens for serious illness disruption and has received much attention lately due to the government discussions.
305 late abortions based on § 2c
Last year, 305 abortions were carried out in accordance with section 2c of the Norwegian Abortion Act, which is now being debated.
The paragraph states that women may be granted abortion even after the twelfth week of pregnancy if there is a high risk of the foetus having a serious defect.
14 different diagnoses were the basis for the abortions, according to figures the newspaper Dagen has obtained from the National Medical Birth Register.
After the termination, the foetus is autopsied and the diagnoses are recorded in the birth register. Every foetus may have one or more diagnoses.
Among the foetuses aborted last year, there were 59 with Down syndrome and 117 with other chromosome faults. 62 had serious heart failures.
Last year there were 17 people who applied for a late abortion because the pregnancy, birth or care of the child can lead to «unreasonable strain on the woman’s physical or mental health».
© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today