When Is Termination of Pregnancy During the Third Trimester Morally Justifiable?
Chervenak, Frank A.
Farley, Margaret A.
Hobbins, John C.
Mahoney, Maurice J.
New England Journal of Medicine. 1984 Feb 23; 310(8): 501-504.
The authors argue that selective abortion is morally permissible in the third trimester of pregnancy provided that two conditions are met: (1) that the fetus is afflicted with a disorder that is either incompatible with postnatal survival for more than a few weeks or characterized by the total or virtual absence of cognitive function, and (2) that highly reliable diagnostic procedures are available for determining prenatally that the fetus fulfills the first condition. They identify anencephaly as a defect that meets both conditions, and briefly describe experiences with the prenatal diagnosis and obstetric management of fetal anencephaly. They also discuss other serious fetal disorders for which third trimester abortion is not justified because one of the essential conditions is lacking. (KIE abstract)
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