The Newsletter 52 Winter 2009

Selective abortion in Japan

Masae Kato

Pre-natal screening and testing is meant to inform and empower parents, but what happens when you learn that your foetus has a disability? Making the decision to terminate the pregnancy can be agonising. It also raises ethical questions about our level of intervention in nature. When do we benefi t from such technologies, and when do they damage us? Masae Kato examines these issues in the context of Japan, a country with a eugenic past, where debates on new life technologies have been ongoing for the last 40 years.

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