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The Ethics of Abortion for Foetal Abnormality

Journal Authors: 
DOI: 
10.7727/wimj.2016.336

ABSTRACT

The recent outbreak of the mosquito-borne Zika virus in the wider Caribbean and beyond has thrust the issue of abortion into the spotlight once again. This is as a result of the latest guidance provided by the Centres for Disease Control, which has implicated the Zika virus as a cause of multiple foetal abnormalities, including microcephaly. Whereas the controversy surrounding abortion has always been about choice, and the competing rights of the mother versus the rights of the unborn foetus, the issue of foetal anomalies adds a new dimension to the debate. What are the ethicolegal implications of a mother seeking an abortion for reasons of foetal abnormality? This article will explore those implications, but it is beyond its remit to comment on the ethics of abortion per se. (Throughout this article I use the term abortion to mean a termination of pregnancy and not in its unfortunate criminal context).

Accepted: 
13 Sep, 2016
PDF Attachment: 
e-Published: 15 Sep, 2016

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Manuscripts that are Published Ahead of Print have been peer reviewed and accepted for publication by the Editorial Board of the West Indian Medical Journal. They may appear in their original format and may not be copy edited or formatted in the style guide of this Journal. While accepted manuscripts are not yet assigned a volume, issue or page numbers, they can be cited using the DOI and date of e-publication. See our Instructions for Authors on how to properly cite manuscripts at this stage. The contents of the manuscript may change before it is published in its final form. Manuscripts in this section will be removed once they have been issued to a volume and issue, but will still retain the DOI and date of e-publication.

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