In a book meant to teach abortion workers how to “counsel” women considering abortion, the authors tell the workers to recommend abortion when the baby has a disability
When counselling, the aim of the health professional involved would normally be to support a decision-making process but not to influence it. There has recently been lively debate whether a non-directive approach is possible or even ideal when fetal abnormality has been discovered. By not offering guidance are professionals merely disowning responsibility and choosing not to face the ethical dilemmas they have been instrumental in discovering?
By receiving non-directive counselling the couple are urged to make their own impossible decision at a time when they are grief-stricken and in emotional turmoil. Couples in this kind of situation are often desperate to be advised what to do, and being able to say “the doctor advised us to have a termination” can sometimes be a blessed relief….
Joanna Brien, Ida Fairbairn Pregnancy and Abortion Counseling (London: Routledge, 1996) 130-131
Sarah is a member of the board of The Pro-life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians. View all posts by Sarah