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Having a child who suffers from a major genetic disease can be one of life's most challenging surprises, often demanding a lot of time, money, and emotional strength. But with the introduction of prenatal genetic testing in the 1960s, the element of surprise has been reduced for some childhood genetic diseases. Prenatal genetic tests let expecting parents find out in advance whether their child will be born with a major disability or terminal disease, and, in the case of a positive diagnosis, offer a choice: prepare for the life-altering challenge of raising a child with major health problems or abort the pregnancy.

It’s a choice no would-be parent wants to face. But given the option, many choose abortion. In the case of Down syndrome, one of the most common prenatally diagnosed diseases, a 2012 American study found that nearly 70 percent of women with a positive diagnosis decide to terminate the pregnancy. In the United Kingdom, 90 percent of women choose abortion. And in Denmark, after the introduction of a nationwide prenatal screening program to identify high-risk pregnancies... see more