Seven of ten choose to give birth to ill children

Norwegian women now choose more often than earlier to carry seriously ill or children with mental or physical challenges to term, according to a survey of 41,000 pregnant women in Trøndelag.

Of the 41,000 women who came to a routine ultra sound check up at St. Olavs hospital in Trondheim in the years 1987 to 2001, 1.4 percent was informed that there was something abnormal with the child they were carrying.

One third of the 567 women who received the message decided to end the pregnancy, while seven of ten decided to carry the child to term, according to the Norwegian daily Aftenposten.

«In nine of ten pregnancies which are discontinued the fetus has a deadly or very serious abnormality,» said Kristin Offerdal, director of medicine and researcher at Nationalt Senter for Forstermedisin in Trondheim.

Offerdal wrote her Ph.d dissertation on the topic.

«I wanted to find out if it was the case that it was less and less serious abnormalities which was required for women to discontinue the pregnancy,» Offerdal said. «And I was surprised when I found out that the trend the last 15 years actually goes in the opposite direction.»

In the last five year period from 1987 to 2001, 25 percent of the pregnancies were discontinued because of chromosome faults, against 33 and 36 the two periods bef

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