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A Disability Critique of the New Prenatal Test for Down Syndrome
Abstract

Abstract:

This article presents evidence that the availability of a new noninvasive test for Down syndrome (known as “MaterniT21”) could result in increased uptake of prenatal testing for Down syndrome and an increase in selective abortions of affected fetuses. I argue that people with Down syndrome and those sympathetic to them have reason to object to these developments because bias against cognitive disability is an influence on decisions to test and terminate for Down syndrome, and social practices motivated by bias are objectionable. The article addresses many of the challenges to the disability critique formulated by its detractors. I discuss whether the disability critique is the same as the “expressivist” objection to prenatal testing, the nature of the harm experienced by people with Down syndrome, and the link between prenatal testing and this harm.