Amber Knight and Joshua MillerJun 1, 2023
Prenatal Genetic Testing, Abortion, and Disability Justice
Oxford University Press 2023
The routinization of non-invasive prenatal genetic testing (NIPT) raises urgent questions about disability rights and reproductive justice. Supporters defend NIPT on the grounds that genetic information about the fetus helps would-be parents make better family planning choices. Prenatal Genetic Testing, Abortion, and Disability Justice (Oxford UP, 2023) challenges that assessment by exploring how NIPT can actually constrain pregnant women's options. Prospective parents must
balance a complicated array of factors, including the familial, social, and financial support they can reasonably expect to receive if they choose to carry a disabled fetus to term and raise after birth, causing many pregnant women to “choose” termination.
Focusing on the US, the book explores the intent and effects of prenatal screening in connection to women's bodily autonomy and disability rights, addressing themes at the intersection of genetic medicine, policymaking, critical disabilities studies, and political theory. Knight and Miller shift debates about reprogenetics from bioethics to political practice, as well as thoroughly critiquing the neoliberal state and the eugenic technologies that support it. Providing concrete suggestions for reforming medical practice, welfare policy, and cultural norms surrounding disability, this book highlights sites of necessary reform to envision how prospective parents can make truly free choices about prenatal genetic testing and selection abortion.
Amber Knight, Associate Professor of Political Science and Public Administration, University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Joshua Miller, Assistant Teaching Professor of Political Science and Public Administration, University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
Shu Wan is currently matriculated as a doctoral student in history at the University at Buffalo. As a digital and disability historian, he serves in the editorial team of Digital Humanities Quarterly and Nursing Clio. On Twitter: @slissw.