Moral Adherers: Pregnant Women Undergoing Routine Prenatal Screening in Denmark

  • Laura Louise Heinsen


This chapter explores how selective reproductive technologies (SRTs) have become routinized among pregnant women in Denmark. The research found that pregnant women did not make active decisions to opt for prenatal screening and did not perceive screening to be riddled with moral conflict. Rather, as ‘moral adherers’, they took screening for granted as part of antenatal health care. The chapter argues that the highly institutionalized availability of pregnancy ‘opt-outs’ compels women to see selective abortion as an acceptable choice, delegating the moral responsibility for selection to the healthcare system rather than to individuals. In this moral optic, selective reproduction becomes a collective responsibility.


Prenatal screening Pregnancy Selective abortion Moral adherers Routinization Denmark 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laura Louise Heinsen
    • 1
  1. 1.Municipality of CopenhagenCopenhagenDenmark

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