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Screening networks: Shared agendas in feminist and disability movement challenges to antenatal screening and abortion

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Janice McLaughlinORCiD


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This paper identifies common ground in feminist and disability movement concerns with the social and ethical implications of antenatal screening and abortion. By examining the frameworks used by particular authors within each area, I argue that they both can and do have a shared agenda, which is focused on the social values that are embedded in antenatal screening and promote abortion as the obvious choice to the diagnosis of a congenital condition. It is important to develop some kind of shared agenda in order to construct theoretical and methodological approaches, which pay equal attention to pregnant women (disabled and non-disabled) and disabled people. To aid the development of such an agenda I draw on Actor Network Theory (ANT), which focuses on analysing the role of sociotechnical networks in securing particular social values and moral worlds. The issue for both disability studies and feminism is what kind of screening networks produce moral worlds that promote abortion, shape women's choices and express discrimination against disabled people?

Publication metadata

Author(s): McLaughlin J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Disability and Society

Year: 2003

Volume: 18

Issue: 3

Pages: 297-310

Print publication date: 01/05/2003

ISSN (print): 0968-7599

ISSN (electronic): 1360-0508


DOI: 10.1080/0968759032000052879


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