abortion, amniocentesis, grief, perinatal loss, prenatal diagnosis



  1. Bourguignon, Ann MS
  2. Briscoe, Barbara MS
  3. Nemzer, Laurie MS


Women who receive abnormal prenatal diagnosis results potentially face two emotionally difficult decisions. In this article, the first decision-whether or not to terminate the pregnancy-is presented with a discussion of the factors that may influence a woman's choice. Women who choose to terminate the pregnancy face a second decision when more than one type of abortion procedure is available. Two second trimester abortion procedures-dilation and evacuation and labor induction-are compared and contrasted to delineate potential advantages and disadvantages of each. The decision-making process is examined, emphasizing the individual ways in which women may weigh this information to make a fully informed decision. In addition, a number of recommendations are offered to health care providers in the role of discussing options and supporting women in their choices.