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Keywords:

  • Legal abortion;
  • prenatal diagnosis;
  • public opinion;
  • health planning councils;
  • social formal control;
  • health-care policy;
  • personal autonomy

Abstract

Denmark offers public financed prenatal testing (PNT) to all pregnant women, but results are typically not available until after 12 weeks gestation, which is also the time limit for termination of pregnancy (TOP) on request. Committees decide on requests for later TOP. In a questionnaire survey, we investigated attitudes among Danes toward these issues. We also asked for opinions on two claims commonly found in the debate concerning women's right to decide on TOP in relation to PNT. One thousand people aged 18–45 years were drawn randomly from the national personal register. The response rate was 49%. Women and older respondents were overrepresented and may have caused a bias toward conservative attitudes. A majority supported the current PNT program and time limit for TOP on request, but only one-third supported committees deciding on all cases of late TOP. The implications of prenatal testing results becoming more accessible are discussed.