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Genetic or medical termination of pregnancy

termination; genetic; medical; abortion;

No one who conceives a pregnancy expects to have to end it - terminate (abort) it - for medical reasons, or for a normally happy event to become one of sadness.

There are now a number of tests that are done routinely to check your baby's health before he is she is born, and it comes as a shock for some parents to learn there is something wrong.

  • It may be there is a problem with the baby and the prospective parents are faced with the difficult decision of whether or not to continue the pregnancy.
  • Or it may be there is a problem with the mother's health and the doctors advise against continuing with the pregnancy.

The decision to terminate (abort) or to continue with a pregnancy can be a very difficult time for both of the parents. It is important for women and their partners who are faced with this situation to receive as much information as possible about their baby's condition and the options that are available to them.

Information and support from doctors and nurses and other health professionals can be vital at this time. Hospital or clinic staff may be able to offer you information about the condition that your unborn baby has or they may refer you to a specialist who can give you more detailed information. There may also be an association or a support group where parents can go for information.


SAFDA (Support After Fetal Diagnosis of Abnormality) has been established in South Australia to support parents and families before and after a termination of pregnancy following the diagnosis of an abnormality. The group is run by parents who have experienced this type of pregnancy loss supported by  genetic counsellors. 

Centre for Genetics Education (NSW) 
The Centre for Genetics Education is dedicated to providing current and relevant genetics information to individuals and family members affected by genetic conditions and the professionals who work with them. The site provides fact sheets on many of the problems that can be diagnosed in an unborn baby.

  • Booklet 'Diagnosis of abnormality in an unborn baby' - this booklet describes the impact, options and experiences felt after the diagnosis of an abnormality in an unborn baby. It can be downloaded from the website. 
    Publications and resources - individuals and families 

SANDS (SA) is a support group in South Australia for parents and their family whose baby has died through stillbirth, neonatal death, miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy and medically advised termination. Phone 1300 072 637 (24 hours)

The SANDS website has information for bereaved parents and also for their relatives and friends. There is a book list and some stories written by bereaved parents. There are SANDS groups in some other Australian states and information can be obtained from the SANDS Australia website 


These websites explore the area of termination of pregnancy for fetal abnormality from the point of view of people who have been there.

There is also information on the Pregnancy, birth and baby website, and links to other sources of information 

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The information on this site should not be used as an alternative to professional care. If you have a particular problem, see your doctor or midwife.


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