New Article: A qualitative study on how Muslim women of Moroccan descent approach antenatal anomaly screening

Findings: Women experienced the combined test as ‘a test’ that could identify potentially anomalous infants, and could result in being offered termination of the pregnancy; a fact that resulted in their extensive deliberations and hesitation about he test uptake. Only two women had the Combined Test. Conversely, women opted for the Fetal Anomaly Scan and saw it as ‘only an ultrasound to see the baby’. Above all, women emphasized that whether or not to participate in antenatal anomaly tests
was their own, individual decision as ultimately they were accountable for their choices. All women, including nulliparous women, viewed becoming pregnant as the point of becoming a mother – and considered prenatal screening through the lens of
motherhood.
Key conclusions: Motherhood was the lens through which the decision to participate in antenatal anomaly screening was approached. Religious beliefs influenced values on termination and disability and were influential in the deliberations for prenatal testing. Combined Test but not Fetal Anomaly Scan was considered to be a prenatal screening test.
Implications for practice: counsellors should have knowledge of the different Islamic beliefs about -the latest possible day for- termination and an awareness that Muslim women make their own conscious choices, also beyond Islamic rulings.

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