• Sweden's news in English
 

Anon abortions hinder Swedish foetal research

Published: 03 Jan 2014 13:57 GMT+01:00

More frequent prenatal testing for foetal abnormalities has lead to more early-term abortions in Sweden, a new report revealed last year. In one in five abortions in Sweden, the discovery of chromosomal anomalies explained the woman's decision to terminate the pregnancy. 

All damages to an aborted foetus are reported to the National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialistyrelsen), where researchers said on Friday that they could not follow up on the mother's lifestyle, diet and other factors to try to find causes of the abnormalities - because the identity of women who have an abortion in Sweden is protected.

The hidden identity poses a scientific problem, they warned.

"We are not jumping into the debate about diagnostics, nor questioning the woman's right to abortion, this is simply a question about the possibility of discovering potential threats," said doctor Karin Källen who is researching foetal damage on behalf of the health board. 

She said the authorities inability to contact the women to ask more questions meant Sweden could be missing out on vital clues to why some foetuses are affected by abnormalities. 

"We have received reports about patterns in the abnormalities, but as long as we can't go back to the woman to see what she has eaten and been exposed to, we can't trace it," Källen said. 

Her colleague Karin Gottvall suggested anonymity be lifted when the foeteus has suffered damages.

"It's unfortunate that one treats all abortions the same regardless of the cause of the termination," Gottvall told the TT news agency.

A government-appointed inquiry suggested already in 2004 that the law be amended, but no reform has been enacted.

In 2012, for every 1,000 children born in Sweden, 5.2 pregnancies were terminated following prenatal testing. Some 22 percent of mothers who found out their child had a chromosomal abnormality chose to terminate the pregnancy.

Apart from Down's Syndrome, expectant parents also faced giving birth to children with serious heart, lung and kidney conditions. The mother chose to terminate the pregnancy in 88 percent of cases when the child had anencaphaly - a condition when part of the child's brain is missing. They also chose abortion in 75 percent of cases where doctors detected bilateral renal agenesis - when the child is missing both kidneys.

Ann Törnkvist (ann.tornkvist@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Man shot dead at Malmö shopping centre
Mobilia shopping mall on Saturday night. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Man shot dead at Malmö shopping centre

Two hooded gunmen opened fire at a man in a kebab restaurant at one of Malmö’s largest shopping centres on Saturday afternoon, in full view of several families and their children. READ  

Video
Swedes buys Soviet tank for winter fun
Jesper Lysell with his new tank. Photo: Private

Swedes buys Soviet tank for winter fun

You’ve got 100,000 Swedish kronor to blow on something extravagant. Do you buy a low-end sports car? Not if you live in southern Norrland, you don’t. You buy a tank. READ  

Sweden braced for fresh barrage of thick snow
A typical drive in Luleå on Friday. Photo: Facebook

Sweden braced for fresh barrage of thick snow

Large swathes of northern and eastern Sweden were preparing for a further dump of snow on Sunday, with the country’s national forecaster warning that as much as 30cm could drop on parts of the country. READ  

'The perfect workout': gym clears snow for free
Aerobic snow-shovelling on Saturday morning: Crossfit Holistics webpage

'The perfect workout': gym clears snow for free

A gym in northern Sweden has turned this week’s monster snowfall into “the perfect workout”, sending its members out for an hour on Saturday to shovel snow around the city for free. READ  

Pirate Bay back online seven weeks after raid
The Pirate Bay's homepage on Saturday. Photo: Screen grab

Pirate Bay back online seven weeks after raid

Sweden’s seeming unquashable file-sharing site The Pirate Bay is back online, seven weeks after police seized servers hosted at a data centre in a nuclear-proof bunker deep in a mountain outside Stockholm. READ  

Roma denied sleep complain of 'torture'
The banner erected by the Roma at Sorgenfri Folketshus. Photo: Solidarity with EU migrants

Roma denied sleep complain of 'torture'

A group of Roma immigrants have complained of “torture” and “terrorism” after security guards at a Malmö night café for homeless people refused to let them sleep on the premises. READ  

Israel 'not happy' at Abbas invite to Sweden
US Secretary of State meets Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Amman, Jordan, in November 2014. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/TT

Israel 'not happy' at Abbas invite to Sweden

Israel’s ambassador has sharply criticised Sweden for inviting President Mahmoud Abbas to Stockholm next month, citing it as further evidence of the “energetic pro-Palestinian line” the country’s government has taken since coming to power after September's election. READ  

Beggars 'objectified' at Malmö exhibition
Roma migrants who have swapped the streets for an art gallery. Photo: Albin Balthasar

Beggars 'objectified' at Malmö exhibition

Two Roma beggars have been paid to take part in a controversial art installation that has seen them sitting and standing in silence with a paper cup in front of them in a Malmö art gallery. READ  

More open borders for Swedish nationals
An SAS plane taking off from Sweden. Photo: TT

More open borders for Swedish nationals

From this summer, Swedes may be be able to leave their passports at home when travelling to the UK and other non-Schengen countries within the EU. READ  

Thick snow set to cause further travel chaos
A sign warns about falling snow and ice in Stockholm. Photo: TT

Thick snow set to cause further travel chaos

UPDATED: Heavy snowfall has caused major traffic problems in parts of western and southern Sweden, with further bad weather set to sweep across the country this weekend. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Lifestyle
What’s on in Sweden this week
Sponsored Article
Stockholm job fair helps immigrant entrepreneurs
Gallery
IN PICTURES: European Figure Skating Championships in Stockholm
National
The return of the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Lifestyle
Top five trends from Stockholm Fashion Week
Blog updates

30 January

Editor’s blog, January 30th (The Local Sweden) »

"Greetings from Sweden where much of the country is heading for what could be the coldest..." READ »

 

26 January

The mysterious -s, part 1 (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! How is your Swedish coming along? A while ago I read on a forum on The..." READ »

 
 
 
Gallery
People-watching: January 28th
Business & Money
FATCA: 'The age of financial privacy is over'
National
Does Sweden help returning Isis fighters more than Swedish veterans?
Gallery
IN PICTURES: January snow snaps
Society
Is Sweden's healthcare system a national embarassment?
Gallery
Property of the week: Skanör, Vellinge
Lifestyle
'Life as a Swedish candy-maker is sweet'
National
Why Sweden's Left party wants a European 'Red Spring'
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Sweden's hottest new fashion designers for 2015
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Who travels on Stockholm's different subway lines?
Lifestyle
Why this Swedish baby is a US hit
Lifestyle
'Limousine' snowplough for sale
People-watching: January 24th - 25th
Gallery
People-watching: January 24th - 25th
Society
Meet the 'beggars' buttoning up immigration critics
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Princess Madeleine through the years
Features
Learn Sweden's bizarre dating lingo
People-watching: January 21st - 22nd
Gallery
People-watching: January 21st - 22nd
Society
Why Sweden's viral 'genital' video is getting an English remake
National
Why does Sweden's Luleå have a giant ice beaver?
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Who are Sweden's richest one percent?
Business & Money
How a classic Swedish snack got a revamp for 'busy' Stockholmers
Lifestyle
The Local's top Swedish acts for 2015
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Sweden's Årets Bild photography prize winners
Business & Money
'I met my Swedish man in Tokyo's first Ikea store'
Gallery
Property of the week: A cozy apartment in Bromma, Stockholm
Gallery
People-watching: January 17th - 18th
Lifestyle
How to make Swedish gravad lax
Lifestyle
Four hot Swedish home design trends
National
How The Local's video on a strange Swedish sound went viral
Gallery
People-watching: January 14th
National
The Local's guide to Europe in statistics - from Spain to Sweden
Politics
Paris attacks: Knock-on effects in Sweden and across Europe
National
Swedish Muslims react to new Charlie Hebdo magazine
National
The Local talks to Sweden's Home Affairs Minister about Paris attacks
Business & Money
Will Spotify launch on stock market after users rocket?
Accelerated
Texans and Swedes to play ice instruments
Gallery
Property of the week: An 18th century mansion in Stockholm
Business & Money
'Snowboarding drew me to work in chilly Sweden'
National
Are Sweden's royals moving to London?
Sponsored Article
Everything you need to know about moving to Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

1,008
jobs available
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
psdmedia.se
Counselling and Psychotherapy in English
Sometimes living in another culture can cause stress, confusion and feelings of sadness and loneliness. Talking to a professional psychotherapist/counsellor might help you. I am a UKCP Reg. psychotherapist. My practice is in Södermalm, Stockholm.
Contact me to discuss your options