• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Anon abortions hinder Swedish foetal research

Ann Törnkvist · 3 Jan 2014, 13:57

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.

Story continues below…

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
Brexit vote
Sweden opposition cools talk of 'Swexit' poll
Anna Kinberg Batra, of the largest opposition party, the Moderates. Photo: TT

"This is a sad day for the British and for Europe."

Brexit vote
Swedish PM swats aside calls for EU renegotiation
"Sweden will now lose an important partner in the EU," Löfven said. Photo: TT

Left Party calls "totally irresponsible."

Brexit vote
'Devastated' - Brits in Sweden shocked by Brexit vote

Expat Brits in Sweden have reacted with shock, despair and uncertainty to the result of the EU referendum in the UK which was won 52-48 by the Leave campaign.

Brexit vote
'A morning of sorrow': Sweden reacts to Brexit vote
Photo: TT

The former Swedish EU minister, Birgitta Ohlsson declared that it was 'a morning of sorrow', after British voters opted to leave the European Union on Thursday.

The Local Recipes
How to make Karin's delicious Midsummer cake
Karin's cake. Photo: swedishfood.com

"We are very tolerant of other cultures except when it comes to strawberries."

Sweden named the world's 'most reputable' country
The flag of the world's most reputable country – at least according to one report. Photo: Fredrik Sanberg/TT

Sweden has been ranked as the most reputable country in the world by a new report. Find out why.

Why most students don't finish Swedish for Immigrants
More students are taking Swedish for Immigrants classes, but completion rates are low. Photo: Pontus Lundahl

Only four in ten students finished their courses at Sweden's state-funded Swedish for Immigrants classes in 2015, according to new statistics from a national agency.

Swedish police nab drunk-driving lawnmower man
Lawnmowers: dangerous, in the wrong hands. Photo: Hasse Holmberg/TT

A man in southern Sweden is at risk of having his licence revoked after drunkenly driving a motorized lawnmower.

Sweden has EU's second highest food prices
A shopper prepares for the inevitable fleecing. Photo: Fredrik Persson/TT

If your loaf of bread seems ridiculously expensive that’s because it is.

Here's how much alcohol Swedes drink on Midsummer
Systembolaget is a busy place around Midsummer. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Swedes are known for letting loose on Midsummer, but the most recent figures from the country's state-run alcohol monopoly may surprise you.

Sponsored Article
How to find student housing in Malmö: 5 tips
Culture
How do Swedes celebrate Midsummer?
Sponsored Article
'Sweden gives artists the space to follow their dreams'
Culture
Coming soon: Sweden’s smelly fermented fish
National
Assange lawyer: Sweden should recognize UN opinion
Blog updates

17 June

Queen’s Birthday Stockholm 2016: 9th June. 90th Birthday. 900 Guests! (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"What do you do when you read that the Queen’s 90th Birthday in London will be…" READ »

 

10 June

i lördags, på lördag – time phrases for present, past and future (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hejsan! Swedish time phrases can be difficult to master. It takes a lot of practice to…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
5 reasons you should try dating with The Inner Circle
Private
The Local Voices
Why is this Syrian dentist who hugs like a Swede worried about undies?
Sponsored Article
The man behind Sweden's biggest music festival
Swedish nationalist 'shot and ate' lion and giraffe
Analysis & Opinion
'Sweden's residency revamp is harmful and inhumane'
Photo: The Local
The Local Voices
UNHCR boss: 'It's hard to start your life without your family'
Sponsored Article
US expats: Have you met your tax deadlines?
Politics
VIDEO: Brits in Europe say why UK should stay
Sponsored Article
Education abroad: How to find an international school
Photo: Marko Risović
The Local Voices
World Refugee Day: Searching for safety in Europe - in pictures
National
Is Swedish nationalists’ foreign food ban bananas?
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Gallery
Property of the week: Söråker
Sponsored Article
Malmö: Home to the best food in Sweden?
International
Poll shows huge support for EU in Sweden
The Local Voices
How a Syrian scuba diver mobilized Sweden's biggest asylum centre
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Sport
Zlatan: 'If we'd been fighting for real, he'd be in hospital'
Sponsored Article
VIDEO: Why Malmö is the world's 6th best city for biking
The Local Voices
Orlando reflections: Is it possible to be gay and Muslim?
Sponsored Article
5 reasons you should try dating with The Inner Circle
Sweden to go ahead with migrant age tests
Sponsored Article
US expats: Have you met your tax deadlines?
Gallery
People-watching: June 17th-19th
Sponsored Article
Stockholm school celebrates Nepal Project success
National
Will you be hit by changes to Sweden's residency laws?
Sponsored Article
6 simple travel hacks that will make your life easier
The Local Voices
Why an Iraqi who won Swedish lottery won't quit his restaurant job
Gallery
People-watching: Midweek revellers
National
Why this pizzeria is giving elderly Swedes free meatballs
3,310
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