School of History, Classics and Archaeology


Decision Making in Pregnancy after 1970

This pilot study will construct an application for a large-scale historical analysis of the sociocultural context of prenatal screening and diagnostic technologies, and their impact upon women and their partners. Parents’ decision making in pregnancy in Britain has been transformed over the
past forty-five years by the development of prenatal screening methods, and invasive and non-invasive diagnostic technologies. These screening and diagnostic tests, which provide information about fetal genetic abnormalities, neural tube defects, other structural anomalies, and fetal gender,
have been analysed by sociologists, anthropologists and bioethicists.

This pilot study will accomplish its goals by a) undertaking a rigorous literature review and scoping potential sources; b) holding workshops with academics, and stakeholders from medicine and the voluntary sector to inform the project’s design and approach, and to identify further sources, as well as collaboration and engagement opportunities; and c) to design a methodology for the project which enables women’s voices to be heard, and secure ethical approval for this methodology.