J Anal Res Clin Med. 2018;6(4):158-164.
doi: 10.15171/jarcm.2018.026
  Abstract View: 114
  PDF Download: 98

Original Article

Late presentation of pregnant women with chromosomal abnormalities: A barrier to legal and safe abortions in Muslim majority countries

Simin Taghavi 1 ORCiD, Hossein Alikhah 2, Mohammad Mirza-Aghazadeh-Attari 3, Sharareh Barband 4, Sahar Mohammadi 5, Mohammad Naghavi-Behzad 4 * ORCiD

1 Women’s Reproductive Health Research Center, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran
2 Department of Emergency Medicine, School of Medicine, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran
3 Medical Philosophy and History Research Center, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran
4 Students Research Committee, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran
5 Department of Emergency Medicine, School of Medicine, Zanjan University of Medical Sciences, Zanjan, Iran

Abstract

Introduction: In Islamic countries, the prenatal diagnostic procedures are planned considering legal and religious limitations. We aimed to evaluate the indications of presentation and problems related to religious and legal limitations for presentation of Muslim parents for prenatal screening of chromosomal abnormalities. Methods: A cross-sectional study was performed on consecutive 920 pregnant women presenting for screening of congenital and chromosomal anomalies to Educational Medical Centers of Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran, between 2011 and 2015. Previously prepared questionnaire forms were utilized for collection of information from patients and their medical records. Results: In total, 153 cases had an indication for amniocentesis, and this procedure revealed that 141 fetuses (92.2%) did not have any congenital abnormalities, but 12 cases (7.8%) had some sort of abnormality, requiring pregnancy termination. These cases included 8 fetuses (5.2%) with trisomy and four (2.6%) with single gene diseases. Of 12 patients, the justifications for pregnancy termination were issued for 7 women by the provincial Legal Medicine Organization. However, the remaining 5 patients could not obtain legal justifications for termination of their pregnancies, mostly because of late presentation, obligating them to choose illegal methods for pregnancy termination. Conclusion: Regarding the legal and religious limitation of pregnancy termination after 18th week in Islamic countries, it is highly recommended that the first trimester screening programs be performed in Islamic countries in order to obtain early decision-making.
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Submitted: 07 May 2018
Accepted: 25 Jun 2018
First published online: 15 Dec 2018
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