Accepted paper:

Risky pregnancy? Women's choice and risk accountability of non-invasive prenatal diagnosis in Taiwan

Author:

Liwen Shih (Taipei Medical University)

Paper short abstract:

This paper attempts to analyse how women account for risk-centred prenatal genetic screening and testing in Taiwan. It discusses the reduction of uncertainty from non-invasive prenatal diagnosis and its risk accountability of NIPD to the context of Taiwanese women's reproductive choice.

Paper long abstract:

This paper attempts to analyse how women understand and account for risk-centred prenatal genetic screening and testing in Taiwan. Application of cell-free foetal DNA screening, which is also called 'non-invasive prenatal diagnosis (NIPD)', has become a routine part of prenatal care since 2012 and has brought attention from several academic studies. NIPD makes it possible to detect certain types of disabilities easier and earlier in the pregnancy and with fewer risks. However, it also brings issues to women and society. As argued by feminists, innovative genetic screening and testing technology bring medical intervention and individual choice to women, and these construct them as decision-making subjects and turn them into moral pioneers. Based on participant observations in the obstetric consulting room and interviews with pregnant women, this paper asks how women understand and make decisions with NIPD during their pregnancy. This paper pictures women's pregnancy as 'risky pregnancy' because of risk-centred biomedical practice and risk accountability in women's prenatal diagnosis. By looking at risk-reducing intervention and women's choice, it will provide an account of pregnant women's risk accountability in NIPD and show how women's choice is embedded in medical-socio-technical networks. In the end, this paper will contribute to science, technology and society and feminist studies by bringing the discussion of risk accountability of NIPD to the context of Taiwanese women's reproductive choice.

panel F05
Promissory encounters? Exploring innovations at the intersection of reproduction and genetics from a feminist STS perspective