chapter  9
19 Pages

SPOILING THE PREGNANCY: PRENATAL DIAGNOSIS IN THE NETHERLANDS

Barbara Katz Rothman
ByRENATAL IAGNOSIS IN THE ETHERLANDS

The relationship between technological change and social change is one that has long fascinated social scientists. The questions are often phrased in a chicken-and-egg fashion: Which came first? In my work on procreative concerns and practices in the United States, I have argued that underlying ideology drives technological development. Looking specifically at the relationship of ideology and technology in prenatal diagnosis, it seems to me that certain ways of thinking about pregnancy, childbirth, and the relationship between parents and children made the development of prenatal diagnosis and selective abortion feasible in the United States at the end of the twentieth century. The increasing commodification of children (see Zelizar 1985), one might say, made this development of screening techniques all but inevitable.