Prenatal Testing, Disability, and Termination: An Examination of Newspaper Framing

Carol Bishop Mills, Elina Erzikova


Keywords: disability, genetics, prenatal testing, health, framing

Given the increase in the prevalence of prenatal testing for disabilities and the options following positive test results, this study investigates how information about prenatal testing and disability is represented in the top 30 newspaper markets in the United States. The goal is to examine how print media convey information about prenatal testing for disabilities to its readers. Analyses of 148 full-text articles from 1998 to 2006 indicate that disability is represented in negative terms. The negative framing of disability is paired with positive representations of prenatal testing, and to a slightly lesser extent, positive representations of termination of pregnancies involving a fetus diagnosed with disabilities.


prenatal testing; disability; Down syndrome; framing analysis

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Copyright (c) 2012 Carol Bishop Mills, Elina Erzikova

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ISSN: 2159-8371