Date of Paper


Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)


Social Work

First Advisor

Sharyn DeZelar


Social Work


The purpose of this study was to find out if perinatal hospice laws have changed termination of pregnancy (TOP) rates due to fetal abnormality. This research applies secondary data analysis to determine if establishing informed consent laws have impacted these variables.

TOP rates due to fetal abnormality appear to have changed after enactment of perinatal hospice laws, however these results may be due to chance because the findings were not statistically significant. The average rate of TOP due to fetal abnormality was higher in states without perinatal hospice laws (M=710.67) than in states with them (M=243.33).

Perinatal hospice allows parents to understand their baby’s diagnosis, prognosis and are able to exhaust medical intervention options. An abnormal fetal diagnosis is an unexpected journey and unimaginable for many people. Medical professionals need to be willing to walk alongside families during this challenging life experience. Continuing or terminating a pregnancy in this type of situation has social justice issues woven deeply into the medical intervention decision.

Included in

Social Work Commons