'Collective fictions': Similarities in reasons for accepting maternal serum alpha-fetoprotein screening among women of diverse ethnic and social class backgrounds

Nancy Press, C. H. Browner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

45 Scopus citations


We analyzed the decisions of an ethnically and socioeconomically diverse group of women to accept or refuse a prenatal diagnostic test. We found that how women were informed about the test and the kind of information they were given determined their decisions more than their ethnic or social class background. To explain this, we argue that the women and their health care providers created a 'collective fiction' which situated the testing within the domain of routine prenatal care and denied its central connection to selective abortion and its eugenic implications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-106
Number of pages10
JournalFetal Diagnosis and Therapy
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
Publication statusPublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes



  • abortion
  • biomedical culture
  • patient education
  • prenatal diagnosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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