Silenced voices: Israeli mothers' experience of feticide

Ronit D. Leichtentritt*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The study is a qualitative analysis of 13 interviews with Israeli women who experienced feticide by injection at a late stage of their pregnancy due to fetus abnormality. Neither the public nor health care professionals are fully aware of the implications and significance of feticide to the mother. The goal of this study which was conducted from May 2008 until October 2009 was to understand and give voice to the women's experience. Three themes were discovered: (a) difficult decision making process and outcomes; (b) the unbearable experience of feticide; and (c) feticide as an unspoken experience. Feticide was revealed to incorporate both social and psychological layers; thus, the findings highlight the interface between a personal experience and a social phenomenon. The women's experience is discussed within the Israeli social context, where feticide is a relatively common yet unspoken procedure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)747-754
Number of pages8
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 2011


  • Feticide
  • Fetus abnormality
  • Israel
  • Late termination of pregnancy
  • Morality
  • Mothers


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