The laws regarding termination vary from state to state and from country to country worldwide. In states and countries where termination is in fact illegal, hospital boards or committees decide on a case-by-case basis whether termination is an option they can offer the mother. For lethal conditions, there is usually no problem in accessing termination in many places. The gestation of 20 weeks is considered a cut off because babies under 20 weeks do not need to be registered. Once again, this cut off varies from state to state and country to country.
Mothers have the choice of inducing labour before the baby would be legally viable. Babies usually pass away during labour, as they are too young and too fragile to survive the labour.
Mothers have the choice to terminate the pregnancy, by means of injecting a drug into the blood stream, which will stop the child’s heart, and the mother then proceeds to a vaginal delivery by induction. This technique is used if a decision is made close to 24 weeks gestation when the baby might be born alive. If you are unable to access a termination publicly you may be referred or ask to be referred to a Private Clinic or to another Hospital or state. Similarly if you do not want a termination but feel unsupported you can ask to see another doctor or Hospital.
Mothers can decide to continue the pregnancy for as long as possible and have their child naturally. If born after twenty or twenty four weeks depending on your country, the baby is eligible to receive both Birth/Death Certificates and treatment (if possible) is given. Even if your baby is less than twenty-four weeks gestation, you can choose to have a funeral and name your baby. This is very much a personal choice.
Doctors, Case Managers, and Counsellors might be able to assist you in exploring the best option for you. Once again, there is no right or wrong. It is about living with a choice that suits you as parents. I would like to stress that whichever solution you decide upon, there will always be someone disapproving who will criticize you for the choices you made. Someone usually who never came close to a making a similar choice, be gentle on yourselves. In all cases, you have the right to a second opinion or referral to another doctor. If no doctor in your area were willing to carry on your choice, that doctor would have a duty of care to explore options for you. This applies whether you wish to terminate or continue your pregnancy.