Autism Interview #170: Rhi on Autistic Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Motherhood

Rhi is a late-diagnosed writer, playwright, public speaker, and mother of five from Wales. She started her own theater company, Autact Theatre CIC, and her award-winning play, The Duck, has been performed at theaters across the UK. She also delivers training workshops and talks on a range of topics surrounding autism, such as autism in women, health and wellbeing, supporting Autistic people in the workplace, creativity, and the value of a diagnosis. This week Rhi shared her experiences advocating for herself during childbirth, managing life in the middle of the pandemic, and her current advocacy interests.

Prenatal Screening for Autism

prenatal screening for autism

If a prenatal test existed to screen your child for autism, would you have it performed? Should sperm banks be allowed to screen embryos for an increased potential for autism? These questions explore the modern ethical dilemma of disability and eugenics, a controversy our society has grappled with for decades. This topic recently surfaced in the autism community after Ari Ne’eman, President and co-founder of the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network, wrote an article for the Guardian revealing that Britain’s largest sperm bank was screening embryos for autism. Prenatal screening for autism¬†is problematic due to the variation of symptoms on the spectrum, and the ethical implications of eliminating a group of people from the human gene pool.