The National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research (located within the NICHD) would like to highlight three issues that may arise in the context of the Human Placenta Project:
• Ensure that people with disabilities (PWD) are included among the subject populations – and special efforts are made to support their reproductive health and opportunities. Often, PWD are not asked about reproductive health and are not offered clinical support and treatment options. We also have to ensure that physical barriers do not get in the way of access to facilities and clinical procedures and, when necessary, special modifications are provided.
• Support for women with (physical) disabilities (i.e., people with spinal cord injury, cerebral palsy) who chose to have children.
• Increased understanding of how abnormalities in placental function may contribute to developmental disorders (e.g., cerebral palsy). But also be sensitive to ethical issues about prenatal screening and clinical procedures that could be making value judgements about outcomes for PWD.