Sunday scrolling, looking for new material to write about and I came across an article on the Daily Mail’s website. The article featured that an investigation has found that new blood tests are being blamed for the 34% rise (over 3 years) in women choosing to abort babies with Down’s syndrome and other severe disabilities.
In 2014 approximately 3,100 women chose to end pregnancies due to the results of the blood tests, compared to the 2,300 women in 2011.
An investigation into figures which were published by the Department of Health reveals the number of abortions carried out because babies were found to have Down’s syndrome or other serious disabilities has increased by 34% since 2011.
Of the difference of 800 abortions, the biggest proportion was linked to Down’s syndrome, with 693 terminations in 2014 compared to the 512 in 2011.
Experts claim the increase is linked to the availability of new private £500 blood tests what screen for Down’s syndrome and other congenital abnormalities without putting the unborn child at risk.
Generally, women identified by the NHS as being high-risk for a range of genetic problems are offered invasive tests such as amniocentesis, which involves passing a needle into the womb. It carries a 1-in-100 risk of miscarriage, and for this reason, up to 40% of women who offered the tests refuse to take them for the fear that they could lose a child without a disability.
The new tests, which analyse samples of foetal DNA found in the mother’s blood, provide a way of finding out disabilities without endangering the life of the unborn child. But there are some concerns that healthy children could still be aborted in errors as the tests are only 99% accurate and due to this, at least 1 woman has had an abortion after falsely testing positive for a chromosomal problem.
I understand why women would have a termination if their child had a 99% chance of being born with Down’s syndrome or another serious disability, however, what I don’t understand is the women who abort babies who have an abnormality, such as a cleft palate or another condition that can be easily remedied. Why would you terminate a child’s life based on an abnormality which can be fixed by surgery?
I know that people will always judge women who have terminations, however, there are lots of reasons as to why a woman would choose to abort her baby. Personally, and call me heartless if you want, I would terminate a pregnancy if I knew there was a high-risk of my baby being born with a disability which would result in the child having no quality of life. Wouldn’t a mother rather know so she could prevent her child having no quality of life by having a termination? It isn’t cruel it is sparing a child a life-time of pain and misery. The decision to have a termination is not decided lightly, women go through hell, considering the pros and cons of the procedure, but if it is to save their child from suffering then I don’t see what the problem is.