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New test will see more babies with Down’s syndrome being aborted

6 August 2020

Campaigners have spoken out as the UK Government prepares to roll out a new Down’s syndrome test across England.

The new test is known as NIPT (non-invasive prenatal testing) and it involved extracting the baby’s DNA from the mother’s blood.

Some NHS hospitals have been piloting the new test and the Sunday Times reported that figures released under Freedom of Information laws showed the number of babies born with Down’s syndrome has fallen by 30% when the new screening is involved.

The Don’t Screen Us Out group said it was “likely” more babies diagnosed with Down’s syndrome will be aborted once the new prenatal test is rolled out.

Lynn Murray, spokesperson for Don’t Screen Us Out said:

“When this test is rolled out across the country, we can expect to see this situation replicated elsewhere. Such outcomes are likely to have a profoundly negative impact on the Down’s syndrome community.”
Lynn Murray Don't Screen Us Out

The group is now calling for an urgent inquiry into the impact of the new test on the number of babies born with Down’s syndrome.

Heidi T
Down's syndrome campaigner, Heidi Crowter, has launched a legal challenge over current abortion laws in Great Britain

CARE’s View

It is one of the strangest and tragic ironies of our time that while public attitudes towards those with disabilities have improved significantly in recent years, there's still a huge cultural blind spot when it comes to Down's syndrome. There are around 40,000 people living with Down's syndrome in the UK. What kind of message are we sending to them when we make widely available on the NHS a test that is already proven to reduce the number of people born with the condition? Don't Screen Us Out are right to push for an urgent inquiry into these incredibly serious issues.



In any pregnancy, both the woman and preborn baby have inherent value and dignity, by virtue of being made in the image of God. CARE is passionately pro-woman and pro-life.

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