Invasive Tests Cause Two Healthy Children to Die by Miscarriage for Every Three Down Children Detected

Invasive Tests Cause Two Healthy Children to Die by Miscarriage for Every Three Down Children Detected

LONDON, September 17, 2008 ( - The invasive procedures used to detect Down syndrome in unborn children result in the miscarriages of two healthy children for every three Down babies detected, a British study has found.
The study’s researchers, from the charity Down Syndrome Education International (DSEI), estimate that in the process of detecting and aborting 660 Down babies annually, screening leads to the deaths of 400 babies who do not have the disorder in England and Wales alone. Based upon their findings, the researchers are calling into question the ethical standing of the government’s policy of offering screening to all pregnant women.
Women are regarded as being more at risk of carrying a Down syndrome child if they become pregnant after age 35. 6,000 women each year in Britain are offered screening by blood tests and subsequent invasive testing to assess the condition of their unborn babies. However, the researchers point out that 95 percent of women deemed to be high risk by the blood test will not be carrying a baby with the disorder, yet most go on to have the invasive tests, thereby greatly increasing the risk of miscarriage.


another assault on the unborn?

I refused an amnio after genetic tests showed higher than average markers for the possibility of Downs’ in my child during my second pregnancy.

I was advised I could abort my 20 week old son after ultrasound showed the presence of “soft markers” for Downs Syndrome. The whole procedure, from genetic counseling to the ultrasound, was very scary, the people conducting it were cold and clinical. If I didn’t have a strong faith, I know the temptation would be strong to abort. But even without that - the odds of miscarriage were still much higher than the odds of having a child with Downs.

Up until delivery we didn’t know exactly what the outcome would be, but we knew our child would be loved and would be treated with dignity.

My son was born healthy.

If I remember correctly, there are new tests on the way for Down’s syndrome that can detect it more accurately and earlier. That might avoid some of these unnecessary and dangerous amnio procedures.

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