British Woman Upset Erroneous Tests Prompted Her to Have Two Abortions

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 26, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

British Woman Upset Erroneous Tests Prompted Her to Have Two Abortions Email this article
Printer friendly page

by Steven Ertelt Editor
June 26, 2006

Rhyl, England ( — A British woman is upset that a hospital erroneously diagnosed her as a carrier of a disease that prompted her to have two abortions to avoid passing it on to her children. The woman says her life has been wrecked as a result of the misdiagnosis.

Geraldine Griffiths is now 58 years old but when she was pregnant with boys on two previous occasions in the early 1970s, she underwent tests at a hospital in the Midlands. Doctors wrongly advised her she was a carrier of a chronic muscle wasting condition.

Not wanting to pass the Duchenne muscular dystrophy gene, which only affects boys, on to her children, Griffiths reluctantly had two abortions.

Now she has learned the tests were wrong.

"To a large extent it has ruined my life. We have lived with this damned disease all my life," she told the Trinity Mirror newspaper.

"I needlessly aborted two children. I took life when it was unnecessary. I think about how they would have turned out and when their birthdays would have been," Griffiths added.

According to the newspaper, Griffiths aborted the first pregnancy two month into it and the second abortion occurred when the unborn child was 28 weeks old.

The errors were discovered when Griffiths’ two daughters were tested to determine if they carried the disease. The results showed they didn’t and Griffiths eventually went to the for Human Genetics in Newcastle for more tests.

The institute sent her a letter a few weeks ago saying, "A muscle biopsy did not show any dystrophic features or other abnormalities."

"From these findings it is highly unlikely that Mrs. Griffiths is a manifesting carrier for Duchenne muscular dystrophy," the institute said, according to the Trinity Mirror.

"I feel so angry that DNA tests could be wrong and other women who have been misdiagnosed could have abortions unnecessarily," Griffiths told the newspaper. "There should be more rigorous tests before anyone considers having an abortion."