New Test Allows Down Syndrome Screening at Home: Will it Lead to More Abortions?

International   |   Sarah Zagorski   |   May 1, 2015   |   1:04PM   |   London, England

In Britain, a new test could allow pregnant women to screen for Down’s syndrome without even going to the doctor. The creators of the test say it will be much cheaper than the screening that’s currently available and is still 90% accurate.

The test can be taken at home, at eight weeks gestation, which is starkly different than the way doctor’s test for Down syndrome now. According to the Daily Mail, the test works by using a mass spectrometer instrument to create a barcode pattern of proteins present in a microscopic sample of urine.

Right now, screening for Down syndrome takes place at 11-weeks through an ultrasound screening to measure the amount of fluid at the back of the baby’s neck. Women also have blood tests done that show if they are at higher risk for having a baby with the condition.

The journal of Clinical Proteomics has already published about the new test and Professor Ray Iles of makers MAP Diagnostics said it was ‘the result of a lifetime’s work’. He explained “Our latest research has a greater than 90 per cent detection rate and on this basis, we’re continuing to attract further investment to bring the test to as many women around the world within the coming months. We understand the anxiety every parent faces not knowing whether their baby will be affected by this serious disability and this has driven us to persist with our research.”

Dr. Stephen Little of Premaitha Health disagrees because he believes it’s too early to tell if the testing will be accurate.

He said, “This is interesting research, although it is at a very early stage. But NIPT checks for at least three chromosomal abnormalities and is proving extremely robust in testing. I think most pregnant women would opt for the best test rather than the cheapest.”

Unfortunately, if the test is as successful as researchers claim, it could lead to more abortions.



The chief scientific officer at MAP Diagnostics, Dr. Stephen Butler, hinted at that reality. He said, “Our tests are about making sophisticated technologies accessible and affordable to couples when then need them most. This will offer choice to women, and their partners, much earlier in pregnancy to enable difficult decisions to be made with confidence and without any additional pressures of time.”

Statistics show that 90% of women who receive the pre-natal diagnosis that their baby will have Down syndrome end their life through abortion an other research indicates 30 percent of the Down syndrome community has been wiped out via abortion.

As LifeNews previously reported, in 2007, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) changed their recommendations for prenatal screening from offering tests to pregnant women over age 35 to offering them to all pregnant women. Their rationale was that while women over age 35 had the greatest risk for conceiving a child with Down syndrome, most children with Down syndrome were born to women under the age of 35. The expanded screening would allow for these cases to be detected prenatally and therefore lead to more abortions.