As the availability of prenatal testing for genetic disorders has grown, so has the number of abortions on unborn babies who test positive for disabilities.
For unborn babies with Down syndrome in particular, this deadly form of discrimination is all but eliminating them in some countries.
The Telegraph reports about 90 percent of unborn babies who test positive for Down syndrome in the UK are aborted. A new report published in the European Journal of Human Genetics found that the problem is getting worse with the increased availability of non-invasive prenatal screening tests, or NIPS.
Follow LifeNews.com on Instagram for pro-life pictures and videos.
The tests, which extract the unborn baby’s DNA from a blood sample, have been available for nearly a decade in the United States and the UK. According to the report, the British NHS has been offering the tests since 2018. They are used around 11 to 14 weeks of pregnancy.
The new study found that the number of babies with Down syndrome born in the UK dropped 54 percent since the NIPS became available. The same researchers previously found that the number of Down syndrome births dropped by one third in the United States in connection to the prenatal tests,
Dr. Brian Skotko, a Massachusetts General Hospital researcher who led the study, said government health leaders must consider the impact of the NIPS on people with disabilities.
“Countries that are grappling with funding decisions for NIPS should certainly be having deep discussions about its impact on the country’s Down syndrome population,” Skotko said.
“In the U.S., people with Down syndrome have great opportunities to get an education, to fall in love, and to find satisfying jobs,” he continued. According to the report, Skotko’s sister has Down syndrome.
The quality of life for people with Down syndrome has improved immensely in recent decades, thanks to modern medicine, expanded support services and better social acceptance of people with disabilities. Yet, Skotko’s research suggests more parents also are choosing to abort unborn babies with Down syndrome than ever before. And the problem is not limited to America or England.
Here’s more from the report:
Southern Europe had the highest fall in Down’s babies due to abortions (71 per cent) followed by Northern Europe (51 per cent) and Eastern Europe (38 per cent). Considerable differences were identified among countries, ranging from an 83 per cent reduction in Spain to none in Malta, where abortion is highly restricted. …
Around one in every 1,000 babies born in Britain will have Down’s. There are roughly 40,000 people in the UK with the condition.
Recent reports in The Atlantic and CBS News also have explored the eugenic trend. These and other report found that nearly 100 percent of unborn babies who test positive for Down syndrome are aborted in Iceland, 95 percent in Denmark and 77 percent in France.
The problem is pervasive, and some of the discrimination is coming out of the medical community. Parents frequently report feeling pressured to abort unborn babies with Down syndrome and other disabilities. One mom recently told the BBC that she was pressured to abort her unborn daughter 15 times, including right up to the moment of her baby’s birth. Another mother from Brooklyn, New York said doctors tried to convince her to abort her unborn son for weeks before they took no for an answer.
A recent study highlighted in Scientific American found evidence that families of children with Down syndrome often face negative, biased counseling and pressure to have abortions.