The search and destroy mission behind near-universal testing of women for Down’s syndrome carries a high risk that healthy babies will be lost, new British research shows. The study, which featured in a television programme in the UK this week, found that in “detecting and preventing the birth” of 660 Down’s syndrome babies, 400 healthy fetuses are lost. In other words, for every three unborn Down’s babies deliberately aborted, two healthy babies will be unintentionally miscarried.
In Britain, more than 90 per cent of babies pre-natally diagnosed with Down’s are aborted. What nobody has ever bothered to do until now is count the number of healthy babies who die as a result of amniocentesis and ultrasound testing. That’s the task a charity called Down’s Syndrome Education International set Frank Buckley and Professor Sue Buckley, a director of the charity who works in the psychology department of Portsmouth University.
Because no records of the number of healthy babies lost through Down’s testing have ever been kept, the Burckleys say their ratio of two to three can only be an estimate. But their methodology seems to have been accepted. Top ultrasound expert Professor Kypros Nicolaides appeared in the film mentioned saying it was “completely unacceptable” to lose so many babies. Unfortunately, his answer is better “detection” and better use of ultrasound by better trained practitioners.
Meanwhile the Down’s charity has written to the government asking for a thorough reappraisal of the “purpose, performance and safety” of the screening programme. “The screening for Down’s syndrome has consequences for every pregnant woman,” say the Buckleys. “You cannot look at it as just a search and destroy mission focused on babies with Down’s alone.” ~ Guardian, Sep 14