Down’s Syndrome campaign  

“Don’t Screen Us Out” say their concerns are not being considered

Campaigners from the Don’t Screen Us Out campaign have been voicing their concerns over the lack of government response to their campaign, saying their concerns have been “constantly ignored.”@  The campaign seeks to delay the introduction of a non-invasive prenatal test (NIPT) until ethical concerns have been reviewed thoroughly and it is clear that the test “complies with human rights obligations.” There are fears that this antenatal testing, which carries no risk of miscarriage, will lead to a rise in abortions being carried out because more babies will be definitely confirmed as having the syndrome whilst in utero. Recent statistics, quoted by the Don’t Screen Us Out campaign @, @ suggest that 90% of unborn babies diagnosed in the womb with Downs Syndrome are aborted.

The Daily Mail reported on 10th August @ that “Whitehall sources said yesterday the Government was poised to approve the progamme [and] it is an open secret that any day now NIPT will be offered as an additional test for Down’s Syndrome [sic] and other conditions.” This is contrary to a comment provided by a spokesperson from the Department of Health, who reiterated “We are listening to everyone’s views on this important issue, and want women to make informed decisions and access safe and appropriate tests. We are considering this carefully and will make an announcement in due course.” @ According to the article, the new NIPT method will cost the NHS £280 per patient, compared with £650 for an amniocentesis, which is the current test available and which also carries a risk of miscarriage.