Latest News

Abortion of babies with Down’s on the rise, new figures show

A three-year-old chases bubbles at an event raising money for children with Down's Syndrome (AP/Mindy Schauer)

Abortions of babies with Down’s syndrome and other serious disabilities are on the rise after the introduction of new blood tests, according to figures published by the Department of Health.

Last year, nearly 3,100 women chose to end their pregnancies after the detection of a serious disability compared with 2,300 in 2011.

According to the MailOnline, the figures also show that in 2011 146 abortions were also carried out after the legal limit of 24 weeks, however, by 2014, this figure had risen by 44 per cent to 211 abortions.

There are new privately available tests costing £500 that provide a way of finding out about disabilities such as Down’s, Edwards’ and Patau syndromes without endangering the life of the unborn child.

However, there are some concerns that healthy children might still be aborted in error as the tests are only 99 per cent accurate.

Jane Fisher, director of the charity Antenatal Results and Choices, said: “It’s important to remember that these blood tests are screening, not diagnostic tests.

“So women found to be high-risk should have an amniocentesis to confirm any potential genetic abnormality.”