Select Page

 Dr. Hylton Meire, the retired physician and author of texts on ultrasound, calculates that for every 50 children with Down's syndrome "successfully identified" and killed by abortion, 160 non-affected babies are lost by miscarriage after the test. 

In obstetrics, it is now standard practice to offer pregnant women the non-invasive test that measures the fluid at the back of the child's neck.

Combined with the age of the mother, the test results is a number taken to indicate the possibility that the child has Down's.

If the number is high enough, the mother is offered an amniocentesis, a test in which a needle is inserted into the abdomen and a sample of amniotic fluid is drawn off and analyzed. 

With about one in every 1000 children conceived having Down's syndrome, and with amniocentesis carrying a 1 in 200 risk of miscarriage, Dr. Meire wrote in the Journal Ultrasound that if all pregnant women took the amniocentesis test as many as 3,200 healthy babies could die by miscarriage every year. 

There are about 30,000 amniocentesis tests done every year in the UK.

In North America, earlier this year, both the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada has recommended that all pregnant women, not just those over 35, should be screened, including with amniocentesis.

Parents have the right to be informed of this information prior to such testing.


[ 21Aug07; HLA Action News, Fall 2007]