Argentina Down Syndrome test could cause abortion increase

The pro-life group ArgentinosAlerta has warned that a new test to detect Down Syndrome in unborn children after nine weeks of pregnancy could lead to an increase in abortions in the country.

While the test could help parents and doctors to be better prepared to care for a newborn child with a genetic defect, the organization warned that prenatal genetic testing "has regressed" to the point that it is usually used not to help the baby but to end his or her life.  

The test requires a small blood sample from the mother in order to reveal the baby's sex and the presence of any genetic defects, including Down Syndrome.

ArgentinosAlerta recalled that the British Medical Journal published a study showing that in Great Britain between 1989 and 2008, more than 90 percent of babies who were diagnosed with Down Syndrome through pre-natal testing were aborted.

A similar study in the European Journal of Human Genetics found that more than 90 percent of unborn babies with Down Syndrome are aborted in France and Spain.

Doctor Gador Joya, spokeswoman for the Spanish organization Right to Life, told CNA on March 21 – World Down Syndrome Day – that Spain's abortion policies have resulted in putting "persons with Down Syndrome in danger of extinction, as well as those who have spina bifida or other handicaps."

In an article for the scientific magazine Linacre Quarterly, Spanish gynecologist Esteban Rodriguez wrote that "thousands of lives around the world would be saved if there were not a rush to diagnose Down Syndrome, if the diagnosis were postponed until the stage in which the protection of the lives of these children was guaranteed by law."

"Scientific studies show that far from aiming to 'protect the baby,' prenatal tests are really aimed at detecting unwanted or undesirable human beings," ArgentinosAlerta warned.

"This means we have a generation of doctors who, rather than seeking to cure or alleviate the patient, seek instead to destroy he before birth."

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