Scores of IVF babies terminated because of abnormalities in UK
By Michael Cook
Nearly 130 IVF babies were aborted in the UK last year because an abnormality was detected before birth. According to the Daily Mail, out of 127 babies, 31 were aborted because of Down syndrome, 19 because of foetal abnormality, and 15 because of Edward syndrome. However, the government does not require a reason to be recorded and the number could be higher.
The Daily Mail sought reactions from campaigners for and against abortion. A spokesman for abortion provider Marie Stopes International said: ‘We encourage anyone in this situation to find out as much information as possible about the implications of continuing the pregnancy before making their choice.’
Andrea Williams, of Christian Concern, said: ‘We have to question the values of a society which focuses so greatly on adult “wants”. ‘That a woman pursues a baby through fertility treatment and then aborts it because it is not perfect is selfish and harsh.’
Josephine Quintavalle, of campaign group Comment on Reproductive Ethics, said: ‘It is generally accepted that there is a significant under-reporting of abortions of babies with Down’s syndrome, but I think we are especially saddened when we read of such abortions in association with IVF, where the women involved were clearly originally desperate to have a child.’
Editor’s note. This first appeared at www.bioedge.org/index.php/bioethics/bioethics_article/10167 and is reprinted with permission.