British Ethics Think Tank demands a ban on early pregnancy blood test to curb abortion of baby girls

By Dave Andrusko

The issue of sex-selective abortion refuses to go away in Great Britain, in spite of unwillingness of authorities to prosecute abortionists who have been caught on camera agreeing to abort babies because they are girls.

The latest salvo came from the prestigious Nuffield Council on Bioethics, a government-backed think tank. Here’s how the Daily Telegraph explained the recommendation to ban the routine use of a new blood test which can reveal the baby’s sex after nine weeks.

“We strongly believe there should be a ban on its use to find out the sex of the fetus, as this could lead to sex-selective abortions,” said Professor Tom Shakespeare, chair of the body’s working group on non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT).

As Dr. Peter Saunders has explained “NIPT involves taking a sample of blood from the pregnant woman which is then examined for abnormal fetal DNA. It is called ‘non-invasive’ because it doesn’t involve ‘invading’ the mother’s womb. It therefore carries no risk of miscarrying a ‘normal’ pregnancy.

“The move to make NIPT available on the NHS [National Health Service] was extremely controversial and has led to the launch of the ‘Don’t screen us out’ campaign (DSUO),” Dr. Sanders wrote. “DSUO describes itself ‘as a grass-roots initiative supported by a collection of people with Down’s syndrome, families and Down’s syndrome advocate groups led by Saving Down’s Syndrome.’”

However beginning in 2018, the National Health Service will offer the test to expectant mothers to screen for Down syndrome, Patau syndrome, and Edwards’ syndrome but supposedly only if doctors already fear the baby has a higher than average risk. (The Nuffield Council on Bioethics does not oppose use of the blood test to find these anomalies.) But, as noted above, knowledge of the baby’s sex will also be available.

Henry Bodkin reports

“We support the introduction of this test for Down’s syndrome on the NHS next year, so long as it is accompanied by good balanced information and support,” said Professor Shakespeare.

“But, if the test is used without limits for other kinds of genetic conditions and traits, it could lead to more anxiety, more invasive diagnostic tests, and could change what we think of as a healthy or normal baby.”

He said NIPT should only be generally used where there is a risk of significant medical conditions that would affect a baby at birth or in childhood.

Predictably, The British Pregnancy Advisory Service rejected the report, which it said was “permeated by a mistrust of women and the reproductive choices they make.”

In previous stories, NRL News Today reported on the undercover work of the Daily Telegraph which exposed the willingness of abortionists to perform sex-selective abortions [].

According to Bodkin

Sex selection is not a lawful grounds for abortion in the UK, however prosecutors have been accused of leaving the door “wide open” to the practice after blocking attempts to bring charges against doctors caught agreeing [to] terminations based on the sex of unborn baby girls.

Pro-life campaigners brought a private prosecution against two doctors, Prabha Sivaraman and Palaniappan Rajmohan, after they were exposed by the Daily Telegraph in 2012, however the Crown Prosecution Service subsequently used its powers to quash the case.