Department of Health approves roll-out of NIPT despite medics concerns
31 October 2016
People with Down's syndrome and their families deliver a petition to the Health Secretary asking him to halt the implementation of NIPT.
The Department of Health announced on Saturday that it has approved Non Invasive Pre-Natal Testing (NIPT) for use on the NHS, which campaigners say will increase the number of abortions for babies with Down's syndrome, and have a devastating impact on the Down's syndrome community.
The news came as nearly 300 medical professionals signed a letter accusing the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of "advocating that women with a prenatal diagnosis of Down's syndrome should end their pregnancy". Doctors expressed concern after it was suggested that the "cost-effectiveness" of supporting those with Down's should be a consideration in whether to roll out the test. The medics said: "We utterly reject the implicit premise that the value of a human being is based on their economic contribution to society."
Paul Tully, SPUC’s general secretary, said:
“The decision by the department of health to proceed with a new high-resolution screening programme is deeply disturbing.
“It signals a determination by the department to eliminate people with Down’s syndrome and others with disabilities. Why should babies be faced with abortion for being different? Aborting the unborn because they are disabled is an affront to all those with disabilities in society. It sends out the message that people like them are not wanted and will not be tolerated. It shows a cold disregard for the hundreds of families and individuals who live with conditions like Downs. Despite the joy and humanity they bring to the world, their lives are counted as worthless.”
Read SPUC’s full statement in our press release.
Aisling Hubert returns to court
Aisling Hubert, the 23 year old pro-lifer who brought a private prosecution against doctors who engaged in gender selective abortion, will this week challenge the £47,000 legal costs she has been ordered to pay.
Miss Hubert brought the private prosecution against two doctors who were revealed by a Daily Telegraph investigation to have agreed to abort babies because they were girls, after the Crown Prosecution Service decided it wasn’t in the public interest to prosecute them. Her bid failed and she was ordered to pay £47,000 in legal fees. On Wednesday, she returns to court to challenge these charges.
Mothers helped by Good Counsel Network speak out against buffer zones
The Catholic Herald has published a letter written by mothers who the Good Counsel Network helped to continue their pregnancies. In it, they argue that their voices are being ignored in the debate over buffer zones.
Read the full letter here.