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Abortions Based On Disability Are On The Rise In Britain
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
June 2, 2004

LONDON, ENGLAND--Fetuses determined to have Down syndrome are being aborted at a rate higher than those which are allowed to be born, a study of Welsh and English pregnancy has revealed.

According the latest data from 2002 compiled by the National Congenital Anomaly System, there were 372 abortions performed on fetuses with Down syndrome, compared to just 329 live births of such babies in Wales and England.

Britain's 1967 Abortion Act makes it legal for a mother to chose an abortion for any reason until the 24th week of her pregnancy. But abortions can be performed right up to the due date under "grounds E", that is, where "there is a substantial risk that if the child were born it would suffer from such physical or mental abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped".

The NCAS report in the Summer 2004 journal Health Statistics Quarterly, showed that a total of 1,863 abortions were carried out in 2002 under grounds E, compared with 1,722 the previous year.

The number of abortions carried out because of "chromosomal abnormalities" increased 17 percent from the previous year -- 591 were aborted in 2001 while 690 were aborted in 2002.

One pregnancy was terminated in 2002 because of cleft lip and palate, five were ended because of "deformities of feet", and three others were aborted because of "limb reductions".

NCAS has been collecting data on live births, still births, abortions and miscarriages of "congenital anomalies" since 1964.

Related:
"Congenital anomaly statistics: notifications, 2002, England and Wales"-- Starts on page 63 (Health Statistics Quarterly)

http://www.statistics.gov.uk/downloads/theme_health/hsq22_v1.pdf
[PDF format requires free Adobe Acrobat Reader]

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