Clare Murphy, Director of External Affairs at the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, bpas, said:
“Non Invasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT) is a hugely important development in women's reproductive healthcare and should be welcomed as such. It gives women who wish to undergo screening more accurate information about their pregnancies, reducing the need for more invasive testing that can increase the risk of losing a wanted pregnancy. This is categorically a good news story.
“We celebrate the improvements in the health and quality of life of people with Down's Syndrome and believe more can and should be done to ensure that all those living with a disability and their families have access to the care and support they need. We agree absolutely with the motion's affirmation of the dignity and humanity of people with Down's Syndrome. We would stress in addition that we all also affirm the dignity and humanity of the pregnant woman who must make decisions about whether she should continue her pregnancy in her own individual circumstances.
“No woman should ever feel under pressure to terminate a pregnancy on the basis of disability - but neither should she ever feel under pressure to carry a pregnancy to term which she does not feel is right to continue. Healthcare staff and counsellors work hard every day to ensure that women have the information they need to make the choices that are right for them and are committed to supporting women at what can be an extremely difficult time in their lives.”
bpas is a charity which sees more than 70,000 women a year and provides reproductive healthcare services including pregnancy counselling, abortion care, miscarriage management and contraception, at clinics across the UK. It supports and advocates for reproductive choice. More information can be found at bpas.org.