A bpas spokesperson said:
"BPAS welcomes the Department of Health’s decision to implement non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) throughout the NHS from 2018. The introduction of NIPT should lead to a reduction in the number of miscarriages as more women will be able to avoid an invasive test which carries a small risk that the pregnancy will be lost. NIPT, which is used to test for Down’s, Edwards’ and Patau’s syndromes, is already available privately to women who can afford it.
"Cases of foetal anomaly, which tend to involve much wanted pregnancies, are some of the most heartbreaking we see in our clinics. Women and their partners have grappled with the diagnosis and what it means for themselves, any existing children, and their baby.
"Recent discussions about the introduction of NIPT have focused on whether the rights of disabled people will be compromised if more women decide to end their pregnancies when given access to more accurate information about those pregnancies. We should be clear that pregnant women are not making statements about the value of disabled people when they make these extremely personal choices but doing what they think is right for themselves and their families, which they are the ones best placed to judge. There is quite simply no contradiction between campaigning for the justice and equality disabled people deserve and supporting the ability of women to make their own decisions, with access to high quality, evidence-based information. Women and their families deserve nothing less."
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.