All pregnant women should get easy Down’s test

A simple test for Down’s syndrome should be freely available to all pregnant women, Labour and Socialist MPs said last Tuesday in a debate with health minister Edith Schippers.

The NIPT test is a DNA test on maternal blood to screen pregnancies for the most common fetal chromosome anomalies and is said to be 99% accurate for Down’s.

However, opponents say giving the test free to all women will increase pressure on them to actually use it and to have abortions if the baby is found to have the syndrome.

The test has been used in teaching hospitals for short pilot periods for the past two years on women who had an increased risk of a Down’s child. It is known that more mothers-to-be with an increased risk of a Down’s child and not falling in the pilot test period travel to Belgium and Germany, where the test van be bought in private medical centers for approximately 1000 euro.

The ruling VVD also supports the introduction of the test but has not yet decided whether or not it should be included in the basic healthcare policy.

[Source: News on RTL 4]

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