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Down’s Syndrome numbers don’t add up

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Are more women choosing to have a Down’s Syndrome baby despite learning from a prenatal scan they are carrying a child with the condition?

The Down’s Syndrome Association charity believes this is the case. Its conclusion has been widely followed in press reports, including in the Daily Mail, Independent and the Times.

But research data published in response by the National Down Syndrome Cytogenetic Register (NDSCR) in London suggests otherwise. It says that the rate of terminations of unborn Down’s Syndrome babies has remained constant since prenatal screening became widely available in 1989.

The Down’s Syndrome Association says its help desk has been receiving an average of two calls a week from expectant mothers who have received a positive scan for the condition who say they are continuing their pregnancy, a much higher rate than two to three years ago.

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