From the [Edinburgh] Scotsman:
Every pregnant woman in Scotland is to be offered an early and highly accurate test to see if their baby has Down’s Syndrome.
The combined ultrasound and blood test will be done up to two months earlier than at present and is 90 per cent accurate compared with 65 per cent for the current procedure.
Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon said the nuchal translucency (NT) test will be introduced throughout the country within three years, as part of a £11.5m program to improve screening in pregnancy. The NT test has been offered to women in England for years, but has not been routinely offered in Scotland because of a lack of trained staff.
Scottish health advocates welcomed the move but warned against pressuring women to have abortions. Pandora Summerfield, of the charity Down’s Syndrome Scotland, called for accurate information to be given along with test results.
“The world has moved on significantly and this diagnosis is not the bleak scenario that it used to be. We do not believe that a diagnosis of Down’s Syndrome should be an automatic reason for a termination.”
Earlier story: Pregnant women are forced to go private for Down’s syndrome test. [Edinburgh] Scotsman