IVF babies aborted over Down’s syndrome

Over 100 babies conceived through fertility treatment have been aborted because they had Down’s syndrome.

Between 2005 and 2009, 123 babies conceived with the assistance of IVF-type treatments were aborted because of the condition.

In 2009 a total of 127 abortions were performed on women who conceived with the assistance of fertility treatment.


According to data from the Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority, Down’s syndrome was the most commonly cited reason, occurring in 31 of the 127 cases.

Josephine Quintavalle, of campaign group Comment on Reproductive Ethics, said: “It is generally accepted that there is a significant under-reporting of abortions of babies with Down’s syndrome, but I think we are especially saddened when we read of such abortions in association with IVF, where the women involved were clearly originally desperate to have a child.”

The actual number of terminations performed because of Down’s syndrome could be higher as it is not mandatory for reasons for abortions to be recorded.


Andrea Williams, of Christian Concern, said: “We have to question the values of a society which focuses so greatly on adult ‘wants’.

“That a woman pursues a baby through fertility treatment and then aborts it because it is not perfect is selfish and harsh.”

Down’s syndrome is a genetic condition caused by an extra chromosome.


A spokesman for abortion provider Marie Stopes said: “We encourage anyone in this situation to find out as much information as possible about the implications of continuing the pregnancy before making their choice.”

Last week it emerged that fourteen NHS hospitals had been found breaking the law by using pre-signed abortion consent forms. Under the current law, two doctors must sign a referral form before a woman can go ahead with an abortion.

But an investigation by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) discovered hospitals using pre-signed forms, or forms on which the approval signatures had been photocopied, thereby allowing the second doctor to make the decision on their own.

Related Resources