German politician worried about prenatal examinations


Central Europe


Ultrasound for pregnant woman. Photo ANP, Koen Suyk

MPs from several parliamentary groups in Germany have united in a campaign to regulate pregnancy screenings. They are worried that more health screenings of unborn children will lead to more abortions.

The MPs are concerned about the ethical sides of the screenings "which are exclusively associated with selective practice". They write so in a statement, according to PRO. Green MP Corinna Rüffer told the Bundestag that the MPs are convinced that "prenatal screening for trisomy 21, 18 and 13 and others must under no circumstances become routine during pregnancy." In addition, the MPs want to regulate approval procedures for people eligible for the tests by law.

During the last election period, the MPs, including CDU MPs Sabine Weiss, Michael Brand and Huber Hüppe, already campaigned for regulation of the tests, which use the mother's blood to provide information on whether the unborn child may have a chromosomal syndrome.

Since July 1, health insurance companies have covered the costs of these blood tests in "justified cases". Earlier, only the amniotic fluid test was paid for by insurance.

The MPs behind the initiative fear this development will normalise blood tests. "We are only at the beginning of a worrying development because further tests for genetic dispositions are developed and about to be approved", they write in a statement.

According to PRO, the politicians see themselves not only as a parliamentary discussion group but as a legislative action group that wants to accomplish change.



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