Nigeria pushes screening to eliminate preborn babies with Down syndrome

February 20, 2019

A new blood test is becoming more widespread in Nigeria, and officials from the company responsible are hoping it will lead to the eradication of Down syndrome in the country. If they get their way, Nigeria will be one of multiple countries looking to use eugenic abortion to prevent people with Down syndrome from living. NIFTY is a new non-invasive prenatal test in Nigeria offered solely by Genomix Nigeria Ltd. Its chairman, Dr. Abayomi Ajayi, sang its praises to Vanguard. “Couples should be interested in NIFTY for a variety of reasons,” Ajayi said in an interview with the Nigerian media outlet. “The test is very safe, can be done early, fast and accurate (over 99 percent sensitivity for the trisomy conditions. It is suitable for every woman. All that is required is the peripheral blood sample.” The problem with this test, however, is that the goal is not to provide mothers with more information and support. It is to prevent the births of babies with Down syndrome and other disabilities.

“What attracted me to be interested to this test was a woman that got pregnant after IVF and went to deliver in the US,” Ajayi said to Vanguard. “She went for the prenatal test and amniotic fluid was used. They checked and said there was no problem until about 34 weeks afterwards when the baby was delivered and found to have Edwards syndrome. The baby eventually died. If they had done prenatal screening with NIFTY, they would have had critical information to make an informed decision.” Informed decision is often a phrase used to refer to abortion. He then added that his goal is for the test to become widespread across the country.

““It is best for every woman to do this test in order to avoid the unexpected,” he said. “The danger of trying to limit the test is that sometimes, chromosomal abnormalities happen out of the blues [sic].”

READ: Nineteen states ask Supreme Court to uphold Down syndrome abortion ban

Onuora Molokwu, the marketing consultant for Genomix Nigeria Ltd., was more forthcoming about his goals for NIFTY. “We are advising that almost every potential pregnant woman needs to screen for these conditions so as to reduce issues of Down syndrome which hopefully, may soon be wiped out,” Molokwu admitted to Vanguard. “Down syndrome is a very expensive condition to maintain and it is helpful to have information about it so as to be prepared. Information that you have early is critical. What we are saying is that you need information to make informed choices. What we are doing is letting you know implication of not doing the test and what can go wrong if you don’t screen.”

Almost 100% of people with Down syndrome are aborted in Iceland. Women in the Netherlands are told they have a “moral duty” to have an abortion if their child has Down syndrome. When new prenatal testing hit Australia, it was heralded as a way to potentially end Down syndrome in the country. 90% of women in the United Kingdom who receive a prenatal diagnosis have an abortion. Women are frequently pressured to have an abortion in the United States.

People with Down syndrome are able to lead happy, fulfilled lives in which they are productive members of their community. They go to school, have jobs, live independently, have meaningful friendships and relationships, and are important members of their families. And thanks to medical advancements, they are also living longer, healthier lives than ever. Yet they continue to be targeted for death, and why? Simply because they are different.

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The post Nigeria pushes screening to eliminate preborn babies with Down syndrome appeared first on Live Action News.

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Author: Cassy Fiano-Chesser

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