The Guardian reports a new test for Down Syndrome is undergoing clinical trials in the UK:

The test could replace existing surgical techniques used to diagnose the genetic disorder in unborn babies. These techniques cause about one in 100 women to miscarry.

Researchers say the new test will be cheap and simple enough for doctors working in most clinics to screen any pregnant woman who requests it.

In a blind study of blood samples taken from 40 pregnant women, the test correctly identified 14 cases of Down’s syndrome with no false positives, though a larger clinical trial is needed to validate these results.Details of the test are described in the journal, Nature Medicine.

“The advantage is that we can introduce prenatal diagnosis for Down’s syndrome to all pregnant women and it will have no risk for the baby,” said Philippos Patsalis, who led the team at the Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics in Nicosia.

Remember: attempting to prevent disabilities is not the same as devaluing the lives of those who have them. Choosing to abort a pregnancy because of Down’s is not the same as wishing a child with Down’s had never been born. This development is an excellent one.