The Federal Joint Committee (G-BA) has approved the financing of prenatal blood tests for detecting chromosomal disorders by health insurance funds. This was done at its meeting on August 19th, and the tests will be covered by health insurers as of 2022.
During the blood test, which can be carried out from the tenth week of pregnancy, the genetic components of the child are isolated from the mother’s blood and examined for genetic defects. Until now, such tests were not a standard examination during pregnancy and had to be done at one’s own expense.
The Catholic News Agency (German site) reported that even now, 90% of children diagnosed with trisomy 21 in prenatal screening tests are aborted. Accordingly, representatives of the pro-life movement and the Catholic Church expressed criticism of the G-BA’s decision.
Bishop Gebhard Fürst of the Diocese of Rottenburg-Stuttgart and Chairman of the Commission for Bioethics of the German Bishops’ Conference fears that the tests “will soon be part of standard prenatal care and, in the case of a trisomy diagnosis, of abortion as well. This is a selection mechanism that diametrically contradicts dignity and the right to life from conception.”
Susanne Wenzel, the federal chairwoman of the Christian Democrats for Life (CDL), also criticized the decision:
“The primary purpose of non-invasive prenatal blood tests is to screen for unborn children with Down syndrome. (…) Developments in other countries have shown that the test is rapidly becoming the standard examination. In Denmark and Iceland, the introduction of the test has led to an increase in the number of abortions, and children with Down syndrome have hardly been born there since.
With the approval of these tests, there will be no future protection for people with Down syndrome and other diagnoses. Rather, today’s decision signals to them that people with disabilities are not wanted in our society.”
The CDL called on the German Bundestag to counteract this development as quickly as possible and to work out financial aid and support for families with children instead.
Are you interested in the pro-life and pro-family movement? Always stay up to date–subscribe to our newsletter! Register here. Daily news from English-speaking countries and the whole world!