Last summer, Japan was getting ready to introduce a new type of prenatal examination that requires only a blood test. Recently I read the March 5 article “Down syndrome blood test draws interests and ire,” which prompted some doubts about this test. The blood test is an easy way to know whether a baby has a disability. Many women want to undergo this test because they worry about the child’s future if it has a disability; it might be discriminated against.
Also, it costs a lot of money to bring up a disabled child. Because of the heavy burden, it would be natural to expect the number of abortions to increase. To prevent this awful result, I think the system of prenatal examination with the blood test needs to be re-examined and that the Japanese government should take action to decrease the number of these prenatal exams.
The government should support disabled children’s families. First, the government should send a counselor around periodically to listen to a mother’s troubles. Easing her mind is most important. Next, the government should compensate families for the extra expenses in bringing up disabled children. It would help the family have a more stable life. Everyone who is born has the right to life.
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.