More medical institutions will soon be allowed to conduct blood-based prenatal screenings instead of amniotic fluid tests to detect chromosomal abnormalities such as Down syndrome amid growing demand in a country where more women are delaying pregnancy, a medical group said.

The new type of test, introduced to Japan in 2013, has sparked a bioethics debate because more than 90 percent of women diagnosed with fetus abnormalities have opted for abortion.

The guidelines, set by the Japan Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology, restrict the screenings to designated facilities with counseling services. However, due to growing demand, uncertified medical facilities have started providing the test as well.