The Japan Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology has issued a guideline on a new prenatal detection test that can predict whether a fetus has either Down's syndrome or Trisomy 18/13, which causes various health issues including heart problems and breathing difficulties.

The test, which began being used in the United States in 2011, is easy to administer, requiring only a blood sample from a pregnant woman. Therefore its use may spread quickly in Japan. It does, however, raise some ethical dilemmas. On the one hand, it can help pregnant women and their partners to prepare psychologically and otherwise for a baby who will be born with abnormalities. On the other, it could lead to a large number of abortions.

In Japan, insufficient public discussions have been held on ethical issues related to prenatal detection tests. One possibility is the advent of a society that as a whole excludes people with disabilities. Another is commercial exploitation of such tests by profit-making companies.