The American company, Sequenom Inc., which offers a prenatal screening test to detect chromosomal abnormalities in foetuses through a straightforward blood test, NIPS, is considering investing in the Japanese market by joining forces with a national company, Genetech, based in Tokyo.
In Japan, these screening tests have met with conflicting emotions. In fact, some scientists think that these tests affect the quality of advice given to pregnant women. Last April, the clinical trialling of these tests revealed that, within six months, over 90% of pregnant women carrying a foetus with abnormalities underwent an abortion. “If abortion per se cannot be blamed, we have to raise the question as to whether the genetic information was delivered correctly” reported the journalist because having an abortion “carries a heavy psychological and physical burden”.