In Switzerland, according to the statistics issued by the Vaud Canton and the CHUV (Vaud University Hospital Centre), Down syndrome-related abortions are sharply rising: almost 90% of women terminate their pregnancy. From 4 in every 10,000 births in 1989, the number of abortions increased to 24 in 2012.
The main factor explaining the increase in Down syndrome-related abortions: According to the lematin.ch website, women are having children increasingly later in life.
Marie-Claude Addor, Director of the Autonomous Division of Medical Genetics at the CHUV explained that the latter is the “only centre to routinely record such data“. With almost 8,000 annual births, the CHUV covers 10% of deliveries in Switzerland and is therefore a statistical reference.
Based on information on the lematin.ch website, many Swiss cantons have “stopped recording figures as this task is becoming increasingly difficult since many prenatal diagnostic procedures are carried out in private clinics“. Amongst the main Swiss medical centres, only the Lausanne centre is still included in the Eurocat programme – the European centre for monitoring genetic anomalies.
The website concluded by stating that the Vaud figures are very similar to those recorded by Eurocat: “between 1990 and 2009, the number of Down syndrome-related abortions rose sharply whilst the number of births remained constant“.