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Antenatal care implications of population-based trends in Down syndrome birth rates

Caroline M De Costa and Cait Calcutt
Med J Aust 2007; 186 (12): 663.
Published online: 18 June 2007

To the Editor: A further reason for the differences in antenatal Down syndrome screening rates between urban and rural women, reported by Coory and colleagues,1 is likely to be the relative difficulties many Queensland women face in accessing abortion services. We are aware of several Queensland public hospitals that provide excellent antenatal screening services — testing for chromosomal abnormalities as well as providing the 18–20-week ultrasound scan for structural abnormalities. However, these hospitals do not offer subsequent counselling or abortion for women who make the difficult decision to terminate a pregnancy at this gestation, instead directing them to the private system. Some of these women are undoubtedly among the many Queensland women who travel interstate for abortions each year.2-5

  • Caroline M De Costa1
  • Cait Calcutt2

  • 1 James Cook University, Cairns, QLD.
  • 2 Children by Choice, Brisbane, QLD.


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