Having an amnio test ruined my life
Every morning when Marie Ideson wakes, her first thought is of a little girl called Lillie. Today, had she lived, Lillie would be six.
And although Lillie would have had Down's syndrome, Marie is sure of one thing:
Despite any disability, my daughter would have been incredibly well loved. And whatever her future was, I would always have been there for her.
Yet when she was a little over 16 weeks pregnant with Lillie — and having been told by doctors that tests showed her much-wanted daughter had Down's syndrome — Marie did something that still torments her and which she blames for the breakdown of her marriage: she underwent a termination.
'Looking back, I was bullied into going ahead with an abortion,' says Marie, 46, a GP surgery manager. 'I only wish I could turn the clock back. I think of the daughter I never had every day. I will always regret it.'
Statistics show Marie is far from the only woman to terminate her baby due to Down's syndrome.
In fact, the number of terminations for the condition has more than trebled in the past 20 years. In England and Wales, some 1,100 fetuses with it are being aborted each year.
Research by Queen Mary, University of London in 2009 found nine in ten women carrying a baby affected by Down's opt for a termination.