SBNZ Position Statement on Antenatal Screening and Termination of Pregnancy


We believe that a baby diagnosed with Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus or another Neural Tube Defect has a right to life from the moment of their conception until natural death, a right to be free from discrimination, and a right to be treated on an equal basis with all.

People with Spina Bifida are loved and valued members of their families.  They lead full and satisfying lives, make positive and valuable contributions to society and enrich the lives of those around them.

  • We welcome babies, children and adults with Spina Bifida.
  • We oppose any form of antenatal screening and diagnostic testing that seeks to target and prevent the birth of unborn children with Spina Bifida, or causes harm to any unborn child.
  • We acknowledge that for some parents, antenatal screening and diagnostic testing may provide reassurance and assist with medical management and preparation for the birth of a baby with Spina Bifida.
  • We believe that any antenatal screening and diagnostic testing must respect the life and integrity of the unborn child, cause no harm, be only directed towards safeguarding or healing the unborn child and be presented in a way that does not discriminate against people with Spina Bifida.


Spina Bifida Association of New Zealand does not consider a diagnosis of Spina Bifida or an associated Neural Tube Defect to be a reason for pregnancy termination.