Why We Chose to Forgo Down’s Syndrome Testing
“We bring something different to the world the other people can’t.”
As I blog, I’m entering my thirty-third week of pregnancy — the home stretch. Meanwhile, our little miracle is all kinds of wiggly, making my belly dance.
Early in our pregnancy, our doctor asked if we’d like the baby tested for Down’s Syndrome. We’d already decided against testing for one very simple reason: our child would be loved the same regardless. Destroying this precious growing life because she might be a bit different or need particular attentions was never an option. We were required to sign a waiver declining the testing.
So then I see videos like this one published by BBC3 earlier this month. If ever there was a reminder that every life is unique and special, it’s this:
Down’s Syndrome is not debilitating, nor does it make those gifted with an extra chromosome any less of a person. Yet despite the trend towards normalization and destigmatization of so many issues, conditions, and challenges, Down’s Syndrome is still viewed as cause and often encouraged as reason to prematurely end pregnancy.
The same progressive anti-life crowd that believes they own the trademark on diversity, spends an inordinate amount of effort attempting to homogenize the human race and purge from it “deformities” that enlighten, expand, and challenge us to appreciate each life individually. The broader implication would be eradicating a group of people from the face of the planet, why? Because their intellectual development runs at a slower pace.
The termination rate for Down’s Syndrome pregnancies is alarmingly high. Statistics range from a staggering 67% in the U.S. to 92% in the U.K.
Every pregnant woman has heard multiple horror stories from friends or friends of friends wherein test results came back back with horrifying results, only for the babies to be born completely healthy.
“People sometimes do come up with words like “Down’s Syndrome sufferer”. The only thing I suffer from is bad attitudes,” says one of the interviewees.
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Hard to believe a baby with DS can be aborted as late as 40 weeks. That is nothing but murder.
There is a mindset that supports testing even for people who would never abort. Supposedly learning in advance that you child will have medical/learning issues allows you to prepare for it. IMO that would put a stress on what otherwise is a lovely time in one’s life.
I’ve always wondered how the Left would feel if someone developed a test for gender identity/sexual orientation. Would they be all in for people aborting if some test said the child would be gay?
Best wishes for your remaining pregnancy.
Testing may reveal treatable conditions that threaten the life and health of the mother and child. Testing is not the issue. The issue is what will people choose to do with that knowledge. Abortion doesn’t have to be the choice or [final] solution.
Using that logic every pregnant woman would undergo amnio “just in case” the baby had some “treatable” condition. So we should just ignore the potential risk amnio carries? Other than possible heart issues A child with DS isn’t prone to lots of other issues that could be addressed pre-birth.
A DS pregnancy is not a routine health crisis to the woman.
You can also put your tot in a helmet as he’s learning to walk — just in case. Amnio is not indicated for majority of pregnancies.
The risk of amnio is pretty low — a 0.5% increased chance of miscarriage. That’s an *average*; some places are better than others. But there is a risk.
That said, bear in mind that there’s just one sample taken, on which a number of tests are done. Someone unwilling to abort a Down syndrome baby may still be willing to abort a Tay-Sachs baby, and may have amnio for that reason.
(Down syndrome is unusual among the genetic conditions, in that it usually makes a big difference — but Down syndrome individuals can live not only long but happy lives with sufficient support. Fragile X just means you won’t have kids, and most of the other abnormalities kill you young.)
Jumping web pages. Downvoted you by mistake while trying to hit “Reply”.
There is a group which is quite aware of the implications you mention: PLAGAL (Pro-Life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians).
The fact that a mother submits to amniocentesis is a sign that she is willing to consider aborting her baby.
I fully disagree with you! We had two of our own, and were raising four other children. I had an amnio so that I could prepare them if the baby was a Down baby. No other reason. For you to automatically think otherwise, that is offensive to me.
IIRC there was a study 5-10 years ago showing that miscarriage rate after amnio is the same as without it for that stage of pregnancy.
We opted out of amnio for the reason that it could cause a miscarriage, which is in effect an abortion.
But, we did do blood tests and ultrasound.
Had two very healthy boys. PTL!
Prayers for you and the baby, KK
Of the rough score of families I’ve known with Downs kids, not one would tell you their son or daughter was not a “blessing” or an enriching opportunity that was given them.
Several have known the sorrow of losing their kid more early in life than they certainly wanted, but any of us face that possibility when bring a new life into the world.
Best wishes to you and the baby. ))
It’s a good argument but I disagree. Having the baby diagnosed in utero gives family the opportunity to prepare for the special needs child — get therapies lined up, connect with other families, etc. All of it is easier to do when there is no infant to feed every two hours.
Without actually having any assessment of a child’s needs it seems a tad premature to try & line up therapies rather than prepare as regular parents do. Inclusion is the goal – not locking the family into the world of special needs – these are just parents with babies who will take a slightly different route.
I am all for inclusion, but we know that a child with DS will need therapy. The two are not mutually exclusive.
Don’t know if they have DS, but a lot of the greeter’s at Meijer’s here in Michigan and Walmart are handicapped. They also hire the handicapped for regular jobs and I can tell you they can be better employees than some “normal” adults.
Always worth a couple minutes of my time to say hello and ask how they’re doing.
I’ve known some DS people and they have a certain aura about them. The only way I can describe it is they project love. It’s weird.
Twenty comments and no mention of Sarah Palin?
I know Sarah Palin supports Trump, but I do not think downs syndrome is the cause of it…….stupidity perhaps, but not DS.
My son has Down Syndrome. I wouldn’t trade him for all the tea in China. The only reason to get tested is if the wife is in her 30’s AND you know nothing about DS.
Down kids are different in many ways, they may have health problems. They are the most loving children you can imagine. And just like every other kid out there if you underestimate them they will blow your mind and/or take advantage of you. He has tried since he was 3 to play dad off against his grandma (asking first one then the other for ice cream is a prime example).
My son, since age 3, has known more about my phone than I do. He could also… “read” I guess I’d call it. My music playlist on my phone has the same icon for every song in a particular album. I would watch him navigate to his favorite album and then swipe down to the particular song he wanted. The songs were all one word titles yet he would pick his favorites to play (over and over and over…).
Never underestimate them. I have always treated him like every other kid in the world. There are some differences and they are noticeable (slow speech is one of his) but everyday we are together he lets me know he loves his daddy.