New prenatal tests are giving more and more families a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome. Some parents are happy to have the extra time to prepare for everything an extra chromosome means. For other parents the diagnosis will result in termination of the pregnancy. I have heard many officials state they don’t believe the abortion rate will go up as a result of these tests. I say bull. I am certain more mothers will choose to abort.
To me this is not an abortion issue on the broader scale. It is an issue of aborting children solely on the basis of a Down syndrome diagnosis. I don’t usually share these types of feeling because friends and family may not understand or have experience with how important this issue is. Many of you reading this did have that prenatal testing with the idea of aborting your baby if he or she was not perfect. I am sure some of you did abort a baby with a Ds diagnosis. This is not to shame you. The more we know the better we do.
Below is a segment from 60 Minutes in New Zealand. A father in the video puts it beautiful when he says “I want my daughter to live in a society that values her life.” He hit the nail on the head. When people abort only because of this diagnosis they are saying that people with Down syndrome are less than other people. I will not accept that. Froggie is one of the most beautiful people I have ever met. He has so much to offer this world. There IS a place in this world for him and others like him. He has the same value as any other child.
I have never publicly stated my views on abortion because it just divides and causes arguments. I will say I am completely against people aborting simply because of a Ds diagnosis. Unless there is another condition that is not compatible with life people should not be able to abort babies they perceive as less than perfect (cause Froggie is perfect). To me this is the same as aborting a baby because the baby will have green eyes instead of blue or brown hair instead of red. We don’t get to choose who are children are. We do get the honor of nurturing them, guiding them, loving them and raising adults we can be proud of.
If someone has a diagnosis of Down syndrome there is support. This website has lots of information: http://downsyndromepregnancy.org/
If you are the current parent of a child or adult with Ds in California check out CAPODs: https://www.facebook.com/groups/CAPODS/
If you choose not to keep your child Reece’s Rainbow is an organization dedicated to placing children with Ds. There are so many families waiting for child with Ds! http://reecesrainbow.org/
Having a child with Ds is not what I planned. I had so many incorrect assumptions about what a person with Ds was capable of and what they were like. I am so blessed to be a part of this community. When I was pregnant someone said to me: “Welcome to the best community you never knew you wanted to be a part of” and I find myself saying those same words when I speak with new families. It is so true!