Marlowe's Shade

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

More on Down's Syndrome Testing

Steve Ertelt's LifeNews featured the report of obstetricians pushing for more Down's Syndrome testing that I posted about yesterday. There was some fascinating analysis including this view from the UK:

Most British doctors who are treating pregnant women with unborn children diagnosed with Down syndrome are telling their patients to have abortions. Official figures show as many as 94 percent of women with babies with Down syndrome are having abortions.

The story of this couple seems to be typical:

Green's obstetrician informed her that her child would grow up to be "mentally retarded," she told the London Daily Mail newspaper. But the 35 year-old rejected her doctor's advice to have an abortion at 35 weeks into the pregnancy.

Two weeks after the suggestion she have an abortion, she gave birth to a baby boy she named Harrison. He is now a much-loved son and the Daily Mail reports the two year-old just started nursery school.
Green described to the London newspaper what happened when she and her 33 year-old fireman husband Tim were given the news.

"The doctor said, "I have some bad news -- your baby has Down syndrome,'" she said. "We were both in total shock but this was considerably worsened when he said, "You can have a termination.'"

"My baby was fully-formed and his name was decided. I was appalled," she told the Daily Mail.

Green accused the doctor of pressuring her to have an abortion by telling her only negative things about having a mentally handicapped baby.

"The doctor urged us to think about the termination and how having a baby with "mental retardation" would affect our lives," she said. "He listed only the potential negatives about Down syndrome, without giving us any information to read for a more balanced view."

"The midwife tried to interject and offer us some leaflets but he talked her down. The frightening thing is, had we been told by the same doctor about Down syndrome earlier in the pregnancy, there is a chance we might have decided to abort," she said.

Still, Green has no regrets about her decision to keep Harrison.

"We don't know what we'd do without Harrison - he's so adored," she said.
papijoe 10:24 AM