The problem with the “problem” of Down Syndrome

Getting rid of down syndrome babies (via ProWomanProLife):

The problem is that pregnant women are routinely tested to see if their child has a genetic anomaly for which there is no treatment. Doctors, who can’t stand to do nothing, offer what they can: abortion to get rid of the “problem”. This leads to a vicious cycle; I’ve talked to doctors who are concerned that with fewer Down Syndrome children being born, there is less impetus to do the type of research which could enrich the lives of those who survive the womb for nine months because there isn’t enough demand. Future lack of resources to help parents of Down Syndrome children will only encourage more parents to abort such children in the future.

From a personal family experience, an additional tragedy is that these tests aren’t even 100% accurate. Children are being aborted because of a risk of Down Syndrome, not a certainty. But still, would we kill someone just for having Down Syndrome?

There’s a good discussion between ProWomanProLife authors about the difference between the tools (the tests) versus the mentality (that a disability is a problem for which abortion is the solution).

Ultimately, I think this (as almost everything else with these life issues) goes back to the question of “what is the unborn?” If people rationalize abortion pretending that it doesn’t end a unique human life, then aborting Down Syndrome babies is an unsurprising behaviour. Yet, when people realize that human life begins at conception, abortion suddenly seems like a less palatable solution for most.

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2 Comments on “The problem with the “problem” of Down Syndrome

  1. At the National Campus Life Network Conference this past weekend, I heard from a mother who had a child with a genetic disorder (Trisomy 13, if I’m not mistaken), and their doctor, whom they trusted, did not do anything to save the baby’s life, when they could have. This is just an example of how some doctors seem to make less efforts providing care and meeting the needs of babies with genetic disorders. Many parents want to take care of these children with special needs; they truly evoke love, which is such a beautiful ability. However, the choice to keep a child with special needs, if this becomes a standard practice, will no longer be there. How truly sad that would be.

  2. That’s terrible. Someone I know told me that they ended up switching hospitals, after early tests indicated a chance that the child had Down Syndrome and some other potential complications, to find another doctor who was willing to take on the higher risk pregnancy. When she told the initial hospital that abortion wasn’t an option, she was met with surprise.

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