The Attack on Kids With Down Syndrome

The theme of Monday’s 34th annual March for Life was, “Thou Shalt Protect the Equal Right to Life of Each Innocent Human in Existence at Fertilization – No Exception! No Compromise!” But a whole lot of people, more specifically 85% of those with a prenatal diagnosis, take exception and some will compromise their Judeo-Christian ideals to terminate a baby with Down syndrome.

Look for that 85% figure to rise. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is now recommending that ALL pregnant women (regardless of age) receive prenatal genetic testing and counseling.

Yes, it’s going to lead to more termination, but it’s going to be fair to these women who are 24 who say, ‘How come I have to raise an infant with Down’s syndrome, whereas my cousin who was 35 didn’t have to?’” Dr. Andre Lalonde, the executive vice president of the SOGC, told the National Post.

To make it easier on everyone (but the baby), a non-invasive nuchal fold translucency test can be performed at 10 to 13 weeks of pregnancy, when a mom is barely showing, so no one has to know if she chooses to terminate.

Those whose results are most worrisome could then undergo a procedure called chorionic villus sampling (CVS) to confirm the diagnosis while still in the first trimester. Those whose results are less clear and are worried about the small risk of miscarriage posed by CVS can wait until the second trimester to undergo the quadruple test. If that is positive, they could then undergo amniocentesis, which also carries a small risk of miscarriage.

Women who would opt to terminate a pregnancy based on the results would be able to do so much earlier, when abortion is less risky and less traumatic, Malone said.

“By the time you’re 20 weeks pregnant, most women will be feeling fetal movement. We wouldn’t want to underestimate the psychological or emotional difficulty of undergoing pregnancy termination that late,” Malone said. “Also, at that point it’s easy to tell by looking at the woman if she is pregnant. This way she can make her decision in utmost privacy.”

Canada is recommending automatic amniocentesis for all women over 40:

The Canadian society of obstetricians and gynaecologists recommends that all women be “given” amniocentesis, and that women over 40 should “automatically be given” amniocentesis. One wonders what the word “automatically” means here. Is there a distinction between being given amniocentesis and being automatically given amniocentesis? If so, what is it? Whatever it is, you can be sure of the direction in which the eugenic screws are turning. (From Reflections on Faith and Culture Blog)

I may be reaching, but I truly believe that the push for earlier diagnosis and genetic prenatal testing for ALL women stems from John Edward’s attack on obstetricians using junk science exclaiming cerebral palsy is caused by malpractice during the birth process. Now lawyers are finding other conditions to blame on obstetricians and are filing wrongful life/birth suits on behalf of parents and children with issues like Down syndrome. Testing all women gives them the opportunity to remove less than perfect babies from their bodies and no reason to sue their ob/gyn.

After my son was born, I needed to find others who had children with Down syndrome. Among the famous were columnist, George Will, and actor, John McGinley.

George Will has always been one of my favorite columnists. Following is an excerpt from his most recent column in Newsweek. Follow the link to read the entire column.

Golly, What Did Jon Do?
By George F. Will
Newsweek

Jan. 29, 2007 issue – What did Jon Will and the more than 350,000 American citizens like him do to tick off the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists? It seems to want to help eliminate from America almost all of a category of citizens, a category that includes Jon.

Born in 1972, Jon has Down syndrome. That is a congenital condition resulting from a chromosomal defect that causes varying degrees of mental retardation and some physical abnormalities, such as low muscle tone, small stature, a single crease across the center of the palms, flatness of the back of the head and an upward slant to the eyes (when Jon was born, Down syndrome people were still commonly called Mongoloids). There also is increased risk of congenital heart defects, childhood leukemia and Alzheimer’s disease. Down syndrome, although not common, is among the most common congenital anomalies—47.9 per 100,000 births (compared with 77.7 with cleft lips or palates, which also can be diagnosed in utero, and which sometimes result in abortions).

As women age, their risk of having a Down syndrome baby increases. It has become standard practice for women older than 35 years old to be offered genetic counseling and diagnostic testing. But because of the higher fertility rates of women under 35, such women have 80 percent of Down syndrome babies. So new ACOG guidelines recommend that all pregnant women, regardless of age, be offered such counseling and testing.The ACOG guidelines are formally neutral concerning what decisions parents should make on the basis of the information offered. But what is antiseptically called “screening” for Down syndrome is, much more often than not, a search-and-destroy mission: At least 85 percent of pregnancies in which Down syndrome is diagnosed are ended by abortions.

Medicine now has astonishing and multiplying abilities to treat problems of unborn children in utero, but it has no ability to do anything about Down syndrome (the result of an extra 21st chromosome). So diagnosing Down syndrome can have only the purpose of enabling—and, in a clinically neutral way, of encouraging—parents to choose to reject people like Jon as unworthy of life. And as more is learned about genetic components of other abnormalities, search-and-destroy missions will multiply.

Nothing—nothing—in the professional qualifications of obstetricians and gynecologists gives them standing to adopt policies that predictably will have, and seem intended to have, the effect of increasing abortions in the service of an especially repulsive manifestation of today’s entitlement mentality—every parent’s “right” to a perfect baby. Happily, that mentality is not yet universal: 214 American families are looking for Down syndrome children to adopt.

Read more here

I also urge you to read La Shawn Barber’s article, Baby Killing as a Civil Right. We come to the table of right to life with different, yet simlar, ideas:

Last October, Planned Parenthood joined the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, an organization founded at the dawn of the modern civil rights movement. This isn’t news per se, but I thought it was a timely tidbit for today, the 34th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that fashioned a Fourteenth Amendment “right to privacy” for women to kill their babies in utero.

Says conservative writer and friend Mychal Massie: “How can a civil rights group that claims to support underprivileged blacks embrace an organization created expressly to hasten the demise of black people? People of conscience should be appalled and outraged by this alignment.”

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5 Comments »

  1. The Attack on Kids with Down Syndrome

    Earlier this mother the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommended that all pregnant women be offered screening for Down syndrome in their unborn babies. The announcement marks a major shift in “prenatal care” and illicited an un…

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