Down Syndrome Babies Won't Disapppear


down syndrome babiesA new test for trisomy 21 will make testing for Down Syndrome indicators easier, and more accurate, and it's been used in Hong Kong right now as we gestate. A simple blood test that predicts the genetic condition could be available soon that is 98% accurate, and allows a mother to avoid the invasive testing of amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling -- both of which come with a small chance of miscarriage.

This is good news, and allows families access to more information, without putting a pregnancy at risk. But a recent Time article asks if this means Down Syndrome will someday be extinct, as women learn earlier and are given results with more certainty.

Clearly they haven't met Sarah Palin.

But it's not just pro-life parents who get the chromosome information and decide a baby is wanted, no matter the challenges. Even as the numbers of babies born with Down Syndrome decline, there are mothers all over the socio-political spectrum who embrace their children, and would never consider terminating the pregnancy. I know one, and I'm sure you do too.

While not all of us are built to deal with special needs, large or small, many mothers and fathers welcome -- while bracing themselves for -- a tough road ahead. It doesn't mean that a mom-to-be's heart doesn't sink when hearing the news that her baby will be different, but it also doesn't mean that she will choose to end the pregnancy.

We all come to motherhood with different values, different life experiences, and we all make choices that the woman next to us in the waiting room would not necessarily make. So no, I don't think a new test for Down Syndrome can make babies disappear. I do think, however, that it is a welcome addition to pre-natal planning and should be celebrated, instead of feared.

Do you think more women will choose to terminate a Down Syndrome pregnancy with this test?


Image via Marco Raaphorst/Flickr

baby development, baby health


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nonmember avatar Anon

Yes, considering that currently a very high percentage of babies testing positive for this condition are aborted already. I do understand wanting to be prepared for a special needs child. But it is wrong to kill them just because they will look unusual and take longer to learn. There are still some parents who consider their child a life and a gift regardless of chromosomal make-up. So Down Syndrome will not go away, but yes, too many babies will be killed as a result of this test.

bills... billsfan1104

This is sad. Sad because people are lazy and selfish and will kill their baby simply because they are not "perfect". God gave people a precious life for us too take care of. Its sickening to me that people will kill for down syndrome.

miche... micheledo

Yes I do believe more people will terminate.  I have even seen in the Answers section where women are encouraged to go through with a pregnancy BECAUSE the tests are NOT very accurate.  To have a more accurate test would most likely convince a number of women to abort.

While I do not think babies with Down Syndrome will no longer exist, I do believe the numbers will continue to decline.  They ARE ALREADY declining because of abortion.  It is SO sad and it is wrong. 

Veron... VeronicaTex

I don't know if it will or not....I certainly pray it doesn't....

I declined an amniocentesis...I did not want to risk anything at age 39.: first child....

Having a Down Syndrome child was NOT what I had in mind having been a teacher...I went through all the steps of grief....Many times I didn't think I could get through the first year....It was especially painful the thought of not being able to share my life with her...the talents I had....the knowledge....ect.....

I was soooooo wrong....I am sharing...just in a different way......tailored to her....

However, I learned about the sacrifice it takes to have a Special Needs child....Parenthood for me has stretched me in ways I didn't want to be stretched at times but I am so much better a person for it....She teaches me about love, patience and just what a wonderful gift she is....This is a privilege...I am blessed....

LadyCash LadyCash

Yes, I think they will terminate.  And it's a horrible, sad thing.

I never had the amnio, being high risk, first pregnancy, infertilty. We knew going in this would likely be the only child we would ever have. Even if he'd had a terminal illness, I would not have aborted, but would have loved him as best we could in the time we had.

Babies are NOT disposable, no matter what.

RanaA... RanaAurora

The percentage of aborted DS babies is already really, really high. I do think this test will give more women the ability to decide earlier on if they want to abort or not. It's an insanely personal choice, and yes, there are women who it doesn't matter to and women it does. I don't think it'll "go away" but the rates will continue to drop.

angev... angevil53

yes i do think people will abort bc of this new test, just as they did before with the other tests. i don't think it will be more than before though.

thedg... thedgoddess

Yes. I believe they will, sadly. People just don't understand that any child, even a disabled one, is a gift.

nonmember avatar Kaz

I don't think so, at least, not significantly. If you were to consider aborting a baby because it has Down Syndrome the you would be taking the Amnio/CVS option anyway. Those who choose not to take those tests tend to be of the "I won't be acting on the information anyway, so why risk the pregnancy" mentality.

I think this test would have a higher impact on women in my shoes who got a high risk reading for DS, but didn't want to risk the baby could be better emotionally prepared for what is to come if indeed the result is positive.

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