A World without Down Syndrome?

Not long ago pregnant women over 35 were considered "at risk" of having a baby with Trisomy 21, Down syndrome, and encouraged to receive an amniocentesis or cvs to "rule it out." An amniocentesis, as well as chorionic villus sampling (cvs), are somewhat risky because they take amniotic fluid or tissue samples from the baby which can increase the risk of miscarriage. Many women opt out of these tests because they are not willing to take that risk.

Over the last 15 years screening tests have been developed that look at different markers in the mothers blood that, combined with age, give a "risk" ratio of having a baby with Ds. If the risk is high then the mother is encouraged to receive the diagnostic tests. These have traditionally been done around 18 weeks. More recently another marker, a plasma protein, was found to give indication of Down syndrome in the first trimester. Additionally all women are now presented with and encouraged to receive these screening tests. These blood tests are not diagnostic, they are just screenings, but many doctors are not explaining this and women are terminating pregnancies out of fear they will have a baby with Down syndrome. Doctors also are not providing an accurate picture of a child with Down syndrome. These two combined have really skyrocketed the abortion rate for those that receive a positive on these tests. The latest statistics make me heartsick. Of those that receive a positive on the above tests, 95% are aborted. Ninety Five percent!

And now there is a new test on the horizon. With this test on the market the future for kids like Wil is bleak. It is a diagnostic test that is non-invasive and apparently very accurate, at least preliminary results are indicating this. And it can be taken as soon as a positive pregnancy test is received. So women will be able to find out if they are pregnant with a child that has Ds before they even have their first bouts of morning sickness, first ultrasound, a growing tummy, or any time to bond and feel the baby they are carrying, before anyone even knows they are pregnant. This will be appealing to many many women who would have normally opted out of other diagnostic testing that was too invasive.

I simply do not understand what is fueling this drive to eliminate an entire people group. What is so scary about having kids like Wil in this world? Why are people with this kind of compassion a threat? Take a moment to read about the impact that Shellie Eyre had on her classmates. I'd say we need more people like this, not less.

It grieves me to know where we are headed. It grieves me to know that so many parents-to-be are grossly misled when receiving a positive pre-natal screening or diagnosis at a time when they are confused and scared. It grieves me to know that so many people in powerful positions believe that my son, and so many precious individuals like him, are such a burden to society that they should not even be born.

2 comments:

rickismom said...

Why? Not hard to guess. They cost MONEY. And since that is the G-d people worship, they sacrifice kids with DS to that G-d.

Tom said...

This inspired my post today. Thanks from bringing it up.

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