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Life Issues: January 29, 2007

Prenatal Testing for 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 understanble outcry among pro-lifers and groups that serve individuals with Down syndrome.

George Will, in his exceptional column George Will Golly, What Did Jon Do? explains:

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.
Barbara Curtis (MommyLife) posted a press release put out by the National Down Syndrome Congress:
The National Down Syndrome Congress (NDSC) condemns recent recommendations by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) that convey tacit approval for terminating pregnancies where the fetus has Down syndrome.


And, Candy Slice and RealChoice suggest the attack on kids with Down Syndrome through abortion will rise beyond its current outrageously high level.

I’ve summarized the recent events because of a letter I received from a good friend who has a wonderful child, a son, with Down Syndrome. He writes,

Is there an appropriate way to consider the prenatal testing that the medical society is pushing for? I’m regularly reading newspaper articles about how the medical community is demanding that all women’s babies be tested for things like Down Syndrome at a much earlier stage in the pregnancy—I think before 3 months. While I have nothing against the testing in itself because it could help prepare people for upcoming medical difficulties, the fact remains that people often are much more willing to abort the children when they know it has Downs. Under these circumstances, assuming that Christians do not abort and non-Christians often abort, I’m wondering if Christians will soon bear the brunt of higher insurance premiums since they will not abort and insist on taking the “risk” of having a medically challenged child. Worse yet, some weaker Christians may make the horrible mistake of aborting due to pressures put on them by the medical community when it is determined that they are pregnant w/ a Downs child and the “risk” level is much higher for the child.

In conclusion, while the prenatal testing issue is what caused me to write to you, my underlying concern is that prenatal testing should not be used to confuse or weaken the resolve of any Christian, strong or weak, to become the father or mother of a child w/ Downs Syndrome. To have such a child is a gift from God. A different gift to be sure and one that will probably require more patience, time and yes, even money. Maybe even more tears. For many Americans, such a gift sounds scary and certainly not fun. While I won’t say that being a father to a son w/ Downs has been without scary times, I will say this—if raised in a Christian home, a child w/ Downs will show his family a more complete meaning of love and devotion than they have ever imagined.

cross-posted: prolifeblogs

Posted by tim at January 29, 2007 12:48 PM

Articles Related to Life Issues:


Imagine for a moment that scientists identified a "gay gene" that caused children to grow up to be homosexual. Imagine the ACOG recommending that all pregnant women be screened so that they can know early on if they're carrying a baby with the "gay gene" so that they can make an "informed choice" about whether or not to let such a wretched, unfortunate child be born.

So you think maybe then the lefties would be able to see the discrimination, the intolerance, the prejudice?

Posted by: Christina at January 29, 2007 2:12 PM


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