Down Syndrome Abort or Not?
I was 27 and happily 12 weeks pregnant. My husband and I had been married for about 5 years so we thought…hey let’s have a baby! It was our first pregnancy and we were eager to watch our baby grow, record each pregnancy milestone and begin the “baby” journey ahead.
Shortly after my first set of screening tests, I received an odd call from the doctor… she began to inform me that my blood test showed an increased risk of having a baby with Down Syndrome. When I asked her what that meant exactly she explained that my risk was 1 out of 7. Before I could even digest the information given to me, she proceeds to ask me if I would like to schedule an abortion while it’s still early enough. Huh-What is happening? I thought.
Wow! Did my OBGYN really just suggest an abortion?
I knew in my heart that my husband and I were having the baby no matter what the disability or ailment so I made that clear to my doctor and began my search for a new OBGYN.
I was scared. We were concerned about the possible health concerns of our baby about to be born. The pain of the likely obstacles that lay ahead ran deep and we just didn’t know what to expect. After several intense and stressful weeks, we decided we needed to make a choice and it wasn’t the choice to abort the baby or not. It was the choice to accept the reality of the situation and believe that this was something we couldn’t control - Something in God’s hands.
By the 20th week mark my exam was looking “normal” and although no doctor could tell me 100% I knew everything was going to workout because we chose to be happy with any baby God was about to bless us with.
At full-term, I gave birth to a healthy baby girl and it turned out the screening test was wrong. Fast forward ten years and she is a smart, beautiful and happy girl. I don’t know why my test popped positive for Downs we may never know. I thank God for giving my husband and I the strength and faith needed to carry us through our pregnancy. We couldn’t have done it without Him.
It breaks my heart to hear about the many positive screening test results that trigger abortions. Sadly, based on the results of those tests, many families choose abortion over life.
According to the “National Down Syndrome Society” Approximately one in every 700 babies in the United States is born with Down syndrome – about 6,000 each year.
However, almost none are born in Iceland. That’s because according to a CBSnews report nearly 100 percent of women in Iceland who receive a positive test for Down syndrome choose to terminate the pregnancy. In Denmark, 98 percent of pregnancies with a Down syndrome diagnosis are terminated. In France, it’s 77 percent, and in the United States it’s 67 percent.
Although people with Down syndrome have an increased risk for certain medical conditions such as congenital heart defects, respiratory and hearing problems, Alzheimer’s disease, childhood leukemia and thyroid conditions many of these conditions are now treatable, so most people with Down syndrome lead healthy lives.
I want to encourage all moms and dads faced with this challenge to have courage and faith on the path of the unknown and know God’s grace can carry you through any situation.
If this is a battle you are facing and you are not sure what to do and need support. You are not alone. We are here to help!