Tag Archives: Down Syndrome

New York Times writer mourns her friend’s lost opportunity to abort her child with Down syndrome

Trig Palin on his first day of school.

Trig Palin on his first day of school.

LifeSiteNews: Since October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month, Jane Brody wrote a piece for the New York Times detailing advancements in prenatal testing. And while I’ve spoken multiple times about not blaming prenatal testing for the disgustingly high Down syndrome abortion rate, the two will seemingly always be linked. Brody’s article serves as a perfect case in point: she starts off her piece lamenting that a friend of hers was not given the choice to abort her child with Down syndrome.

More than 30 years ago, a 37-year-old friend of mine with an unplanned fourth pregnancy was told by her obstetrician that an amniocentesis was “too dangerous” and could cause a miscarriage. She ultimately bore a child severely affected by Down syndrome, which could have been detected with the test.

Today, my friend’s story would have a different trajectory. She would have a series of screening tests, and if the results suggested a high risk of Down syndrome, then an amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling (C.V.S.) to make the diagnosis. She’d be given the option to abort the pregnancy.

In the future, a woman who decides to continue a Down syndrome pregnancy may also be offered prenatal treatment to temper the developmental harm to the fetus.

Developmental harm to the fetus? Down syndrome isn’t some virus that slowly destroys your unborn child if not “tempered” by prenatal treatment. “Severely affected” by Down syndrome? You aren’t affected to a certain degree by Down syndrome. You either have the extra chromosome or you don’t. These are the words of a shockingly misinformed woman who has absolutely no clue what she is talking about – yet she is being given a platform to spew her uninformed drivel to millions of people, and to further negative, outdated stereotypes about Down syndrome while she’s at it.

Worst of all, however, is the insinuation that her friend could have avoided the tragedy of her child “severely affected” with Down syndrome had she only been given the amniocentesis, and then been able to have an abortion. Clearly, many women make that exact choice, so it isn’t a shocking or crazy thought. But I can’t help but wonder what her friend actually thinks.

It’s a lot easier to be afraid of the unknown when you have a prenatal diagnosis – and can therefore choose abortion – than it is to look at a living, breathing child whom you’re holding in your arms and think, “Gee, my life would be so much better if I could smother you with a pillow.”

Does Brody’s friend regret having her child with Down syndrome? It’s possible, but I’d be willing to bet that she loves her child and does not regret having him or her in her life. There aren’t many parents out there who look at their children and think about how they wish they could have killed them when they had the chance – they exist, but they’re rare.

This father completely changed his mind about his daughter with Down syndrome and regrets pushing his wife to abort her.

Regardless of how this woman’s friend feels, though, this is yet another example of why so many parents feel the need to get an abortion after receiving a prenatal diagnosis. The testing isn’t the problem – that’s just a tool. Instead, we have people like Jane Brody, who have absolutely no clue what they’re talking about, making a diagnosis of Down syndrome appear to be a tragedy, and acting like these people are problems to be avoided if possible.

Never does Brody mention the amazing advancements in medicine that have more than doubled the life expectancy of people with Down syndrome; she does not mention that improved education and early intervention programs are allowing people with Down syndrome to do and achieve more than they ever have before. (Perhaps this is where she gets the idea that her friend’s child, born three decades ago, is “severely affected” – these programs and medical advancements didn’t exist then.)

Instead, the article peddles the same old tired, negative, outdated stereotypes. It presents prenatal testing as a chance to weed out any children who might be defective. Jane Brody had an opportunity here to actually educate and create more awareness about Down Syndrome. Instead, she did the exact opposite. Shame on her.

DCG

 

Love at First Sight

Grab the Kleenex!  If you’re like me, you won’t make it through the first 30 seconds without tears.  ~~LTG

Parents win wrongful birth suit over their Down Syndrome baby

$2.9M awarded to parents of girl born with Down syndrome

KOMO News:  (Portland, OR) The parents of a child who was born with Down syndrome have been awarded $2.9 million in a wrongful birth suit filed against the hospital Legacy Health.  Jurors ruled the hospital showed negligence when doctors told Ariel and Debora Levy their unborn baby would not suffer from Down syndrome.

The Levys said their decision to move forward with the pregnancy had been based on this information, and argued the doctors had been “negligent in their performance, analysis and reporting” of test results.  The Levys’ child, a girl, is now 4 years old.

It’s been difficult for them,” said David K. Miller, the Levys’ lawyer. “There’s been a lot of misinformation out there.”  Miller said the point of the case is not whether the Levys would have terminated the pregnancy if they had known their unborn baby would be born with Down syndrome. Rather, the case aims to hold Legacy accountable for having failed to properly process the screening test.

“These are parents who love this little girl very, very much,” Miller said. “Their mission, since the beggining, was to provide for her, and that’s what this is all about.”  Miller said he was confident the jury awareded the Levys the right amount – $2.9 million. The hospital, however, disagreed.

“While Legacy Health has great respect for the judicial process, we are disappointed in today`s verdict,” Legacy spokesman Brian Terrett said in a prepared statment. “The legal team from Legacy Health will be reviewing the record and considering available options. Given this, we believe that further comment at this point would not be appropriate.”

The case brought up broader questions regarding genetic testing. Patricia Backlar, professor of biomedical ethics, said she believes genetic testing is helpful for expecting parents.  “If they want to have prenatal testing, it means they have some worries or the clinician has some worries,” she said. “You want to make sure you’re prepared as well as you can be in case something is awry.”

But she said, like anything, errors are inevitable.

“Not doing harm is of great importance to most clinicians, because that’s why they have gone into the profession,” she said. “The reading of some of these tests can be complex.”

The Northwest Down Syndrome Association said regardless of parents’ final decisions, they usually deserve more information than they’re getting now.  What life is like for having a child with Down syndrome at the same time there’s a huge increase in testing but no huge increase in good information on what life can be like,” said Angela Jarvis-Holland.

The parents of the child did not want to comment because they were worried about the backlash they could get over such a controversial topic.

I’ve never had a child so I cannot comment based on a personal experience.  I do believe that if I were to become pregnant I would have testing done – I’m a little advanced in years for child-bearing :)  Yet I doubt I would sue if I ended up having a Down syndrome baby and a test didn’t reveal that information.  Not every test nor every doctor is 100% accurate at all times.

Let’s just hope that this money is used to provide the best care possible for this child and not used in a frivolous manner. 

DCG

Palin’s Email Revealed a Letter from God

After reading through thousands of Sarah Palin documents released this month, media organizations didn’t find shocking, controversial, or embarrassing emails.

PalinOne stands out though, because it’s written from God’s perspective. It’s an email that was initially written in April of 2008 just a few days before the arrival of her fifth child, Trig, who was born with Down syndrome. This might give us more insight into Palin than any of the emails related to business dealings she had while in the Alaska Governor’s office.     Continue reading

Why Bash Trig Palin?

A proud momma

Why are liberals so upset about the fact that Sarah Palin made a personal choice (aren’t they all about pro-choice?) to keep her baby that had Down Syndrome? And why do they say such nasty things about this defenseless child?

Larry Flynt, best known as a porn king (also has been married 5 times, is an atheist, and is partially paralyzed), stated the following in an interview with The Independent:

“Sarah Palin is the dumbest thing. But I made a fortune off of her. [He made a porn film called Nailin' Palin, based on her]… She did a disservice to every woman in America. She knew from the first month of pregnancy that kid was going to be Down’s Syndrome. It’s brain dead. A virtual vegetable. She carries it to all these different political events against abortion, she did it just because she didn’t want to say she’d had an abortion. How long is it going to live? Another 12, 15 years? Doesn’t even know it’s in this world. So what kind of compassionate conservative is she? “
 
Apparently this man doesn’t understand the facts of people living with Down Syndrome.  Let us school him.  From The National Down Syndrome Society:
 
  • There are more than 400,000 people living with Down syndrome in the United States.
  • 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.
  • Life expectancy for people with Down syndrome has increased dramatically in recent decades – from 25 in 1983 to 60 today.
  • People with Down syndrome attend school, work, participate in decisions that affect them, and contribute to society in many wonderful ways
  • All people with Down syndrome experience cognitive delays, but the effect is usually mild to moderate and is not indicative of the many strengths and talents that each individual possesses.
  • Quality educational programs, a stimulating home environment, good health care, and positive support from family, friends and the community enable people with Down syndrome to develop their full potential and lead fulfilling lives.

It is one thing to trash Sarah Palin yet quite another to say absolutely disgusting and erroneous things about her children.  You Mr. Flynt, are a certified jerk!

DCG