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about – yet she is being given a platform to spew her uninformed drivel to millions of people, and to further negative, outdated stereotypes about Down syndrome while she’s at it.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.



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I was a case mgr. for those with developmental disabilities/challenges for 23 yrs. until I was laid off 3.5 yrs. ago due to continued yearly cuts to Medicaid in my state. But, that aside, I have worked with quite a few babies, children and adults. I have observed and worked with them in institutions, group homes, their parents’ homes, supported independent living situations (apts.) and helped them with job placements in workshops and in the community. Less challenged individuals, with the right jobs, can eventually work in the community independently without job coaches remaining on site except for follow-up. Of… Read more »

Dr. Eowyn

The Nazis used to kill the retarded (along with Jews, gypsies, etc. etc. etc.), in the name of eugenics — improving the precious Aryan gene-pool. Today’s pro-abort Left don’t even have eugenics as an excuse. They are death cultists, pure and simple, ready and eager to consign Down’s Syndrome pre-born and children to death. If intelligence is the be all and end all that determines who lives, who dies, the pro-aborts better be careful because one never knows when the IQ bar is set at a higher level to include the Left.


I have an email friend who has a Down’s Syndrome child, she is the delight of his life. I have always felt that it is these little ones who will enter heaven immediately because of their innocence and joy. I would trust one of these precious little ones to the scums in politics who want to get rid of them!

Dawn Shockley (@Shock2DC)

I wonder how her friend feels after reading this article about her and her child. She has taken something so personal and private and held it up for fodder in the name of “journalism”, a term I use loosely and without the implication of actual journalistic integrity. I have to wonder if suddenly her friend questions how long she has felt so antagonistic towards the child who she has loved and protected all these years. The fabric of our society has become so frayed and tattered that we are willing to throw away anything that is imperfect – even if… Read more »