What do you think about the abortion of children diagnosed with down syndrome?

as described on the NY Times, almost 90% of unborn children diagnosed as down are subsequently aborted by the parents. This seemingly puts at risk the remaining down, as their dwindling numbers will mean decreased visibility, therefore less money spent on support programs and such. May be, though, we'll have more money for those few children who are born with the condition? which one is the right choice, in your view?

17 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    My first son was born with Down syndrome when I was 23. I thank God everyday that he is in my life. I think that people are afraid of what they don't know. I was. When we first found out we were terrified. But, we soon learned that most of our fears were based on outdated stereotypes. Life is nothing like the horror show that went through my head when we first got the diagnosis. He doesn't suffer. He's not a vegetable. He has an amazing, mischievous personality. My marriage is stronger. He learns more slowly but he does learn.

    Of course, there is a lot of work involved but there is a lot of work involved with our second son too. Children are work and our goal as parents should be to help our children reach their potential, whatever that may be. If you can't love your child unconditionally and you aren't willing to put in the extra time and effort in the event that your child does have a disability then maybe you shouldn't be having children at all.

  • 5 years ago

    This issue is way too serious and personal to joke about at Lonely Answers Club. I will offer a few liminal comments, not trying to deal with the core of the issue. It's wonderful that we live in a land of liberty and that Sarah got to exercise her liberty according to her lights, and circumstances. But liberty is for all US citizens, not just for some. So it's also wonderful if a similarly situated woman makes the opposite decision and aborts the fetus lawfully during the first trimester (hopefully during the first month of the pregnancy). See, this issue is not a joke. It's life or death. It's liberty or tyranny. It's privacy or totalitarianism. It's a national community with more Down syndrome people, or a national community with less Down syndrome people. Where I come from that's not a joking matter -- it's as serious as they come. In some states it is against the law to counsel a woman with a Down syndrome fetus that she will be considered a "better" or "more moral" or "more Holy" person if she goes ahead with the pregnancy. Citizens in some statehouses feel that yes it is a personal decision, but no it's not one that should be made in response to heavy handed moralistic "counselling". The community will bear with whatever decision is made, but the decision should not be coerced by the pro-life fringers -- the woman should not be talked into (or out of) completing the pregnancy. If it's private -- leave her alone! The tenor of this question is highly loaded on the moralistic side. I don't think the questioner is being sarcastic, or playing the buffoon. But I think this is not an issue that can be properly considered or deliberately discussed in a Lonely Answers Club format. In that respect, I think the questioner is out of line. This is the wrong forum -- especially to talk about a personal decision made by Sarah, who had the child, a fellow citizen in this world. It think it's insensitive, shabby, and dishonorable to bandy Sarah's decision about on the internet. I'm old fashioned, but I come by it honestly, being old. I like to see a little more decency, civility, and propriety. We will be gone soon, and then you'll have the world to yourselves, good luck with that.

  • 1 decade ago

    hi....when I was pregnant with my son I was given an amnio to determine if my son had DS (he showed some tell tale "markers" in an ultra sound)....2 days later I received a phone call with the results....he did indeed have down syndrome. I was asked by the doctor if I wanted to terminate, the thought of doing an abortion never even crossed my mind. today I have a rambuctious little 3 yr old who is the joy of my life. In some of the previous responses I read the word "sacrifices"....there are no special or extra sacrifices. I am raising my son just like my other kids with the exception of therapies (no big deal there). being a parent does change ones life, but being a parent of a child with special needs is also a very rewarding experience.

    there is so much fear and ignorance about down syndrome out in society and I wish I could erase it all. children with DS are just that....children. they need to be loved and cherrished just like any other 'typical' child.

    there are so many great programs out there for kids with special needs, birth to three, early intervention, katie beckett and so on. because of these types of programs my son is at an advantage...he is getting the help that he needs to develope into a productive member of society. I really don't think that if there are fewer children with DS that more funding for programs will be available to them....c'mon our government?....ya that is like wishing on a falling star...lol they would probably use it to give raises to senators and congressmen...what is that saying.....the rich get richer, and the poor get poorer? we aren't rich nor are we on welfare, we make ends meet and we adapt and we throw in a buck to try and win the lotto once in a while...lol....just my humble opinion.

    Source(s): mom to a little boy who happens to have down syndrome I just wanted to add something to R S's answer....one of my biggest fears when I had my son was what will happen to him once my husband and I are gone. then one day out of the blue my 17 yr old told me that he would always be there for his little brother and that I would never have to worry.....that coming out of a teenager was amazing. I asked him why he would do that? the answer that I received was...."because he is my brother and I love him and isn't that what it means to be a family"? I have great boys and I am so blessed.
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I was going through early menopause (at 31) with only one ovary left and PCOS when I, MIRACULOUSLY, conceived a child. The doctor informed me of the risk of down's with age,hormones,menopause,etc. He did the test and asked me if I wanted to know the results. I DID NOT! I explained that if God wants me to have a special needs child then it is meant to be. He was shocked at my response because so many parents would have aborted at the slightest sign of an abnormality. (Which I had!) Just to prove the tests aren't always accurate, I had a beautiful,healthy 8.5 lb baby boy WITH NO BIRTH DEFECTS! A Big beautiful,healthy baby could have been killed because of a stupid,unpredictable test! I read a sign in Children's Hospital that said "God only gives special children to Special Parents!" It touched my heart and made me learn to accept whatever blessings he bestowes upon me whether good or bad. Everything happens for a reason.

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • 1 decade ago

    I am sure that raising a down's child is very trying, and requires a ton of love, dedication, and sacrifice. By deciding to bring ANY child into the world you must be willing to devote yourself in this way. As someone else said, you never know what could end up happening- even a child born healthy could someday have a tragic illness or accident that would require life-long care; making the choice to parent IS to give undying love, no matter what! Most of us will end up having a disease of some sort in our lifetime- is it fair to say that if our parents had known that ahead of time we should not have been born?! In reality, we should continue to use medical science to aim for a cure, as we do for other diseases. Not only parents, but many other people in education and health care have fully devoted their lives to downs patients. We would not only be eliminating their livelihood, but also part of their hearts as well if we were to abort all babies diagnosed with this chromasomal abnormality. If you have children, you would know/ should know that whatever were to happen to them you would love them, not judge them, give your all to them. While down's syndrome can be very challenging to deal with, I have known many down's children/people who live full lives, and bring SO much happiness and love to their families and friends. They may have more hurdles to jump than the "normal" children, but they hardly realize the cinicism that we "normal" people seem to think so important. I believe this world has become too focused on how "great" we each appear to one another- as if by having a down's child we look like we failed at something, or that we don't fit into that superficial pottery-barn-kids-perfect nuclear family. So what! Love grows in so many different ways, we should not cancel it out based on our superficial ideas of perfection! SO, to answer your question, I do think it is wrong to abort simply on the grounds that the child may have down's. When I was pregnant with my second child, the Dr. told me that my quad-screen showed a 80% chance of a neurological disorder, such as spina bifida. There are much MORE dibilitating diseases that babies can be born with than down's syndrome. Diseases such as spina bifida can impair a child's life to almost non-existant, and can be as extreme as only partial brain formation, etc. In cases where the quality of life will be painful, short, and not worthwhile, I believe abortion is an option.Also, most fetuses with truly extreme abnormalities end up to be miscarriages. Luckily for our family, we had more tests and our second child was born perfectly healthy. Even had that not been the case, I realize that getting pregnant, having children, most of life in general, is about taking chances. It is all about having faith that all things happen for a reason. If people think they can just keep wiping the slate clean and starting over (by abortion) until they get exactly what their fairy-tale dreams are made of, they will never find true happiness. Surprises and the unexpected turns in life are what make it worth living.

  • 1 decade ago

    The choice of aborting a child because of a disability is a cop out,next thing you know they will be terminating because they wanted a boy instead of a girl or the delivery date is inconvenient.I know several children and adults with Downs and they lead happy productive lives.Why not just terminate everyone with an incurable disease or disability then we won't have to spend any money on research or treatment for these conditions

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    It is a very difficult and a very painful decision to make for any expecting parent.However in long run ,i feel it i s a better decision to make for the sake of the child.Special need child needs lots of attention and love and sometimes no matter what a parent does they are left feeling frustrated and pained that they are not doing enough.Also,think who will give same unconditional love to this child once the parents are gone or at their old age.Expecting a sibling or other family members to take care is not fair .They might have their own worries and responsibilities.

    A very very painful decision and i feel humbled when i see parents and families doing so much for their child ,it is a unconditional love .

  • 1 decade ago

    I work in special education, so I am very pro allowing those born different to live a happy life. Downs Syndrome is very serious. As much as it hurts to think of having to abort your child, if one does not have the time, love, money and education resources to raise a Downs Child I would suggest an abortion. I know it is heart breaking, b but if you are going to keep the child first plan on devoting your life to his care.

    Source(s): logic
  • je
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    You make some good points... However, the government should look into finding a cure for it before the abortion needs to take place. Also, if we believe that children are a gift from god then it is wrong to abort them.. but despite religion I know from working in the mental health field that personally I would choice to have an abortion if I god forbid was in that situation..

  • 1 decade ago

    I wouldnt do it! downs syndrown children are some of the most loving and affectionate children you could ever meet sure they are very hard work but if its your child you would do anything for them and to put yourself through an abortion is tough ive had one before due to being to young to have a child and i still dont agree with it.

    My brother is disabled, he has autism its very severe he is 11 and still not potty trained he wont eat properly or speak properly almost every day he is screaming and money ashe cant get through to us about what it is he wants and that gets very hard for my mother, she also found it better to cope as a single mother. But still my mum would not give him up for anything because we love him he is her son.

    It does get hard a lot of the time having a child with a disability and if you aint ready to give up and look after your disabled child are you ready for parenthood atall because you never know what life could throw at you.

    Also special children are given to special people that they will look after them - my mum once told me so.

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.