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Aborting Down Syndrome Babies

Cari Jean resides in North Dakota, where she works as a freelance writer and blogs at Faith's Mom's Blog.

Photo used with permission.

Photo used with permission.

90% of all babies with Down Syndrome are aborted.

When asked the question, "Would you abort a baby with down syndrome?" Some people posted the following comments on various websites:

"While some people are prepared to take on babies with learning difficulties, not many are -- and I wouldn't condemn a child to a life drifting through the care system."

"In my opinion I think it is cruel to force a living being to live a life destined for pain and loneliness. We shoot horses to put them out of their misery and yet we still cant find it in our heart to relieve or prevent human suffering "

"I would AND would prefer to be myself aborted rather than live with a condition like that."

"I would not have a down syndrome child or one with a disability if I could prevent it I would. I would terminate the pregnancy and try again in the future for another one. I think it is great that we are able to screen for these defects now early and can prevent DS and other Disabilities. Like polio, ds will be a thing of the pass."

"I think that it would be the best thing to do for the child and parent in the long-run, though, it would still be very hard."

What is Down Syndrome?

Down Syndrome is a chromosomal disorder caused by the presence of all or part of an extra 21st chromosome. Usually Down syndrome comes with impaired cognitive ability and physical growth. The disorder can also include a higher risk for congenital heart defects, gastroesophageal reflux disease, ear infections, obstructive sleep apnea and thyroid dysfunctions.

Testing for Down Syndrome

Down Syndrome can be detected in the womb through genetic testing. It used to be that this testing was done on women 35 years and older.

Recently, the the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, have recommended that all pregnant women, regardless of age have their fetus tested for the extra chromosome that causes Down Syndrome.

Amniocentesis is a test performed between weeks 16 and 18 week of a woman's pregnancy. The doctor inserts a hollow needle into the woman's abdomen to remove a small amount of amniotic fluid from around the developing fetus. This fluid can be tested to check for genetic problems. Amniocentesis carries a slight risk of inducing a miscarriage.

Chorionic villus sampling is usually performed between the 10th and 12th weeks of pregnancy. The doctor removes a small piece of the placenta to check for genetic problems in the fetus. This test carries the risk of inducing a miscarriage.

Percutaneous umbilical blood sampling (PUBS) is performed after the 18th week of pregnancy. Blood is taken from a vein in the umbilical cord and examined for chromosomal defects. This test carries a greater risk of miscarriage than does amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling.

Ultrasound is a test done during pregnancy which uses sound waves to generate a picture or image of the fetus. Symptoms that can be seen via ultrasound include: a decrease in femur length, an increase in the skin behind the neck, cysts in a section of the brain that produces spinal fluid, heart defects and intestinal blockages.

Blood tests can be done along with an ultrasound to measure the levels of pregnancy-associated plasma protein-A (PAPP-A) and a hormone known as human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG). Abnormal levels of PAPP-A and HCG may indicate a problem with the baby.

Sarah Palin and her family became heroes in the pro-life community when Sarah DID NOT abort their baby, Trig, diagnosed with Down Syndrome before he was born.

Sarah Palin and her family became heroes in the pro-life community when Sarah DID NOT abort their baby, Trig, diagnosed with Down Syndrome before he was born.

Not always the case.

Not always the case.


1"Prenatal Test Puts Down Syndrome in Hard Focus", The New York Times, May 9, 2007 by Amy Harmon

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2"Down Syndrome Support Groups Rise to Counter Physicians’ Poor Diagnostic Practices" October 16, 2008 by Penny Starr

3"Mothers: Doctors Too Negative When Diagnosing Down Syndrome" October 13, 2005

The Medical Community's Negative Spin

There are a few problems associated with testing for down syndrome. One is that the tests can be inaccurate. With the ultrasound and blood tests, one in 20 women will have a positive result - far more than those who eventually deliver a baby with a chromosomal abnormality. Most women who have a positive result from a screening test deliver healthy babies. With Amniocentesis, CVS and PUBS, the results are between 98 and 99 percent accurate.

The other problem with this testing is that when it is found that a baby could have down syndrome, doctors often portray a gloom and doom scenario to the parents. When parents are told their baby has Down syndrome, it is often put in such a negative way by medical professionals, that the final result of the process is a Down syndrome abortion. If medical professionals and health care workers had a more positive attitude to Down syndrome pregnancies, then the Down syndrome abortion rate would drop substantially.1

Dr. Brian Skotko, a pediatrician at Boston Children’s Hospital, conducted a survey of more than 1,000 women who had a Down syndrome child, 12.5 percent of which were mothers who had received a pre-natal diagnosis. Those 141 women reported “incomplete, inaccurate or offensive” information about Down syndrome at the time of diagnosis. They also said they weren’t connected to resources that could help them understand their child’s condition.2

In another survey, mothers of children with Down syndrome reported physicians were overwhelmingly negative when diagnosing fetuses and newborns with Down syndrome, often advising the mother to discontinue the pregnancy or to put the child up for adoption. The findings of the survey fueled a complicated debate over termination of fetuses diagnosed with a disability, with abortion opponents citing the survey as proof doctors can influence a woman's decision to keep her baby or not. 3

Members of the group KIDS - Keeping Infants with Down Syndrome - at the 2010 Right to Life March in Washington D.C.

Members of the group KIDS - Keeping Infants with Down Syndrome - at the 2010 Right to Life March in Washington D.C.

Fighting Back

In May 2008, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington, announced the formation of the Congressional Down Syndrome Caucus. Its mission is to educate members of Congress and their staff about Down syndrome; support legislative activities that would improve Down syndrome research, education and treatment; and promote public policies that would enhance the quality of life for those with Down syndrome.

In the fall of 2008, a bill called the Prenatally and Postnatally Diagnosed Conditions Awareness Act, sponsored by Sen. Sam Brownback and the late Sen. Edward Kennedy, was signed into law by President George W. Bush.

This Act aims to promote programs to give new or expectant parents the latest information about Down syndrome or other disabilities and to give them referrals to support services. The law also authorizes the government to help create a national registry to connect birth parents with people who want to adopt a child with Down syndrome.

There are also groups being formed, such as KIDS - Keep Infants with Down Syndrome, whose objective is to challenge the misinformation that often leads a mother to abort her child diagnosed to have Down Syndrome. KIDS was founded by Eileen Haupt and Leticia Velasquez, who both have daughters with Down syndrome. As Haupt said, "The one thing that prenatal testing cannot tell you is the unspeakable joy that your child with Down syndrome will give you."


Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on March 25, 2018:

Jason, thanks for your comment, although I do disagree with it. A baby in the womb is a human being in its earliest stages of life. Therefore, abortion is murder. There is no other way of looking at it.

Jason on March 22, 2018:

People have the right to get an abortion. Whether its for Down Syndrome or not. Once again freedom of religion is being disrespected and not everyone is pro life. Those of us who are shouldn't meddle with others. Nobody has no right to deny anybody's abortion rights.

RTalloni on December 17, 2015:

Thank you for addressing this difficult topic and opening an important discussion. There are many facets to it, but the societal ramifications of aborting should be enough for anyone. Ignorance is part of the problem, and thankfully, there are many who are trying to educate the public, including some great doctors.

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on December 17, 2015:

mrsmjw - thank you so much for your insightful comments. Just the other day I saw something online that rang so true - that Abortion doesn't empower women, instead it does quite the contrary. It gives the illusion they are not strong enough to handle having a child under difficult circumstances. It is an easy way out and there is nothing empowering about that. People are mortified that ISIS is targeting children with DS and other disabilities. I'm not understanding why. In a society that thinks it's okay to abort a baby w/ a disability why should ISIS doing it make it any worse than a woman killing her own child?

mrsmjw on August 25, 2015:

The "choice" some speak of as their right to murder their unwanted child is not a legitimate, unbiased, indiscriminate choice. It is yet another example of genocide inflicted on a weaker individual(s). Otherwise the choice would be defended for all parties involved including the unwanted child. We hold these truths to be self evident. That all men (women) are created equal...

mrsmjw on August 25, 2015:

To those who say they have\would abort(ed) because they wouldn't want their child to be a burden on society.

Should people over 20? 30? 40? 50? be exterminated because science proves their health will be declining so that the older\elderly won't be a burden on society? After all, obstetric medical science considers YOU elderly over the age of 30.

A logic is not a logic unless you can apply it all around.

mrsmjw on August 25, 2015:

For those who said they would murder a baby with a disability in utero but not murder an older child with a disability let me say that this very much follows Hitler's reason for creating gas chambers and cremation houses. The SS were daily murdering people point blank by shooting them, etc. Hitler became concerned for his people that this obvious murdering and such close proximity to committing these terrible atrocities would turn them into "monsters" by desensitizing them and demoralizing them. Thus, the concept of committing the same murders in relative secrecy was concocted. Think about it.

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on June 19, 2015:

Ross, thank you for your heartfelt comment and for sharing part of your story.

Although I have never had to make the same kind of decision that you did, it was suggested by a doctor to abort my baby due to it being a high risk pregnancy for me. I didn't. My baby was born 11 weeks early and was diagnosed with cerebral palsy as a result. She is 11 years old and although there are many challenging days, she is a blessing to us and everyone who knows her. Of course we have some of the struggles you mention, like who will care for her after we're gone, and how hard it is for her to struggle with some of her medical issues.

But for me and many others, these types of decisions are based on a Biblical worldview and that we can either choose life or choose death. Also as a Christian, I know I can trust God to look after her no matter what and that I can also look to Him to heal her. For those who do not hold this type of worldview, I can see how these types of decisions can be much more difficult to make.

My heart goes out to you and I can only pray that the Lord would cause something good to come from the regrets you have in needing to make this kind of decision.

Ross on June 10, 2015:

Raising a DS child is a lifelong commitment... I know... people will say... raising any child is a lifelong commitment... but that's comparing apple to oranges... as most children do not need 24/7 care the rest of their life.

Others will make the argument it's a selfish decision to abort a child with DS. I am sure in some cases that is true, but it is not universal as some will claim. Some do not have the financial resources, others are older and fear for their child after their death while other's do not wish for their child to suffer through medical issues.... Again, you could argue... we'll these are concerns of all parents... but with DS... those concerns are extrapolated exponentially.

DS is a spectrum disorder... the avg IQ is 50 (equivalent to a 9 year old)... with the spectrum stretching from 20-70.... now i have never valued a person's worth based on their IQ so I will not try to refute the argument that peoples worth should not be based on their IQ... however, raising a child with an IQ of 50... is completely different than raising a 40 year old with a 50 IQ... I have worked with people with DS... and have seen the entire spectrum... from one child who ate out of a straw and could not walk... to children who could function in society...

Now... my favorite... we hear about how cute and loving DS children are... I never understood this this to say that other children are not cute and loving... or is there some universal bias where people believe DS children are not loving or cute... if so I guess i'm in the dark as i have not heard that one.

Finally, people claim that all Drs are pushing Amnio and abortion... This is not universally true... why I don't doubt there are some out there who have agendas (both ways)... I can attest as I have been through this process. We had a NIPS test which confirmed DS with 99.4% accuracy and re-affirmed the NIPS test with an Amnio. We subsequently aborted at 15 weeks. Do I have regrets on my decision... NO... do I regret having to make the decision... every day...

We all must make our own choices in the world... and we must live with them... some will argue it was a gift for good... to them... i say i wish you and your child a happy life... to those who have made the choice my wife and I made... i say... you are not alone...

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on August 26, 2014:

Fifthmoon - thank you so much for sharing part of your nephew's story. So sad that his parents had to go through what they did, especially for his Dad's attitude toward him. Praise God that he found a loving family!!

Fifthmoon from Here~There~No Where on August 25, 2014:

The doctor told my nephew's parents there was no hope for him and that they should put him in an institution and not take him home. They took him home Mom loved him and wanted to keep him, but Dad couldn't stand to look at him or show him to other people. They finally gave him up and that's how he ended up being my nephew. He has been nothing but a joy to our family. Great hub.

Jyoti Kothari from Jaipur on July 24, 2014:

You are doing a great job and I am with you in this noble cause. Thanks rated u and useful.

apad6869 on June 25, 2014:

I had t with brother with downs Ican describe it in ONE WORD TORTURE. It ruined my life and my familes' my parents hovered around him spoiled him did not ever discipline himand abused me he had an unfriendly attitude would not learn could not dial atelephone stayed in the toilet half the day would not speak to anyone was demanding Downs syndrome completely bruined my life my marriage and without them noing it my parents life and their marriagedo not try and impose this plague on families these children should be put up for adoptian placed in a institutian or not be broght in to this world unless these childre are disciplined they can destroy the people around the he consumed almost all of my parents time I am against abortion but Downes gives me reason to reevaluate my thinking

savvydating on May 17, 2014:

90%? I had no idea. How horrible. I have to say, this is a very well written piece. I hope more people will research this matter properly before making any rash decisions. I am glad the some progress is being made in the way of enacting laws to prevent killing down syndrome children unnecessarily.

Voting up.

William A. Howard IV from Baltimore Maryland (USA) on May 16, 2014:

Anyone who has ever been around these children would be aware that their love is unconditional. Could our Lord have sent them to Earth for us to see what angels are really like?

Willowbel on May 12, 2014:

When my husband and I were trying for our first baby we discussed the possibilities of what would happen if we received some sort of bad news. We both came to the conclusion that we could not go thru with watching our child struggle thru life we felt it wouldn't be fair on them or us. As a parent all you want is for your child to have a normal life. Thankfully our first born had nothing wrong she was born healthy and a healthy relationship formed for us as well. Sadly for a close friend of ours who just so happened to be a very strict catholic who was heavily into her church was expecting sadly her baby's results came back negative her child had a two holes in her heart and slight brain abnormalities. Of course she would never abort so she had the baby with a huge uphill road ahead. 7 years on that same woman suffered pnd and her bond with her daughter is severely frayed. Her daughter has the higher end of autism she does not communicate very well and is very hard to handle as she is frequently violent . She has no social skills and sadly may never due to spher severity she will live stuck in a body and brain that will never function properly. My friend sadly turned to me during her pregnancy at one point and openly admitted she actually understood why woman abort their children and she would never judge another woman on that decision. Now her relationship with her daughter has become a sad one. No mother should ever be made to feel forced into brining a life into the world if they Honestly feel it's not right. If my friend wasn't made to feel guilty about abortion her daughter would have been given the choice not to live with her bad heart and extreme autism. Is this really a happy life for mother and child

jorge alberto nuñez cuevas on March 20, 2014:

I will not say the same thing that everybody does, disabilities should be prevented and treated as well as tolerated, for the sake of the families in the first place

john smith on January 18, 2014:

Life should be preserved ideally, but dont bring God / beliefs into the equation. A belief is only a belief & i wish people spoke intelligently without talking about God / some imaginary person.

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on November 15, 2013:

patty b - I so agree with your comment! People would get totally riled up if a mom wanted to kill her 1-month old because a heart defect was just detected or their 3-year old diagnosed w/ autism - how is it an different when the child is in your womb - a place that should be of the utmost protection!

patty b. on November 13, 2013:

I fear that soon, science will be able to detect all kinds of "undesirable babies." Babies with the wrong colored eyes, babies that will be short adults, babies that are not above average intelligence, babies with autism, etc. People can terminate unborn babies for any reason and try again for their "perfect baby". Everything is truly becoming dispensable and easily replaced. When will people start killing off people that become undesirable because of an accident, etc. Why should their families have to take care of such burdens? They would hate to have to worry about what home they would be placed in. They do not have the time or money to take care of them. Maybe, They should be eliminated or sterilized for producing substandard products.

Personally, I would not have my dog killed if I could no longer take care of her. Why would I consider terminating someone that is a part of me. "MY CHILD"

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on June 04, 2013:

Jess - I am in AWE over your comment. I am so glad you made the decision to switch doctors! You are so right in that so many people get a wrong diagnosis and then they go and abort their baby based on that "fact." Sadly, there are people who think that living a life with an impairment is somehow worse than living no life at all. Some parents actually say it is their "parental responsibility" to abort their baby in the womb with known defects. How sick is that?

Recently the state I live became the first state to make it illegal to abort a baby based on a defect or abnormality because it would be considered discrimination. I truly hope and pray that other states will follow our lead! Blessings to you and your family!

Jess on June 03, 2013:

On my first post I meant having a shorter life or "impaired" life is still living and better then NO life at all

Jess on June 02, 2013:

I also have a comment regarding bre's post if you already have such strong feeling about not being a parent forever maybe don't be one at all! I'm pretty sure there's not an exact year when the child goes away and never needs support, nurture, love, or guidance ever again.. A child like mind forever doesn't sound to bad to me! (Adult children can cause grief too)

Jess on June 02, 2013:

Hi Cari Jean, it's Jess from 12 months ago. I can report my baby girl, Daisy, is healthy and beautiful! Like a little angel flower. I switched doc. shortly after reading your page because the office was rude and really pushing for amniocentesis. They wanted to confirm the Ds diagnosis even though we didn't care either way. There is chance of miscarrige so why do that? The new doc did go on to induce premature labor because there was problems with the pregnancy but due to placenta issues. She spent five weeks in the nicu to grow strong but no problems at all she's totally right on develop mentally.. To think of how many people get a wrong diagnosis!

I know in my heart like I said before ..she was mine before she arrived and to think of loving her less for any reason is unimaginable.

I also want to say for the people who want to "play god" so to speak ( like hitler) what makes u think that a short life or different life is better then NO life... There is suffering sometime in most lives .. Maybe none of us should be here...?

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on May 05, 2013:

martinez65 - yes, maybe you are right. Maybe society would be better if no one respected life. Murder should be completely legal because then we could get rid of even more humans. It should be okay for mothers to kill their children if they are born with some sort of deformity - and anyone alive today who has subpar intelligence should be done away with. Sounds a little like Hitler to me.

martinez65 from Washington on April 29, 2013:

There's nothing wrong with aborting a defective fetus. We don't need more humans and we certainly don't need more humans with subpar intelligence.

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on April 14, 2013:

Why wouldn't adoption also be a choice? Why does the choice instantly go to aborting the child why not give the child a shot at life by giving them to someone who does have the patience?

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on April 14, 2013:

@Em - I am so sorry for what your aunt had to endure with your late cousin. But I do know that not every experience is the same so I don't think it is fair to base your decision on just one person or one experience. If you ended up being the mother of a child with down syndrome, who knows it could be a great experience and something completely different than what your aunt endured. Grace and peace to you.

Prochoice on April 12, 2013:

Im sorry but not everyone has the patience to raise a kid with DS. Abortion is noones business but the mothers, how many people here would support the government giving money to these mother and fathers.probably none. Prochoice.

Em on April 04, 2013:

My aunt had a son with down syndrome, and he died when he was 19, when I was about 3. I didn't really know him, but I do know this: I will not ever bring a child into the world with a condition like that. Its not because I'm selfish or because I want a "perfect" baby, its because I wouldn't be able to go through watching them grow up with so many issues. My late cousin had a lot of anxieties, his mother had to sleep on a cot in his room and he couldn't be left alone. he had heart problems and eventually they killed him :( No way will I ever make myself, a child or my family go through that. Everyone above me here will disagree, but I think its cruel to bring a child into the world who will be forever impaired. Its not fair.

If I ever found out I was pregnant with a down syndrome baby, I would have an abortion. But it would be out of compassion, which is something many people commenting seem to miss.

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on May 25, 2012:

1st Citizen - thank you so much for your comment. Although I can't imagine what it's like knowing the state you reside in wanted to kill your child, I do know what it's like when a doctor recommends an abortion because of a high risk pregnancy.

It is wonderful that you have a perfectly healthy child but it seems to me that you and your wife would have made great special needs parents!!

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on May 25, 2012:

Bre - thank for your comment. I'm just curious if when you were pregnant if you had an ultrasound? Sometimes even though a woman doesn't feel like it is a baby growing inside their womb, seeing the baby while in the womb can make a difference. Also, the problem I have with the doctor making a diagnosis while the baby is still in the womb is that doctors can be wrong.

As a Christian, I believe that every life has value - one doesn't have to contribute to society in order to have value. It's through God we have true value, not through society.

lstCitizen from California on May 24, 2012:

Thank you Cari Jean.

I have some experience with this. 11 years ago, my wife who was 39 and pregnant with our 5th child, was prescribed an amnio test at a clinic run by the State of California. The test was negative. Nevertheless, we were ushered into a counselors office who advised that because of our age, we had a statistically high risk of having a DS baby, and we should abort. We were horrified because abortion would never have been an option. That was my wife's last good day and she is still recovering from the terror of that incident. Can you imagine what it's like knowing the state wants to kill one of your children? I can.

We do have a beautiful, perfectly healthy 10 year old daughter!

Planned Parenthood and anyone that supports them are terrorists.

Bre on May 18, 2012:

I guess I'll be the Devil's advocate and say I would definitely abort. And that doesn't mean I would kill my child if they were diagnosed with cancer at three months. That is just stupid to say.

I don't know how most people are but when I was pregnant I did not feel like it was a baby growing in me at all, but when I held him he became a person.

I also wouldn't want to be a parent forever. I realize that may sound selfish but I wouldn't want to be the parent of an 8-10 year old my whole life and I think that is what many people think of when they find out about the diagnosis.

Furthermore if I suddenly hit my head and became mentally disabled I would definitely want someone to kill me. Can you imagine being a burden to everyone around you for your entire life and giving literally nothing to society?

In conclusion I would abort without ANY guilt.

Jess on May 12, 2012:

Thank you for your response and thank you Cari for taking your time to defend the innocent. Your time and energy has not gone unnoticed you have many fans. I'm one of them.

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on May 11, 2012:

Oh my goodness, Jess. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Your comment! You are so right that when one decides to become a parent they should not abort the baby due to some disability. No one knows what the future of the baby is, at 3 he or she could be diagnosed w/ autism or leukemia or something - what then? Does the parent then give up on the child?? A parent's love truly is unconditional and that unconditional love begins when the baby is the womb so to get rid of the baby just because of a diagnosis while still in the womb is something that I cannot comprehend. Thanks so much for sharing and I truly wish you the best with your son and that sweet little girl growing inside your womb!

Jess on May 09, 2012:

I guess it really bothers me that someone would decide to have a baby and become a PARENT and then give up on life's first hurdle. The people who abort just because of a little thing like ds should not be the parent of any child. Don't they know there's no garintee that the "normal" baby they bring home will always act perfect or never become disabled. I thought a parents love was unconditional. Not I will love my baby and he can only continue to live and grow if he meets my standards. What cruel people I will have to protect my baby girl from regardless if she has ds or not. My son will grow up knowing how to treat people in this world with love regardless of if they look the same as everyone else

Jess on May 09, 2012:

I have always thought of myself as a pro choice girl. If you are pregnant and do not want to be a parent of any child I thought abortion would be best.

I have a four year old son and I am four months pregnant with my second. We were told the chance of DS are high and flags were made on ultra sound.

We have no plans on doing the amnio because simply it doesn't matter a bit! the thought of turning my back on my helpless baby because of it being different I cant even imagine it!

I love my four year old more then life I can't imagine loving him less if he's not perfect.

Who are we kidding none of us are! This baby is the baby I wanted nothing will stop me from mothering this little girl she is already perfect she's mine.

Covie on April 18, 2012:

Good article with useful information. Can defiantly help a woman learn a few simple options to discuss with her doctor. Personally I am pro choice, and could careless if you are or not. I couldn't bring myself to have a baby with DS and don't ever plan to.

Joshua on April 04, 2012:

Wow, you really don't have a better argument than that? Your comment about "PRO-life" people is as ridiculous as asking whether you should breath air if there a chance of getting lung cancer.

Are you seriously comparing possibilities with facts?

If the fetus skin cells are diagnosed (amniocentesis) with extra chromosome it is not a possibility of DS it is a fact that once born child will have DS.

There is a reason you've been given an option of choice.

Termination doesn't have to be the end, it can be the begging of something better (than life with DS).

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on April 03, 2012:

CJ - your input has been noted.

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on April 03, 2012:

Joshua - What if the question was - do you want to have a healthy child or do you want to have a child that will be diagnosed with autism at age 3? Then what? Do people like you, who call yourselves "Pro-life" decide not to have a child at all in case the child is one day diagnosed with some special need or a disease? Your argument that says you are pro-life because you desire a healthy child is a dead end.

CJ on March 30, 2012:

I am Pro Choice!!!

Joshua on March 29, 2012:

The question isn't whether to abort or not. The question is do you want to have a healthy child or child with the down syndrome (DS)?

I'm PRO-LIFE so I chose to give life to healthy child over disabled child. Keeping DS child will take the place of one or more healthy children you could have otherwise. So chose life instead of dead end.

I also agree with religious people in the sense of god's love, he made sure they can't reproduce themselves which pretty much speaks volumes for itself.

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on March 26, 2012:

anony - I must admit I am a little confused by your comment. I don't think we really do have the choice to abort yourself. I think one can cause others to suffer but it is up to us to determine how we are going to handle that suffering - are we going to forgive or be bitter?

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on March 26, 2012:

NP - I apologize for the delay in responding to your comment. IT is so sad that the medical community does not offer more support. I am so sorry for what you are going through. By now your probably have found out if the baby has Down Syndrome or not. It is expensive to raise a child w/ special needs, as I can attest to but I also believe that if you make the decision for life, God will honor that decision and will help you in your journey.

anony on March 24, 2012:

u can abort yourself and not have to worry about any babies suffering with down syndrome to, don't pretend like u care the only person really given the chance or choice to suffer here is you.

NP on February 28, 2012:

I was just given a 1:20 chance that the baby I'm carrying has Down Syndrome. I am 32, married and have two kids ages 5 and 6. The doctors came to this conclusion after a nuchal translucency screening which showed a 3.8mm nuchal measurement and no other obvious abnormalities. I am scheduled for an amnio in 1 week. I have to say, we have been steered towards abortion from the medical community. Well, they've told us over and over that lots of women do this and that it's ok if that's the choice we make. I am not Pro-Life per say. I'm not real religious. I'm scared and nervous and I cannot fathom being the person to end the life of this baby. However, I wonder how we can parent a child with special needs? How do we pay for a child with special needs? We are middle class and have awful insurance. We don't qualify for heath assistance but I doubt we can foot the bill for all the things that might come our way with a baby that may need surgeries, therapy and so on. We feel like we've been given lots of resources on how not to go through with this pregnancy but not on how to live with a prenatal diagnosis of Downs. We live in Minnesota, so if anyone has any advice (given that we get a Downs diagnosis next week) or resources or anyone we can contact, it would be appreciated.

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on February 27, 2012:

slovadan - here is a link with that information. There are many other articles on the internet that is concurrent with the 90% figure.

slovadan on February 20, 2012:

Where are you getting the "90%" figure from, I have been trying to find it and I am not having much success but I would like to know the source

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on February 01, 2012:

Nancy - thank you so very much for your very powerful comment.

Nancy on February 01, 2012:

It's sad to think that if my mother,who had Downs,had aborted...then I wouldn't be here today.

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on January 27, 2012:

Proud Mother of Downs baby - thank you so much for sharing about your daughter - I think it would be a much better world if everyone could see the joy and happiness that can come from a child w/ downs syndrome or any other type of special needs. Blessings to you!

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on January 27, 2012:

Christine - thank you so much for your comment. It is very disheartening that some medical providers put such a negative spin on certain disabilities and that their information can be so outdated. I agree with you - what if there could be tests done in utero for deafness, blindness, autism or other disabilities - I'm sure some mothers would choose to abort those babies too.

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on January 27, 2012:

Let em go - all I can say about your comment is that I pray God changes your heart.

Proud mother of downs baby on January 23, 2012:

Being a mother of a child with downs I can not believe the harsh statements from people saying they would abort. Children with downs are truly a gift from God. My child is not being pushed through the system she is well educated and smart because her family believes in her. I actually feel sorry for the closed minded people who don't understand these children. My daughter doesn't have a disability she has an ability, to not pass judgment on physical characteristics, to love like no other, and to see the world for the simple things we often look over. She is my angel and my blessing. It hurts my heart to see how many downs babies are aborted because people are misinformed and live in what they consider their "perfect world"

Christine on January 21, 2012:

I feel it is important to address the issue. I found out I had a 1 of 24 percent chance of having a child with Down syndrome while I was pregnant. I chose that it did not make one bit of difference to me. And I am in the special education field, so I was well aware of children with disabilities. My daughter was born and the diagnosis was confirmed. As I learned about the differences she will have I was so very surprised about how barbaric the doctors and nurses outdated information and opinions were. Please do not just take the advice or information the doctors give you. My daughter does and will have differences but it is amazing how much like my older 2 daughters she really is. My daughter really brings so much love and life into my home. I worry about her just as much as I worried about my other two. A lot of the data is so outdated due to early intervention and the new idea that if we educate any child they will learn, Remember long ago children with ds were not educated just sent off to institutions.. There is no test for blind or deaf or autism - would all of those children be aborted as well. What a boring world we would live in then. A perfectly healthy child could have a terrible accident and have a life of therapy would we change our mind about our child then? The point is in our country we do have choices but please remember to do all of your homework before making one of the biggest decision of your life.

Let em go on January 21, 2012:

7 billion people on the planet....

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on January 17, 2012:

Brenda - thank you so much for sharing part of your story. You are absolutely right - mistakes can be made. I'm so glad you made the decision that you did!

BRENDA on January 13, 2012:

A big problem with that attitide. Yes its ur choice BUT if i would have listed I would of aborted my 10 lb son because the dr said it could have dows. I didn't listen to anyone and made a decision to keep MY BABY. They were wrong. He was a bigboy and he is still hugh

Point is they think they are always right on this but THEY CAN BE WRONG so always do what u want and block out those people who want what they want. Also get several opinions. Some people they mess it up and THINK theres something wrong buthere isn't

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on January 08, 2012:

Johannavann - thank you for your comment. I understand that there are some parents and other caretakers who struggle with their disabled or mentally handicapped child. It can certainly be challenging. However, many things in life are challenging and with the right attitude, these challenges will only make us stronger. We have to learn to embrace difficulties rather than just escape from them or in this case, abort them.

Johannavaan on December 12, 2011:

You people are SO saccaharine. "Unspeakable joy"? you're not talking of every parent's experience. I have worked with down-kids and even befriended one in my teens. (She almost choked my friend to death for disagreeing with her.)

My experiences have comfirmed I will abort if I know I will have one. And give away if I will give birth to one for the sake of other kids and my hubby.

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on November 26, 2011:

Levertis - thank you so much for your comment. I totally agree with everything you have to say. God can heal a baby in utero and outside the womb as well. Many people consider those with disabilities to be among "the least of these" and Jesus desires the world to love such people just as much as He does.

Levertis Steele on November 24, 2011:

Doctors advised my friend and her husband to abort their baby due to a birth defect. They decided against it, and their baby is a medical doctor today and is in perfect health.

If a person with a birth defect should be aborted, I wonder why Jesus did not feel that way? He healed many people with mental and physical disabilities. These people are valuable to Him, yet many think that they have the right to ban God's creation from life. Not so.

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on November 11, 2011:

Susan - thank you so much for your comment. Your manuscript sounds very interesting. I do agree that expectant mothers should get all the facts and do not just listen to the negative regarding having a baby with DS.

Susan on November 08, 2011:

Disabilites vary from child to child, just as a person's ability to raise a child with a disability varies. Choices should be personal. Expectant mothers should obtain all the facts before making a decision. I know with Down Syndrome pregnancies most of the time the facts are one sided the whole story is not told. I am in the process of telling that story in a manuscript both from a Mothers point of view and from a nurses perspective. It is a story of pain,love loss and of thankfulness for sharing a life well lived.I think it is a story that needs to be told.

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on November 06, 2011:

Anonymous - I appreciate your comment but to me it seems that in this day and age even having a perfectly healthy child can be a challenge.

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on November 06, 2011:

Anonymous - I appreciate your comment but to me it seems that in this day and age even having a perfectly healthy child can be a challenge.

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on November 06, 2011:

Peter - So just because other people in your family have made the decision to abort their baby just because he/she had Down Syndrome, that makes it ok for you to make the same decision? Why don't you be the strong one - have the baby anyway and just see what your other family members missed out on?

Anonymous on November 02, 2011:

I have recently been told after having an ultrasound that there is a possibility that my baby may have DS. After working for many years with kids that suffer with physical and mental disabilities, I can see why parents choose to abort babies with DS. It is not an easy life for this children and their families. Other siblings, grandparents and other family members are also affected by having a child with disabilities. For anyone you negatively comments either way about the decision parents make and have not been put in this position, maybe you should keep your comments to your self. You might just find yourself in the same position one day and having someone judge your for the decision either way doesn't help. It is the choice of the parents and no one else.

Peter on November 01, 2011:

We would have an abortion if we found out our child had down syndrome at 10 weeks. It was a hard decision, but people in my family have done this, and I can understand their perspective.

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on October 29, 2011:

joe - i really appreciate your comment. I guess it is just a part of the sad culture in which we live - a culture where there is no respect for life. WE must continue to pray and believe that one day these people will have a change of heart.

joe on October 28, 2011:

Who are these people whp say disgusting things like i would prefer to be aborted then live a life with that condition. they are sad and ignorant people who do not appreciate or understand the joys of life. superficial, foul people. they disgust me, right down to the bone.

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on October 27, 2011:

Hi Brittany - thanks so much for your comment. You are right - that is the way it is with EVERYONE - people are made fun of whether they have a disability or are perfectly healthy. People just need to have a heart change in realizing how amazing kids and others with special needs are.

Brittany Logsdon on October 24, 2011:

I have a brother who has down syndrome and it's absolutely nothing like the world perceives it to be. sure there can be medical complications and there are times that people stare or bully but it's that the same way it is with everyone. EVERY child deserves a chance to live! disability or not!! anyone who disagrees is just ignorant.

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on October 24, 2011:

Susan - I couldn't have said it better myself. THANK YOU so much for your wonderful comment. If only everyone would have your attitude!

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on October 24, 2011:

Anonymous - but don't kids without disabilities get ridiculed and bullied as well? I know a girl my school who was teased horrendously just because she wore thick glasses - does this mean she does not have the right to live? Kids can be mean - it's fact and you just have to teach your child - disabled or not to help them have high self esteem regardless. My daughter has cerebral palsy - she gets stared at all the time because she is in a wheelchair but because of how she is raised she does have high self esteem and believes she can do anything she sets her mind to. I myself was born with a congenital heart condition where I was constantly in the hospital and missed lots of school due to surgeries. Any time I overexerted myself I got horrible migraines. Sure as a child none of this was very fun but I sure am glad my parents decided to have me anyway!

Susan abruzzi on October 21, 2011:

WOW How negative the comments can be. Down Syndrome children are a gift. They are our humanity, they let us see our flaws through Love. They are not bullied or stared at.They love being who they are. From a mother of a Downs adult and a nurse in dayprogram dealing with Downs adults, you dont know what you are missing they are the best. They change your life for the better always always.We could and should learn from them. Look at any family out in public with a Down Syndrome family member do they look unhappy/ No! Thay are blessed.

anonymous on October 20, 2011:

Not to mention that along with DS comes medical issues, some may even be severe

What kind of life is going through hospitals constantly, being bullied all the time and not getting every opportunity possible for a child? In my opinion, it would suck and if I had down syndrome, and knew how my life would be, I would not want to be brought into this world.

anonymous on October 20, 2011:

Of course, all fetuses are considered as living. but don't you think if YOU had down syndrome, were ridiculed, bullied and stared at on a regular basis, people said absolutely horribl =e things behind your back and you never got that many oppertunities because you ould be dependant on someone your whole entire lives, you would want to be brought into the world? Not saying DS babies aren't gifts just like every other child, but really

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on September 22, 2011:

Encouragement - thanks for your comment - I'll be sure to check out the website.

Encouragement on September 19, 2011:

Thank you for a great hub. Very passionate, and informative.


Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on September 10, 2011:

Alexis - first of all, thanks so much for your comment. As to why a person aborts a child with DS or any type of special need for that matter - there are a whole bunch of reasons that sound quite logical. In the end though, I believe it is a decision that can cause pain, suffering and depression and people who make that decision - and who are really honest with themselves - will wonder down the road if they had made the right decision.

I have a daughter with special needs - she is an only child and yes I do wonder what will happen to her after me and my husband pass away but that's where our faith in Jesus comes in and we believe she will have all that she needs in that time. Also it can be hard to balance having a special needs child and other children but more often than not, the child with special needs can teach a family about unconditional love and true acceptance.

Alexis on September 09, 2011:

Hi Cari,

I came to your site after googling 'why are downs babies aborted' ? I never had any opinions pro-choice or pro-life before until recently when I heard a friend had aborted a DS child a long time ago. She is one of the most caring, compassionate people I know and loves her children. To say I was shocked when I heard about the abortion is an understatement. She told me about the abortion with tears, but still thinks it is a good decision for her family. Among the many reasons she gave me was both her husband and she were scared that having a DS would not allow them to be a good parents to the rest of their children as that child would need a lot of care. Most of all they were scared about what would happen to their DS child after her and her husband were dead.

I did not want to probe too deeply as it evidently was something that upset her even after all these years, but her reasons made me google as to why people abort DS babies as I was not sure what exactly it was.

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on September 06, 2011:

Melissa - I'm a little confused by your comment - I think the same as you about kids with DS and other disabilities. In fact I have a daughter with CP. I am totally pro-life and in this article I was focusing on what others think and why they think the way they do about aborting such precious babies and a lot has to do with how the medical community puts a negative spin on DS and often encourage the mother to abort - which I think is wrong. I just wanted to make this clarification.

Melissa White-McMillan on September 06, 2011:

It saddens me that people (as the one who wrote in this article) think that way about children with disabilities. My son is a my joy, he's 9 mos and has DS and he is the happiest baby! Your in trouble when you focus happiness on health & appearance. You can be healthy, rich, & have lots of so called friends and be miserable & suicidal. Some people you like to call normal grow up to be unhappy & depend on drugs & alcohol & take their own lives overdosing and mixing, so should they have been killed in the womb, because you knew what they would do in the future so why let them suffer? No because your not God and you don't know what anyone future holds. Kids don't need all the material mess to be happy, we couldn't afford it, i had alot of cousins and we made up games, and i appreciate that quality time we had, that is what you remember in the long run, not all the friends you had, who says lots of friends make you happy, if you evaluate some of your friends, how many are really real? Lastly, I dislike it when people that have no personal relationship with God, tell us that do how he works through our kids and in our lives, because if they knew him, they'd know that he has a purpose for everything/person he creates and whatever he creates is good, (read Genesis). Newsflash, there will be children with DS, cerebral palsy, trisomy 18, HIV and ect. in heaven (but restored to full health according the Gods word) but since you feel they don't belong in the same space as you, I guess you won't make it in!

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on August 30, 2011:

Rob - thank you so much for your comment. I agree with your statement about what gives us the right to make a decision on human life - esp. whether that human lives or dies. Thanks so much also for sharing about your brother and I totally agree with you on Lexi's comment. It is hard to believe some people actually think that way.

Rob on August 29, 2011:

Hey Lexi.

That's just a moronic comment.

Rob on August 29, 2011:

Hey, I've really enjoyed reading the hub and comments. I myself have a Ds brother and personally would not Change a hair on his head. He is by far the most loving, kind, considerate person I've ever met. I find it awful that 90% of Ds babies are aborted, what gives us the right to to make a decision on a human life.

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on August 11, 2011:

prairieprincess - I always enjoying hearing from you! Yes, this is a topic close to my heart.

My heart breaks that a baby's life is ended just because he or she has a defect - whether it's a simple one or complex one the baby does not deserve to die. All life is precious.

Sharilee Swaity from Canada on August 10, 2011:

Well, Cari, you certainly do stir up a lot of opinions by not being afraid to speak out courageously. Bravo! You of all people have earned the right to speak on this issue. Taking care of a special needs child is a lot of work and like you say, only someone who has gone through it could understand.

It is very dangerous for our societies to dictate who is "worthy" of living and who is not. There are many who are less than perfect, and where do we draw the line if the line is not firmly drawn in the sand with the words, "life is precious, period."

Thank you for writing on such difficult subjects. God bless you.

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on July 31, 2011:

Amber - there is obviously nothing I can say that will change your opinion. What I do know is this - I have a daughter with cerebral palsy and she IS a true blessing. No one can possibly understand this unless they themselves experience it.

Amber on July 31, 2011:

You are all clinging to "Gods word"...god does not exist. The hardships every person has to face in this world however are. The fact of the matter is that down syndrome is a disability not a blessing. And actually as a species,humans are becoming more compassionate,for hundreds of thousands of years,until very recently,the weak,disabled and deformed were abandoned to die or left to rot in sanatoriums. If a woman,or indeed a couple do not want to being a disabled child in to the world then that is their choice. No amount of telling them "it's a blessing" will change their minds. We all have our own opinions,it is interesting that you pro-life types are so convinced you are right. Oh and don't bless me/pray for me either. I'm an atheist.

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on May 26, 2011:

M. Noe - thank you for your comments, although even though I totally disagree with Lexi, I don't like to resort to namecalling. Hopefully Lexi will someday have a change of heart.

M. Noe on May 25, 2011:


You ARE ignorant!

Get a life and thank you (G)god.

You ingnorant idiot!

M. Noe on May 25, 2011:

Ignorance, ignorance, ignorance. These are OUR angles!

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on April 13, 2011:

lexi - All I can say in response to you is I'm sorry you feel that way. Nothing I say can make your change your mind all I can do is pray that someday you have a change of heart.

lexi on April 10, 2011:

i agreed wit every comment. i dnt want kids, but if i was going to have one and the doc told me it had down syndrome, id abort it. enough retards in the world if u ask me.

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on February 07, 2011:

rebecca - I'm not trying to be judgemental, I'm simply trying to be a voice for one of the most innocent of lives that cannot speak up for her/himself - the unborn child. And I'm trying to convey the message that the medical community always points out the negatives of having a ds baby and none of the positives - of which there are many. And no, I don't have a ds baby but I know parents who do and they couldn't be more proud of their child. I do have a child with other special needs and if I would have known she wouldn't be able to sit up on her own or walk, I would have had her anyway.

rebecca on February 06, 2011:

I couldn't even finish thje rest of ur alls comments....but I will say this....I felt the same way u did. Stop judging. A parents true duty is to do wht they feel is best for that child. Renewing their life for a chance of a better life is what id want 4 my child. Do u have a ds child byw?

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