New Effort Launched to Decrease Eugenic Abortion of Down Syndrome Babies
By Tim Waggoner
NEW YORK, September 9, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - In an effort to curb the rising abortion rate for babies with Down syndrome, Concerned Women for America (CWA) of New York has teamed up with prominent Down syndrome groups to develop an informational brochure focused on giving "hope" and "help" to parents and families of children with Down syndrome.
The small brochure, titled, "When you’ve learned that your baby may have Down syndrome ... There is help and hope!", offers "encouragement, a positive perspective, and a list of resources and support groups to help families learn more about their baby’s opportunities," said a CWA release on the brochure.
According to Physicians for Life, after discovering their unborn baby has Down syndrome via prenatal screening, between 84 percent and 91 percent of parents choose abortion in the U.S. While this figure is similar in Canada, it is even higher in England and Spain where 94 percent and 95 percent of unborn babies with Down syndrome are aborted respectively.
In an interview with LifeSiteNews.com, brochure creator Anne Downey said these statistics are what motivated her to initiate the project.
"It all started when I was running late to church service and I sat behind a young woman with Down syndrome whose name was Megan - I suddenly realized that there won’t be very many Megans left in the world," she reminisced.
Downey explained how the increased popularity of prenatal screening is leading to more doctors presenting parents with a "choice" of what to do with their unborn baby with Down syndrome.
"With an increased use of prenatal testing, often times when a pregnant woman is told their baby has Down syndrome, the doctor may not be aware of the resources available or may be thinking about how people with Down syndrome used to be treated, and therefore may give an uniformed opinion and potentially harmful advice," said Downey. "Some doctors put tremendous pressure on parents making them feel guilty about their situation."
Downey hopes that doctors will use her brochure to become more informed on the issues and will hand it out to parents so they can make up-to-date and informed decisions. It contains contacts of several support organizations, including communities where families with children with Down syndrome can connect and an adoption agency where 200 families are waiting to adopt a child with Down syndrome.
"When a woman learns there are 200 families waiting to adopt a child with Down syndrome she will have more hope that she can raise the child or bring the child to term so that a loving family may raise the child," she said.
"Families all across the country who have children with Down syndrome are so happy and feel so blessed to have their child," added Downey.
For more information on the brochure see:
See related coverage:
"Airbrushing Diversity": Parents of Down Syndrome Children Tell of Abortion Pressures
95% of Spanish Down’s Syndrome Children Aborted After Prenatal Testing