Aborting for fetal abnormality

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-08-2007
Aborting for fetal abnormality
215
Mon, 12-03-2007 - 6:23am

What is your opinion on this?


This is such a tricky subject.

Ella Grayce

Lilypie1st Birthday Ticker

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 12-03-2007 - 9:43am

>90% of Down's babies are terminated.

Sandy
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-10-2003
Mon, 12-03-2007 - 11:38am

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Disagree. Down Syndrome can cause quite a bit of mental retardation, necessitate surgeries and medical care beyond a family's means, require 24/7 care for a lifetime- and that's quite a bit more than "just wanting perfection".
I grew up watching a family whose 2 daughters had Down Syndrome. Both were severely retarded, but mobile. They were huge as the parents could not control their eating. They were violent and abusive and these parents have exhausted all of their resources caring for them as long as they could. They were heart=broken that they would have to be institutionalized when the parents die, and the mother has said more than once that she wishes they'd have known because she would have aborted. They love their girls- but it has consumed their entire lives, drained them of all of their joy and left them broken. I don't doubt they see the T21 as much more than slight"imperfection".


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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-08-2007
Mon, 12-03-2007 - 12:35pm

But as I previously stated.... they are doing it more for their own sake of not wanting to put the time into their child than protecting the child.

Ella Grayce

Lilypie1st Birthday Ticker
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 12-03-2007 - 1:02pm

>But as I previously stated.... they are doing it more for their own sake of not wanting to put the time into their child than protecting the child.

Sandy
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-10-2003
Mon, 12-03-2007 - 2:19pm

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Not necessarily. Having seen the inside of a residential care facility for MR/DD- I'd not want to warehouse a rat in those places. In any case, let's say it IS for their own sakes. Having devoted time to a special needs child I can certainly say that I value the time, energy and quality of life my family has at this moment in time MUCH MUCH more than the continued gestation of a fetus with T21, if my tubal ligation should ever fail. I value the time and life we give our current children, I value my health more than I'd be willing to risk delivering a fetus w/any disability via c section. You may not like those values and priorities, but I assert that they are mine to have, as well as any other womans' to have.

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I agree- it seemed to be one of the worst cases I had seen as well. But you're right- you just don't know, and I would not take the chance knowingly.

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No. With current technology, I accepted the opportunity to assess fetal health insofar as a DNA assay would reveal, and since that amnio as done at 16½wks, I also accepted the likelihood of aborting had a fetal defect been found- at about 18-19wks into it. Had a more sever defect been found at a lat stage and abortion was a possibility, it would have been an option I would have considered as well. THOSE are the risks I accepted.

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Those that I find to be a grave defect- and I do include T21 in that group- I don't find acceptable risks for me and my family- no. I've known firsthand the sacrifices and stresses a family goes with a special needs child- and I will not subject my husband, children, mother (who depends on me for care) or myself to those demands again, knowingly.


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iVillage Member
Registered: 06-17-2007
Mon, 12-03-2007 - 2:41pm

I certainly don't plan to speak for anybody else (I wouldn't be pro-choice if I did). Since I don't believe that abortion is the right choice, the fetal abnormality would have to be severe and incongruent with survival for it to be an easy decision for me. (Easy decision, difficult aftermath, of course.) For abnormalities that would lead to a lifetime of severe pain and suffering, I'd have to think about it.

DH has a young cousin (she's five, almost six) who has some pretty severe disabilities. She can walk pretty well now (just in the last year or so), and can talk and sign a little bit. The hemispherectomy she had at four months slowed her development pretty radically. But she's a beautiful and happy child and her parents, brother and sister love her very much. DH's aunt knew there was something very wrong when they did the standard tests in utero (the child was a surprise baby in her mom's mid-40s). They weren't sure what the extent would be until she was born. Raising her has been an incredible challenge but seeing her parents take it on with such strength and fortitude gives us hope that we could do the same thing, if we were required.

I believe that every child presents a challenge in his or her own way. I, for example, was always sick with diseases that were often life-threatening.




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Avatar for hydromommy
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 12-03-2007 - 4:26pm

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It's more selfish to abort. Aborting is basically an "If I can't have you, no one can" measure. Rather then giving that child a chance to have a family who CAN and wants to properly provide for

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 12-03-2007 - 4:49pm

>Rather then giving that child a chance to have a family who CAN and wants to properly provide for

Sandy
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 12-03-2007 - 4:53pm

>It's more selfish to abort. Aborting is basically an "If I can't have you, no one can" measure. Rather then giving that child a chance to have a family who CAN and wants to properly provide for

Sandy
Avatar for hydromommy
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 12-03-2007 - 6:01pm

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No, abortions are done for a myriad of reasons and stages of pregnancies. Aborting a child in the 20+ week of pregnancy because you don't want to care for a disabled child is far different then abortiong an 8 week fetus or abouting at 20 weeks because carrying the pregnancy any further would kill you.


<<Furthermore, you assume that there is always a family willing to adopt a disabled child. It is not always the case. >>


In the same token I can say you can assume that no family will want to adopt a disabled child, and that isn't true either. There are families who SPECIFICALLY adopt special needs children because they have the resources to do so.

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