Down Syndrome Parents Wrestle with Extinction

There's an interesting hot-button issue on the Drudge Retort this morning: Parents of children with Down syndrome are concerned about a new trend some liken to eugenics -- 9-in-10 prospective parents, equipped with safe tests that detect the condition in the womb, choose to abort rather than raise such a child. "We want people who make this decision to know our kids," said Lucy Talbot, the president of a support group. "We want them to talk to us."

From what I've learned through limited experience with people who have Down syndrome, some of them function at a high level with a measure of independence and undeniable quality of life. This is a very complex issue, but I think its valuable to convey that message to prospective parents after a positive Down test.

I vivid recall a relative's experience when a prenatal test detected a possibility of severe abnormalities in her first child (unrelated to Down). Researching the worst-case scenario on Google, based on what she'd heard from her doctor, was a gut-wrench for me, and it had to be a hundred times worst for her. It proved to be a false alarm, thankfully, but it underscored the difficult decision faced here by any parent in such circumstance. We're flying blind on this, as the first generation of breeders equipped with genetic screening.

I've learned enough about Down syndrome that faced with such a decision, I'd oppose abortion because it was detected in the womb. But unlike most of the Republican field in the next presidential election, I would not force that choice on others.


Yes that is a form of euginics but that is just one of many cases of it going on in the world today. In China they abort if it is not a boy.

Sad but true!!

Since you wouldn't want to force anything on anyone; why does your party (D) force everyone to subsidize your abortions?

And why do so many smuck Democrats claim to be against the procedure personally and morally, but not universally.

That's like saying, I'm personally against lying, cheating, stealing, and murder; but I wouldn't want to force my choice on others.


It's not that hard a concept, Jerome. I don't smoke and rarely drink, but I wouldn't want the government to make them illegal. It's about whether you want a country where your choices are forced on others.

"It's about whether you want a country where your choices are forced on others."

This is a rather sloganistic simplification. All kinds of choices are forced on us. It's more a matter of which ones and to what extent.

Zoning? Food and drug regulation? Education of children? Narcotics? Mandatory taxes for social welfare programs? Pubic nudism? Hate speech? (That last one was for Canadian readers.)

Case by case. In my case, I would outlaw smoking (outside of for-fee plexiglas bubbles with Andromeda Strain decontamination egresses) and mandate abortions for people without childbirth vouchers.

Of those examples, narcotics and nudism are the only ones that cover what we're discussing here -- individual behavior. The latter's legal in several places here in Florida and I don't have a problem with it. With the former, I think we spend too much money and prison space on non-violent drug offenses, and I've never seen a compelling reason why marijuana should be illegal.

This really boils down to the selfishness of the parents. It's not that they are performing genocide against kids with down syndrome. It's that they don't want to be inconvenienced with the burden of raising a handicapped child. A sad and self indulgent act that I could never support!


A story of the precious life of a Down Syndrome boy

You know what's coming up in the future? Prenatal tests for Asperger's syndrome. And what happens if genetic links to homosexuality ever get to be proven? I'd say that a very large number of "progressive" parents won't blink an eye over killing a baby because it's not going to be "normal enough", by whatever standard.

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