Sarah Palin’s Keeping Disabled Baby May Reduce Abortions Doctor Worries

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 10, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Sarah Palin’s Keeping Disabled Baby May Reduce Abortions Doctor Worries

by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 10
, 2008

Ottawa, Canada ( — A leading Canadian doctor is drawing gasps from people across the world with a comment that he worries abortions will go down because of Sarah Palin’s story. The number two doctor at the national Canadian physicians group worries Palin’s decision to keep her disabled baby will reduce abortions.

Palin’s story of deciding to give birth to her disabled son Trig despite knowing he would be afflicted with Down syndrome, has been an encouragement to families with special needs children.

But it’s bad news to André Lalonde, executive vice-president of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada.

"The worry is that this will have an implication for abortion issues in Canada," he told the Toronto Globe and Mail newspaper Tuesday.

According to the paper, Lalonde said that, "above all else, women must be free to choose" and that positive messages like the one from Palin "could have detrimental effects on women and their families."

Still, LaLone claimed his group doesn’t encourage doctors to promote abortions to parents of Down syndrome babies — even though statistics show about 90 percent of babies diagnosed with the condition become victims of abortion.

"We offer the woman the choice. We try to be as unbiased as possible," he said. "We’re coming down to a moral decision and we all know moral decisions are personal decisions."

But Krista Flint, director of the Canadian Down Syndrome Society, also talked with the Toronto paper and said families feel doctors encourage abortions by stressing the drawbacks to a baby with special needs.

"It’s very dark," she said. "They hear a lot about the medical conditions that are sometimes associated with Down syndrome."

"We know overwhelmingly the message families get is ‘Don’t have this baby, it will ruin your life,’ and I don’t think people would look at Sarah Palin and see a ruined life," Flint said. "Regardless of politics, I think it’s a good example."

Palin’s comments about her son reveal her happiness at his birth regardless of his condition.

"Trig is beautiful and already adored by us," she said. "We knew through early testing he would face special challenges, and we feel privileged that God would entrust us with this gift and allow us unspeakable joy as he entered our lives."

‘We have faith that every baby is created for good purpose and has potential to make this world a better place. We are truly blessed," the 44 year-old governor added.

Palin reveals more about the birth in a new interview with People magazine.

The magazine indicated that, after Trig’s birth, Palin wrote to relatives to tell them of the news of his arriving and his Down syndrome. She wrote the letter as if writing from God’s standpoint to reassure loved ones everything would be okay.

"I let Trig’s mom and dad find out before he was born that this little boy will truly be a gift," Palin wrote.

ACTION: Contact the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada with your concerns about the comments. Email Dr. André Lalone at [email protected] or call 613-730-4192 ext 227. Also contact: Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada, 780 Echo Drive, Ottawa, ON K1S 5R7, 1-800-561-2416, fax 613-730-4314 or email [email protected].


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