Woman: Aborting My Baby With Down Syndrome Was the Best Thing for My Child

Opinion   |   Sarah Zagorski   |   Feb 20, 2015   |   6:08PM   |   Washington, DC

Can we just be honest? The reason our society accepts killing unborn babies with Down syndrome is because we don’t want so-called “imperfect” children. I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of hearing supporters of this awful practice claim they’re aborting for the benefit of the child. That’s just ridiculous.

In a recent article in Yahoo Parenting, another mother explains her rationale for choosing abortion after finding out she was carrying a baby with Down syndrome.

Sophie Horan was 42-years-old when she conceived naturally after two failed rounds of IVF and a failed IUI. She writes, “Eight weeks on, we were still so blissfully happy that we hadn’t yet discussed having a CVS or amnio. We were too busy pouring over the four sonograms of our little baby. In just over two months, we’d watched him or her morph from a bean-shaped embryo into a little human being with a face and arms and legs — fingers and toes, too.” [Emphasis added]

Ok, I want to stop here for a minute and note that Sophie just acknowledged the humanity of her baby. She didn’t vaguely reference her unborn child’s personhood; rather, she stated clearly that he or she was a human being.

She continued, “As my blood test date grew closer, my older mom friends filled me in on the dreaded chronic villus sampling and the equally awful-sounding amniocentesis. As harrowing as it was, though, they all agreed the tests were worth it in order to find out whether their baby had a birth defect or a genetic disorder like Down syndrome.”



Unfortunately, 90% of women who receive the prenatal diagnosis that their unborn baby has Down’s choose abortion; and Sophie was no exception.

Here’s more:

“It was a hot summer Monday when the social worker from the doctor’s office called. She got right to the point: The test indicated that there was an extra 21st chromosome. “I’m so sorry,” she said, “but there is a 99% chance that your child will be born with Down Syndrome.” She then advised that we have another test so we could be .9% more certain: the CVS.

After I hung up the phone, I felt alone with my burgeoning bump. I didn’t want to tell my husband while he was at work so I called a friend who advised me to keep the information to myself. “People can be very judge-y about this sort of thing,” she said. Judge-y about what? I wondered. This wasn’t a result of anything my husband or I did — regardless, I took my friend’s advice.

When I broke the news to my husband, he immediately began searching for “raising a Down Syndrome child” online. My heart broke. A few days earlier, he was the happiest I’d ever seen him, his hands cradling my tummy while we danced at a concert. How was I going to tell him that, should the CVS confirm our worst fears, I didn’t want to keep the baby? My child deserved better than a life of struggle and frustration due to a condition that he or she would never be able to change. Plus, there was no predicting the severity of the disorder — some children with Down Syndrome are able to feed themselves and attend school; others require more urgent and consistent care. Knowing that my husband and I wouldn’t live long enough to provide the necessary long-term care for our child was stressful, to say the least. I did not want him or her to ever feel lonely, lack independence, or be confined to a nursing home when we passed on.

Tragically, Sophie officially decided to have an abortion.


However, prior to doing so she decided to have one more test to verify that her baby would be born with Down syndrome. At the doctors office for the second test she heard her baby’s loud and strong fetal heartbeat and couldn’t believe anything could be wrong. She said, “The fetal heartbeat was so loud and strong. It didn’t seem like anything was wrong. Then I thought: Might this be the last time I see him or her? ‘It doesn’t matter if the baby is born with Down syndrome,’ my husband said, reading my mind. ‘I’d still be proud.’”

This is heartbreaking. Sophie’s husband didn’t want her to have an abortion but she was quick to try and change his mind by pointing out all the problems with children with the condition. She said, “On our way home, we stopped at a sidewalk cafe. There I noticed an older couple with their son who appeared to have Down Syndrome. They were trying to prevent him from running out into the street so they could hand-feed him a slice of pizza and wipe his face with a napkin. Though he behaved like a rambunctious toddler, I wondered if he were a teenager or older (it’s often difficult to determine the age of someone with Down’s). I looked at my husband. He had noticed them too.”

Unbelievably, at one point in her article she even compared a child with Down syndrome to elderly people in nursing homes who can’t do anything but stare into space. She said to her husband, “’Do you remember the people who live in Nana’s nursing home — the ones who aren’t elderly?’ I tried explaining to my husband. Mostly they just sat in their wheel chairs, staring into space. ‘No one comes to visit them,’ Nana had said, adding that most had older parents who’d already passed on. My husband listened…”

Not only is this comparison inaccurate (99% of people with Down syndrome report being happy with their lives), it’s disturbing. Why? Because guess what…one day Sophie and her husband may be confined to a wheelchair, with Alzheimer’s or another degenerative disease. The fact of the matter is there are countless people who are unable to care for themselves but does that mean we should kill them? According to Horan, it sure sounds like it.

At Sophie’s last ultrasound she asked the technician the sex of her baby. She said, “When she told me, I burst into tears. Only then, after I’d gotten to know my baby as well as I possibly could, did I feel I was ready to make the hardest decision of my life — terminate the pregnancy. And I would make it as a mother who wanted to do the best for her child.”

Can’t we just say it like it is? Sophie didn’t want to raise a child with Down’s because it would be hard and require sacrifice. I like it better when people are honest. For example, LifeNews previously reported on couples that shared how they really felt about aborting their babies with Down syndrome. One mother said, “I just couldn’t do it, couldn’t be that kind of mother who accepts everything, loves her kid no matter what. What about me? Maybe it’s selfish, I don’t know. But I just didn’t want all those problems in my life.”

Another said, “If he can’t grow up to have a shot at becoming the president, we don’t want him.,” and another, “The bottom line is when my neighbor said to me: ‘Having a “tard,” that’s a bummer for life.’”

As cruel and untrue as these statements are, at least these parents are being honest about why they chose abortion. I’m sorry but Sophie didn’t kill her baby because she thought it was “best” for the child— she killed her baby because she thought it was best for her.