Last month, freelance writer Hallie Levine shared with Yahoo! Parenting that if she had known that her daughter had Down syndrome before she was born, she would have obtained an abortion. In her piece, “If I Knew My Daughter Had Down Syndrome, I Would Have Aborted Her – All Women Should Have That Right,” Levine encourages Americans to oppose the Ohio bill that makes it illegal for a doctor to abort a baby due to a genetic fetal abnormality.
She candidly explains that even though her daughter is now “the center of her world,” she doesn’t believe women should be forced to have babies with Down syndrome. In fact, she thinks the legislation is not in the “best interest” of children with the condition.
Levine wrote, “Legislation like Ohio’s, which strips a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy because of Down syndrome, is the ultimate form of condescension to mothers. It sends the message that we’re hyper-emotional during pregnancy, that we can’t think clearly, and that the decision to have an abortion stems from misguided ignorance and fears and selfishness – rather than a genuine concern for the well-being of our unborn child.”
Thankfully, countless readers responded to her piece encouraging women to give all children a chance at life, regardless of if they have a disability. Live Action News reports that one commenter said: “Disabled kids have a right to life too – and disabled kids can still experience joy, can still achieve, can still provide joy to their parents, and can still live full and meaningful lives. I don’t believe that it should be a women’s ‘choice’ to abort disabled children for the same reason I don’t believe it should be legal to kill disabled kids.”
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Other readers shared their personal experiences with children who have the condition. For example, Sharon and Greg have a granddaughter with Down’s but are so thankful she is alive. Sharon wrote, “My Down’s granddaughter, now a 27 year old woman, is joyful, helpful, more organized than we are. Works, live in a group home. At birth doctors told her parents they ‘didn’t have to keep her’, ‘they could turn her over to an institution! Heads up folks..many of the “Fetal Diagnoses” turn out to be wrong! grandma… She is beautiful, she is loved and she is alive!”
Then a woman known as MetalMom said, “I would advise anyone who may be thinking of aborting a Down syndrome fetus to not do it. Down syndrome children will love you and think you are the greatest person in the world throughout their entire lives.”
Linda told of her friend’s brother and the value he brought to the lives around him:
I have a friend who had a disabled brother. He lived with his parents and worked in a sheltered workshop. He recently died at the age of 79. Billy saw kindness in everyone .Sometimes Saints reside on this planet for a specific purpose,only.
Janika spoke for the couples waiting to adopt babies with Down syndrome:
I can guarantee there are people who DO want that child and would adopt him/her into a loving home. There are actually waiting lists for parents who want to adopt these wonderful children.
Donna wrote of her own prenatal test being completely wrong:
… There is no reason to abort a child. Ever.
My daughter was diagnosed with Down Syndrome. There was no “choice” to me. No matter what she was and is my daughter. And guess what? The test was wrong.
Jennifer reiterated the truth that blood tests don’t reveal everything:
I tested positive for possible downs through blood work years ago with my daughter. It was the longest 6 weeks of my life. I chose to keep her no matter what. We did the ultra sound and everything. Luckily for us she came out with not having downs, but now she has the early on set of schizophrenia at the age of 9. She is doing very well with medication, etc. but you can’t tell that in a blood test can you?