Leigh Edwards didn’t find out that her son had Down syndrome until she gave birth to him at the hospital 13 years ago.
Writing for The Independent, the British mother said her newborn son wasn’t what she was expecting when doctors handed him to her. Edwards, who described her son as “puny” and “yellow tinted,” said her happiness shattered when doctors told her that he had Down syndrome.
Looking back, Edwards said her 23-year-old self would have given into her fears and aborted him if she had known about his genetic disorder before birth.
“There is no doubt I would have chosen a termination if I had been told about my son’s condition while I was pregnant,” she wrote. “As an immature 23 year old, I would have asked myself – how on earth will I be able to cope with bringing up a child with disabilities? What quality of life would he have? Would it be fair on my parents who would have to help me?”
As Edwards raised her son, she said her experiences began to give her a new perspective. She said she and her son are living a happy, full life together, despite having some difficult times.
Edwards said she never would abort her son today, knowing what she now knows; however, she still believes other women should be able to choose to abort their babies simply because of a disability.
“My son and I are now strong enough to cope with anything, but I only have this strength through age and experience,” Edwards wrote. “Unfortunately, not every woman will always have this strength to raise a disabled child, and termination can be a clear choice. Because while abortion may take a life, it can also give it back as well.”
Despite what Edwards says, abortion never gives back a life, it only claims one. And it’s irreversible. Edwards’ prejudiced thinking is tragically common in today’s society. Studies show as many as 90% of women who receive the prenatal diagnosis that their unborn baby has Down syndrome choose abortion. As LifeNews reported in 2015, abortion after prenatal diagnosis has reduced the population of individuals living with Down syndrome in the U.S. by approximately 30%.
These shocking statistics are prompting state legislators in a handful of states to introduce bills to stop discriminatory abortions on babies with Down syndrome and other disabilities. Missouri and Indiana legislators are currently considering bills. In 2013, North Dakota became the first in the United States to ban these discriminatory abortions.
In the UK, where Edwards lives, some families also are petitioning the government to end the discriminatory abortions. As LifeNews recently reported, Sarah Roberts from Guildford, England, is a mother of three who is trying to convince others that the lives of those with Down syndrome have value. Roberts’ son Oscar has the genetic disorder.
Roberts is sharing a petition to stop late-term abortions on babies with Down syndrome in the UK. It explains how increased medical capabilities are helping people with Down syndrome to live long, healthy lives.
As previously reported on LifeNews, 99 percent of people with Down syndrome say they are happy in their lives. It’s a tragedy that so many of them are missing because of abortion.