Doctors Pressure Parents of Babies With Down Syndrome to Abort: “Your Window for Termination is Closing”

International   |   Erin Parfet   |   Nov 23, 2016   |   7:51PM   |   Washington, DC

Andrew and Kathleen Simpkins were told their unborn daughter had Down Syndrome, the Australia Daily Mail reported yesterday. Instead of receiving support or information on Down Syndrome, the couple said the “worst case scenarios” about their child’s future was conveyed.

According to the report, a doctor told Kathleen Simpkins: “I’m so glad you came back, I’ve been trying to get hold of you. You had an abnormal scan and your window for termination [abortion] is closing.”

“I can imagine that with the amount of negative advice we were given that it would be hard to go through with the pregnancy because it’s just so negative and the outcome is shown to be so sad and awful that you wouldn’t want to go through with it,” Andrew Simpkins said.

The Simpkins shared their story after they heard about a survey by Rebecca Kelly, the mother of a 5-year-old with Down syndrome. Kelly surveyed 58 women who carried on with their pregnancies despite a Down Syndrome diagnosis, the report continued. The survey results indicated that 60 percent of the women reported the Down Syndrome diagnosis was portrayed to them in “negative language.” In the cases where women refused abortion, the survey found that two-thirds of the women said they were asked about abortion again, and one-fifth said they were frequently asked to reconsider abortion.

As LifeNews has previously reported, a study from the Elliot Institute found that even without Down Syndrome or other prenatally diagnosed diseases fueling the decision, 64% of women report feeling pressured to have an abortion either by their family, partner, or employer. In one case, a 17-year-old said she felt pressured to have an abortion by the abortion facility itself, LifeNews reported. However, the pressure to abort is magnified when genetic abnormalities are present, with statistics showing that 90-98% of unborn babies are aborted, depending on the country, when faced with the diagnosis.

Actress Sally Phillips was pressured to abort her son, reports the Australia Daily Mail. Phillips, in talking with other mothers who endured the same medical pressure to abort their babies diagnosed with Down Syndrome, said one mother she spoke with quoted her doctor saying, “’Let’s stop this nonsense now while you still can.” Phillips said she knows of another mother who had an abortion booked without her consent.

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Recently, a Florida mother made national headlines after she her doctor a letter after being pressured to abort, even after refusing an abortion, as covered by ABC News.

An excerpt from her letter follows:

I came to you during the most difficult time in my life. I was terrified, anxious and in complete despair. I didn’t know the truth yet about my baby, and that’s what I desperately needed from you. But instead of support and encouragement, you suggested we terminate our child. I told you her name, and you asked us again if we understood how low our quality of life would be with a child with Down syndrome. You suggested we reconsider our decision to continue the pregnancy.

I’m not angry. I’m not bitter. I’m really just sad. I’m sad the tiny beating hearts you see every day don’t fill you with a perpetual awe. I’m sad the intricate details and the miracle of those sweet little fingers and toes, lungs and eyes and ears don’t always give you pause. I’m sad you were so very wrong to say a baby with Down syndrome would decrease our quality of life. And I’m heartbroken you might have said that to a mommy even today. But I’m mostly sad you’ll never have the privilege of knowing my daughter, Emersyn.

The mother told ABC News, “Emmy is proof that children with special needs are worthy and can change the world. She’s doing it right now.”