The extent to which the medical community now pushes abortion for unborn babies with disabilities is alarming.
Jordan Squires, of Middlesborough, England, told the Daily Mail that she was infuriated when doctors pressured her to abort her unborn son because he might have Down syndrome.
Squires refused, and she is so glad that she did. Her son Jay, now a toddler, was born healthy.
The pressure to have an abortion began at Squires’ 12-week pregnancy scan. She said she realized something was wrong when the medical staff took her and her partner, Johnathan, into a room after the ultrasound.
“They told us that the baby was highly likely to have Downs Syndrome due to the large amount of fluid that was placed high on the back of his neck,” Squires said.
“Straight away I was told that they advised terminating the pregnancy without giving us any other options or support,” she continued. “We were so angry … There was no way I was going to do that, we had waited so long for this baby and we would love our child regardless of the disability.”
The couple refused an amniocentesis test, which would have given them a better idea if their son had Down syndrome, because it also would have put his life at greater risk, according to the report.
Squires continued with her pregnancy, thinking her son would be born with Down syndrome. But to her great surprise, Jay was born healthy, weighing 9 pounds, 2 ounces, the report states. He now is a toddler.
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Thinking about mothers in similar situations, Squires said she understands why some choose abortion: Medical professionals often encourage it.
“I was furious that they were encouraging people to do that and if it had been someone different then they could of been persuaded by the doctors, then they would have ended a healthy pregnancy,” she said.
The young mother urged other families to get a second opinion if they feel pressured to have an abortion.
“There was so much pressure on us to have a termination with no offer of us having support or advice should we want to carry on,” Squires said. “When you’ve been told your baby has a disability you’re obviously in a vulnerable position and it can be easy to make quick rash decisions.
“We could have lost a healthy baby if we had decided otherwise,” she continued.
Many parents succumb to the pressure. In Iceland, nearly 100 percent of unborn babies with Down syndrome are aborted. CBS reports the rate in France was 77 percent in 2015, 90 percent in the United Kingdom and 67 percent in the United States between 1995 and 2011. Some put the rate as high as 90 percent in the United States, but it is difficult to determine the exact number because the U.S. government does not keep detailed statistics about abortion.
Research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests that many women are not receiving adequate counseling about prenatal testing for Down syndrome and other disorders.
Stories like Squires’ help to expose the discrimination and provide hope to families, who are wrongly led to believe that killing their sick child is their best option.