Rachel Prescott wants society to know the joys of having a child with Down syndrome.
She has two.
In 2018, the Monmouth, Oregon mother gave birth to “one in a million” identical twin girls who have Down syndrome, according to The Scottish Sun.
But even before Charlotte and Annette were born, their mother said she saw a “stigma” attached to them because of their disabilities.
Several months into her pregnancy, she said Charlotte and Annette were diagnosed with congenital heart disease, and doctors brought up the possibility that they also might have Down syndrome. When they were born, doctors confirmed the Down syndrome diagnosis, according to the report.
Prescott said she and her husband, Cody, were “mystified” by the way specialists talked about their unborn daughters.
“Information on navigating their cardiac situation was dwarfed by the push for genetic testing and possible means of abortion,” Prescott said. “I wanted to explain how far I was from desiring to end my pregnancy, but at that moment I could only sit in silence.”
She said six doctors all suggested that they have an abortion, even without knowing for certain their daughters’ health conditions. She said she and Cody refused additional prenatal testing because they knew they would love their daughters, no matter what.
According to the report, Charlotte and Annette were born in 2018 by natural birth – an answer to the Prescotts’ prayers.
“Doctors usually suggest that twins are born by c-section because it can be risky but our prayers had been answered for a natural birth and two babies not needing to be rushed away to an operating table,” she said. “We were so grateful and relieved.”
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After six months, Charlotte needed open-heart surgery, but Annette has not needed surgery at all, she said.
Prescott said her daughters, now 1 year old, are not really that different from other toddlers.
“Our girls teeter around, taking their own steps, giggling and exploring every inch of our living room,” she said. “They love to play with their big brothers and love their fluffy dog, Max. They have begun the typical sister squabbles over toys and sippy cups, yet snuggle up together in their shared crib each night in complete love.”
However, she said she and her husband have become increasingly concerned about the “negative stigma” toward children with Down syndrome.
“I realized even within our rapidly progressing society, human rights for people with Down syndrome are primitive, at best, and medical professionals connect social prejudices to Down syndrome so it presents as a negative occurrence to parents,” Prescott said.
Unborn babies with Down syndrome are targeted for abortions at astronomical rates, and parents frequently report feeling pressured to abort them.
A recent CBS News report shocked the nation with its exposure of the discriminatory abortion trend. According to the report, nearly 100 percent of unborn babies who test positive for Down syndrome are aborted in Iceland. 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, according to CBS. Some put the rate as high as 90 percent in the U.S., but good statistics are not available.
By sharing the twins’ story, Prescott said she hopes to help people see the precious value of every child’s life, no matter what their abilities.
“All children are likely to get illnesses and injuries, not just children with Down’s syndrome,” she said. “The crazy love we have for our girls surpasses any emotional strain resulting from their medical needs. I would still undoubtedly, choose my children just as they are.”