Florida mother Savannah Combs sent a strong message to people who think her twin daughters’ lives aren’t valuable because they have Down syndrome.
“They have feelings. They have a beating heart. They know how to talk. They know how to do things you do. They will get there. Like I said, it may be a step behind but they’re going to do it. I’ve learned these kids are feisty little things and happy little things,” Combs told News 4 JAX.
The Middleburg, Florida mother gave birth to twins Kennadi Rue and Mckenli Ackerman about six months ago, and she said God knew what He was doing.
“God knew what He was doing by giving these babies to the right parents who would love them regardless,” she wrote Oct. 6 on Facebook.
Before the twins were born, Combs said doctors thought that the girls may be mono di twins, which means that they were identical and shared a placenta but had their own amniotic sacs. When the doctor suggested an amniocentesis to find out more, Combs refused. She said the test had a risk of miscarriage, and, no matter what it found, she was going to love her daughters just the way they were.
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Later, she said doctors confirmed that her daughters had the rare condition as well as Down syndrome.
“They’re called mono di twins,” Combs told News 4 JAX. “Mo di twins as it is, it’s like very rare. And then you throw Down syndrome on top of it, it’s like one in 2 million. It’s very rare what they have, but they’ve been my little gems.”
Recently, Combs posted a video of her daughters that went viral on the social media site TikTok. It has more than 1.5 million views. Though the family received lots of positive comments, Combs said some people were very rude.
“I had one tell me, ‘I wouldn’t want those babies if mine came out like that. They would be straight up for adoption,’” she said. “I said good thing they weren’t born to you and were born to me. God knew what He was doing by giving these babies to the right parents who would love them regardless.”
She urged society not to treat people differently just because they have Down syndrome. Though her daughters have therapy every week, she said they also are a lot like other babies.
“We can always have another baby who is considered ‘normal’ but my two girls are normal in my eyes and living a pretty dang good life if you ask me,” she said.
Discrimination against people with Down syndrome and other disabilities is rampant. Research suggests up to 93 percent of unborn babies diagnosed with Down syndrome in the U.S. are aborted. Recent reports in The Atlantic and CBS News found that nearly 100 percent of unborn babies who test positive for Down syndrome are aborted in Iceland, 95 percent in Denmark and 90 percent in England.
Parents frequently report feeling pressured to abort their unborn babies after a disability diagnosis. One mom recently told the BBC that she was pressured to abort her unborn daughter 15 times, including right up to the moment of her baby’s birth. Another mother from Brooklyn, New York said doctors tried to convince her to abort her unborn son for weeks before they took no for an answer.