Recently I was listening to the radio and they were talking about a new, non-invasive test for Down syndrome. I felt very passionate about the topic because I believe the reason for needing better and better testing is to make sure people can choose to terminate the pregnancy. So I rang to have my say. Well, I got on the radio, basically said that I felt it was concerning that it was being made easier to detect Down syndrome because people with Down syndrome have as much right to be here as anyone else. Then I froze!
I couldn't take the conversation any deeper because I was nervous, caught on the hop and didn't want to offend anyone by speaking without considering. I hung up feeling stupid. I didn't really say anything and I sounded stupid publicly!
I am the mother of a child with Down syndrome and we knew early in the pregnancy that our son had Down syndrome. We had decided not to test although we knew there was a fair chance, given our ages. However at the twelve week scan it was obvious that something was wrong with our child and I was talked into an amniocentesis. Then we had genetic counselling. Everything we were told pointed us towards considering aborting the pregnancy. (There were some major concerns about his heart) We chose against aborting.
|We had a family day out at a winery on the weekend.......|
So here I am now, publicly telling you my thoughts and feelings in a more considered manner. I was upset about the new testing. Very upset. Am I old fashioned for my views? I believe that the world is not perfect and it is not supposed to be perfect. If we can control the type of person that is born are we not creating an artificial world? And how do we judge a person's worth?! Are they only worthy if they are of full intelligence? What about a physical impairment? Should we do away with people with an IQ of less than eighty as well - or keep it at under seventy (the point at which you are intellectually disabled for official purposes)? Imagine if you could test for future illness? Then what? Should we chose not to have a child who will have an acquired brain injury? Not have the child who may have cancer later in life? Not have the child who will get multiple sclerosis?
|where Buddy Boy and Pumpkin chatted........|
|and danced to the band.....|
|while our Belle (edging closer to her teens) chose to sit with us|
I'm very conscious that some people find themselves in a situation where they feel the need to come to a decision to terminate a pregnancy. I am not making a judgement about this. I just don't feel it's right to try and wipe out a type of person willy nilly.