Down Syndrome, Prenatal Tests & Abortion

Did you know that 92% of pregnancies diagnosed with Downs Syndrome are aborted

Maybe it's because my own mother was a nurse, but as a child when I saw a person with a bit of a flatter face, those precious "almond shaped" eyes, and lips that characterize the facial features of a "downs" child, I didn't have to ask my parents "why do they look different?" I knew. But with that kind of abortion rate on these precious children, I can't help but wonder, will my children know & recognize the face of a child with Down Syndrome? Will I have opportunities, like my own mom did, to tell me how loving and affectionate these children are? Or will Down Syndrome children be so rare, that they never have a chance to wonder-let alone ask?

One thing that has contributed to this high statistic is that younger women are having tests done on them that typically were more routine for high risk pregnancies (i.e. older women). Now, the tests that were once designated for high risk pregnancies, are starting to be more routine for all pregnancies (as far as them being offered-that is). The test is a bit invasive (amniocentesis, chrionic villous sampling, percutaneous umbilical cord blood sampling) so that probably scares some women from getting the test. However, I was reading "The Works of God" today (a blog on disability) and found out that a newer test is coming to reality. Now in the near future this test won't include needles going through abdomen walls to obtain fluids from the amiotic sac, or blood from the umbilical cord. Now it will simply be a blood test.

In his post, John Knight explains that he is not against tests that are for "knowing things about a child before he or she is born" because he recognizes that this, "can be very helpful in serving the child's medical needs." Knight says that he's more concerned with the doctors, insurers, and medical systems that tend NOT to have the best interests of the child with Down Syndrome in mind. In fact, a doctor in the article says, "some doctors who do routinely deliver a prenatal diagnosis also admit to purposely describing Down Syndrome in negative terms." Knight thinks it will help to give Doctors better training on their information of the syndrome, but more importantly focuses on what the church will do. Knight closes by asking these questions:

Will we stand for these parents and their children?
Will we present a different view of disability to every member?
Will we raise up a generation of doctors that battle for the unborn?
Will we trust God to supply every need?

I pray that these precious children, that God knew before the foundations of the earth, that he knit together in their mother's womb, will come to have life to the fullest with Christ-that their opportunity to live will not be cut short, by the ease of a test, and any ill motives of the medical world. I pray that my own children will have an opportunity to see God's own handiwork in the face of a child with Down Syndrome.

To read all of John Knight's post go here.

Also here is a trailer for an excellent episode about a 50 year old woman with Down Syndrome from Joni & Friends Television Show 

To watch the entire episode go here.

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