Many of us have been posting this article, but it's worth posting again!
Will: Golly, What did Jon Do?
Written by George F. Will
What did Jon Will and the more than 350,000 American citizens like him do to tick off the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists? It seems to want to help eliminate from America almost all of a category of citizens, a category that includes Jon.
Born in 1972, Jon has Down syndrome. That is a congenital condition resulting from a chromosomal defect that causes varying degrees of mental retardation and some physical abnormalities, such as low muscle tone, small stature, a single crease across the center of the palms, flatness of the back of the head and an upward slant to the eyes (when Jon was born, Down syndrome people were still commonly called Mongoloids). There also is increased risk of congenital heart defects, childhood leukemia and Alzheimer's disease. Down syndrome, although not common, is among the most common congenital anomalies—47.9 per 100,000 births (compared with 77.7 with cleft lips or palates, which also can be diagnosed in utero, and which sometimes result in abortions).
As women age, their risk of having a Down syndrome baby increases. It has become standard practice for women older than 35 years old to be offered genetic counseling and diagnostic testing. But because of the higher fertility rates of women under 35, such women have 80 percent of Down syndrome babies. So new ACOG guidelines recommend that all pregnant women, regardless of age, be offered such counseling and testing.
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George Will, a fellow parent of a child with Down syndrome wrote a wonderful article in Newsweek this week. It truly does seem that the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists wants to eliminate people with Down syndrome at the rate they are going! 85-90% of prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome result in abortion. If doctors would give more positive information rather than all the negatives, this percentage would go down! What doctors fail to tell you is that people with Down syndrome live full and wonderful lives! People with Down syndrome do not suffer because they have Down syndrome. Many graduate from high school, go to college, live on their own and heck are even getting married! What about the waiting lists of families waiting to adopt a child with Down syndrome? Some people just don't get it...
Like I've said many times already doctors need to focus on the positives and less of the negatives. Don't just offer abortions, offer information on local Down syndrome groups so that soon to be parents could meet families with children that have Down syndrome so they could see the positives.
I had a prenatal diagnosis but I chose life. I'm only 25 years old but Joey had some markers of possibly having Down syndrome during an ultrasound and I wanted to know for sure so me and my family could educate ourselves and be prepared for Joey's arrival. And you know what, I wouldn't have him ANY OTHER WAY! He's perfect just like he is, extra chromosomes and all!