I'd like to start off by addressing several thoughts in the comment section on my post called Targeted.
I've been asked what my purpose is in these posts, as well as told that my views will not affect others or change minds.
As one of many, many parents who have grave concerns regarding these new tests, I have news for you:
We Have a Voice.
My goal in writing these posts is not to stop this test. I personally would take the test if it were offered to me during this pregnancy. I'll explain why in a later post, but for now....
- I'm deeply concerned that the agenda behind this test is to eradicate Down syndrome from our society. There is no way to prevent Down syndrome, despite the fact that this test is listed in the government's new health care plan under "preventive care." The only way to "prevent" a baby from being born with Down syndrome is to abort it. I'll cite evidence in this series that other nations are already using these tests for this purpose, as well as point to trends in our own nation's medical community demonstrating that this is where we are headed as well.
- I'm concerned about the implications of this type of test, and whether it is ethical to use this kind of information to potentially abort a fetus. I feel strongly that this is a slippery slope - what "syndrome" or medical condition will be targeted next? Autism? Alzheimers? Where do we stop in our pursuit of the "perfect" human?
- It is a fact that the success of companies like Verinata and Sequenom rest on one game plan: women must be convinced that the child they are carrying is not fit to be born. Can there be any question about the direction a marketing plan must take when the financial success of a company depends on record numbers of babies with Down syndrome being aborted?
- Given the current trend in prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome, I am concerned about the lack of accurate, current, and positive information that is being presented to expecting mothers. I am concerned as well about the trend that is undeniable, for pressure to terminate after receiving a diagnosis of Down syndrome. I agree that as women we need access to as much information as possible to make decisions regarding our health care. I strongly believe that information must include supportive resources for a mother deciding to continue her pregnancy. If doctors insist they are "legally obligated to offer termination" (which is up for debate, and I will address that in depth later), then they need to present both sides. There are fabulous up-to-date resources available for women concerning Down syndrome, and without that information, women cannot possibly make informed choices.
Each post in this series will address these concerns individually. I've asked a number of bloggers to help contribute to this series- I am confident they can give greater insight than I can on a number of issues, and I'm so thankful for their willingness to help.
I'd like to thank every reader who contributed a photo or story for this series of posts. Apparently I'm not the only mom who feels passionately about these issues, or the only one who has grave concerns - there were over 100 beautiful photos submitted this past week, and every one of those faces represents a life that has value, and a voice that needs to be heard. It is my honor to share those faces and stories with you, and I hope you are as moved as I have been to listen to these mothers' hearts.
As parents of children with Down syndrome, we are our children's voices.
And we will be heard.