Monday, March 5, 2012

We Have a Voice

This is the first post in a series I'll be writing about the new prenatal test to detect Down syndrome in the first trimester.

                                    Brookann

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.

 
John Michael




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.

                             Sammi



And we will be heard.

43 comments:

Stephanie said...

Amen Sister!!!!!

Stephanie Lynch

Karly Jaco said...

John Michael!! I know his parents. Such a cute little guy! And also a needful post. Thankyou for writing it! You are such a blessing!

Monica (Jakel) Crumley said...

Amen, Patti! We will be heard! Thank you for all you do... you're such an amazing advocate! LOVE the darling faces you chose for this post... oh, yes, one's my son... :-) Keep on keepin' on!

Mike Sullivan said...

Great! We have a voice all right. It is strong, loud, true and full of all that is great with life. I will sing with you!

Anonymous said...

I can't believe that infanticide is even coming up these days....I look forward to reading your posts! Lord in Heaven, please turn eyes & minds away from these terrible evils!

Rochelle Wilson
Elk Grove, CA

Deanna said...

I'm sending stuff over TODAY!

Elissa said...

Sorry I never sent a picture, but I am sure you have plenty. Glad you are writing about this!

Mrs. K said...

Just LOVE all these pictures, they are like "eye candy" they are so BEAUTIFUL/HANDSONE/PRECIOUS/INNOCENT and you can just see the love/goodness/kindness/sincerity in their eyes. Looking forward to more pictures. I am so proud of you Patti, I will gladly join with choir and sing with all of you. We will make a joyfull noise!!!

Becky said...

My friend wrote this on her blog today that you might interesting and very relevant to your recent posts...

http://www.unitedmedianow.com/news/the-holocaust-began-with-the-disabled/

Thanks for writing on all this and being a strong voice...

Crystal said...

Can't wait to read your thoughts! And I love all the beautiful photos!

Crystal said...

Can't wait to read your thoughts! And I love all the beautiful photos!

Bethany said...

To piggy back on your 4th point there, have you heard of the NDSS program Changing Lives/First Call? The driving force is to have each of the local DSA's getting the information (i.e. Lettercase, etc) to the medical community so that proper information is given. Then, educating them on a deeper level if/when they allow you in.

Becca said...

A beautiful post, Patti. Well said. <3

Carol said...

Yes, you have a voice. But the point I was trying to make is that so do the women to take this test. If they don't want to raise a child with Down Syndrome, they have the right to abort the fetus. The testing company is not making that decision for them, the testing company is simply allowing them to make it while being fully informed. "Verinata and Sequenom rest on one game plan: women must be convinced that the child they are carrying is not fit to be born." This is vastly untrue. These companies will not make more or less money by a woman choosing to abort her fetus. These companies will make money because a woman wants to know the state of the child she is carrying. These companies will make money because doctors will ask patients if they want to know the health of the fetus, and the patients will probably say yes. Abortion will in no way affect the growth or income of these two companies. The test will not convince a woman. Plus, by saying "We have a voice" and thus implying that your voice will convince women to keep their children with Down Syndrome, how are you any better than the companies you're accusing? You're trying to persuade a decision that isn't yours to make, just as you accuse the companies of doing the same thing in the opposite direction. Accept that the test has been developed, and that women will make these decisions based on whether or not they want to raise a child with Down Syndrome. Yes, we understand that you are happy with your child, you love her, just as all of the families of the photos you've posted love their child. But that does not mean everyone has to have a child with Down Syndrome if they don't want to. You made your decision, why not allow other mothers to make theirs without judgment? Perhaps this test will greatly diminish the amount of babies born with Down Syndrome, but that is up to the women carrying the children. It is not a collective movement, it is a series of individual decisions with individual circumstances. The test merely gives women a safe way to make an informed decision, whereas before this test women had to risk the health of a potentially 100% healthy fetus in order to know either way. I agree with your fourth point, about the lack of positive information given to expecting mothers. I believe that is something that one hundred percent should be provided - no one should be scared or bullied into making a decision without knowing the entire spectrum, the joy children with down syndrome bring to the world. However, your other points targeting the test and the companies as having motives for abortion, I do not agree with. The implications of this test are the same as the implications of CVS or amniocentesis, which have been around for years, except this test is safe for mother and baby. Those tests were not created to eradicate down syndrome, but to safely give women the information about the fetus she is carrying. What the woman chooses to do with this information is 100% her decision, just as it always has been since CVS and amniocentesis were introduced. The problem that you see here is that now that it's a safe test, many more people will take it, thus eliminating the babies with down syndrome who are born out of fear of amnios or CVS, who may have been aborted had the mother known beforehand that the child had the syndrome.

Annie @ The House That Jade Built said...

Dear Carol - I understand your points. I have a one year old daughter with DS. We did have an AFP test & opted to pass on an amnio because of the risk. I would have this test just for the information as well - that would not change. However, unfortunately for most women - doctors are NOT supportive of raising a child with Down Syndrome. If you talk to women in our community a huge majority were pushed toward abortion. My husband and I fortunately knew a young man with Down Syndrome and knew going into our level II ultrasound that abortion was not an option for us & where we stood. We were not pressured, but for my friends, this is not the case. There are hundreds and hundreds of women that were pushed very firmly by the medical community into abortion to later regret that decision & mourn their loss. I firmly believe that if this test is going to be available in the first trimester (when a mother is not yet showing signs of pregnancy and perhaps hasn't even shared the news) that they should also be provided with very accurate up to date information. This is not happening right now. Even though I had very supportive doctors - not one - and I saw many many doctors in my pregnancy - handed me any type of positive information or information what so ever about Down Syndrome. All the research I read - was done by me.

I want to further add that when Patti says we have a voice. We really do have a big voice if we stand together. If we save one mother the heart ache and regret of an abortion she was forced into, it is worth it. If we do not show the medical community that our children have worth, value, and love to offer - who will? I personally would never pressure a woman into raising a child with Down Syndrome if she did not want to. It is a long term choice, but I would hope she could see the 3 year waiting list in the US to adopt babies with Down Syndrome and perhaps be more inclined to go that route.

Leah said...

So well written, succinct and compelling. You have such a gift with words. And those children are gorgeous! (Just as yours and mine are too!)

Carol said...

Annie,

I completely agree with your response, one hundred percent. I agree that your voices as parents of children with down syndrome should be used and heard in this regard. I am certainly not saying that I endorse women aborting children who test positive prenatally for Down Syndrome, I simply believe that they have the right to make that decision without judgment. There seems to be a wealth of good information that you parents have to offer, and it's a shame that it's not being presented to mothers before they make this decision. I believe that instead of targeting the test as being "wrong" or causing the abortion of Down Syndrome, efforts should instead be focused on creating paths for communication between parents like you and Patti and expecting mothers, so they DO get to see the whole spectrum before making their decision. Not to be "persuaded" or guilted into a decision, but simply to be completely informed, like you said, to avoid the regret. The test is not going anywhere and the test does not have motives of abortion, but of information, and thus I believe in order to help the possibility of "eradication", the best way to "combat" the test is also with information, not by accusations of genocide or ulterior motives. I can't imagine the heartache of aborting a child after getting the results of this test and then months later the mother seeing a family like yours or Patti's and thinking "You know, I could have done this. We could have done this." So THAT is what your voices should be used for, not for calling blasphemy on a test that is simply a safe version of what previously existed.

Lisa said...

Patti - Looking forward to your series and the important discussions it might start.

Carol - I understand your words and all opinions are valuable. There is one problem with this often used argument though. It is IMPOSSIBLE for parents to know if they can "handle" or even if they want a baby who is not "100% healthy" (I, by the way, have a perfectly healthy 6 year old with DS who has way less health issues than my "typical" daughter). A prenatal test can't tell you what a child with Down Syndrome will mean to your family except that it will change your expectations. You can't see the loving personality or the amazing drive of the baby, you can only see the scary diagnosis. I probably was the person you described not believing they can handle "special needs". I thank god every single day that I didn't have to make that choice. The reality is that all children come with risks - look at the numbers for autism and childhood cancers alone. If you make a decision based on the facts your child will need some special care and might not grow up to get married or go to college then you are doing yourself a huge disservice. Because I'm not special but my daughter is the most amazing person I've ever met bar none. I am a better person because of her – I am more compassionate, more aware. There was no way to know that from a test. Having a choice is fine except when that choice is based on statistics and other people's stories, how can you make the right one?

sasbolton said...

Great post, Patti! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, your heart, and the beautiful pics of our blessed children.

Patti said...

A pro-choice, self-proclaimed atheist mom shares my same concerns: http://lisamorguess.wordpress.com/2012/03/01/better-off-dead/

Caitlin said...

Hi Patti
I think you are doing a beautiful job showing the world how important it is to include people with all kinds of abilities. I can't imagine a day without my chromosomally enhanced daughter. I would love to send you a picture to include if it is not too late
Caitlin

Justine said...

I would be interested to hear your thoughts on this post: http://thepregnancycompanion.com/2012/02/22/maternit21-a-new-option-for-down-syndrome-testing-in-pregnancy/

The author is a Christian ob/gyn. She is also a personal friend of mine (you can see my comment to her and her response in the comments section.) She did bring out some good points, but I got the feeling that she doesn't quite believe the abortion statistics. I would love for you to link your posts to her comments. Also do you have references for abortion stats?

I am very interested in this series! Thank you!

Mike Sullivan said...

Carol, this right to a decision to kill one's child is no right at all from an ethical or moral position; it is a mistake of law.

Targeting one section of society for birth prevention, because of their identifiable biological difference is eugenics. Companies that provide the means to commit eugenics are implicated in eugenics - that is basic concept of law.

Following your own logic, do you support screening for anything to provide information to end a pregnancy, sex, sexual orientation, disposition towards obesity etc, or just Down syndrome?

Patti said...

Justine- I asked her that in the comment section ! I am of the opinion that those statistics might possible be skewed as well, but even if they were only at 50% that doesn't jive with her experience.

I also personally know of many women who terminated based on genetic screening, so it's amazing to me that she has never seen a patient do so?? I'm not saying she's lying I would just like to know where she practices !

Lisa said...

Carol, as someone who is staunchly pro-choice and who has a son with Down syndrome (and as the person who authored the post linked above, Better Off Dead), the bottom line in my view is that a real choice is not possible unless accurate, up-to-date, well-rounded information is provided to parents who receive a prenatal diagnosis. Unfortunately, this is too often not the case. Instead, the decision to abort after receiving a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome is all too often made under pressure from the woman's medical care provider, and out of fear based on outdated, inaccurate, worst-case scenario pictures of Down syndrome being presented to parents. How can anyone make a truly informed choice if they're not truly armed with ALL the information - if they're only being presented with one-sided information?

Here is something else I wrote on the topic of being pro-choice and my feelings about prenatal screenings and the intent behind them: http://lisamorguess.wordpress.com/2011/12/05/prenatal-screening-down-syndrome-and-being-pro-choice/

If you don't believe that the goal of the new and improved prenatal screenings is ultimately to do away with Down syndrome, how do you explain this excerpt from a recent article about the new testing?

"Verinata’s commercial team has sought to check every box imaginable to get ready. There’s promo literature to prepare. There’s a snazzy website designed to appeal to doctors and patients. There are procedures established for quick and easy sample collection, and FedExing the boxes to Verinata. The company has hired genetic counselors to help doctors with communicating results to patients, and has people working on economic impact, which it hopes will persuade insurers to cover the cost of the test over time, Mason says."

What do you think they mean by "economic impact"? And how do you think they can make this all very appealing to insurance carriers? By mitigating the "economic impact" of babies with Down syndrome actually being born and living out their lives - granted, often with more medical issues than the "typical" population. That's the motivation for the insurance companies.

Frankly, I don't believe that Down syndrome will ever be completely eradicated, because no matter what, there will always be women (be they few) who choose to continue their pregnancies even in the face of a prenatal diagnosis, and there will always be women (like me) who will decline testing in the first place. But it says a lot about our society that economic benefit has come to trump human life.

Carol said...

I posted a comment in response to Mike's, although it has not been posted - I am curious what part (if any) was deemed offensive, Patti? Any reason for the censorship?

And Lisa, I guess maybe I'm just giving the companies the benefit of the doubt - that they created this test as a safer alternative to amnios, and not because they wanted to gain from the "loss" of the fetuses aborted with Down Syndrome. The economic impact, (as I interpreted it from the excerpt you posted) was that they wanted insurers to cover the cost so that it would be accessible to all women who wanted it, so they wouldn't have to pay out of pocket. In your interpretation, you could argue the same thing for the recent bills by president Obama to include contraceptives in all basic health insurance. Is this not also in the same boat - by covering the cost of birth control, insurance companies are saving in the costs that it takes to abort or raise these unplanned pregnancies? Can I ask where you stand on this matter, given its similarities to the one at hand (or if you don't see it as similar, why not?)
Thank you!

Heidi Ehle said...

As a woman who was told repeatedly by various doctors over an almost three year period that I would never conceive another child...that it was medically impossible...that by medically intervening in other ways besides having a hysterectomy they were "humoring" me and I would be back in less than 5 years begging for the hysterectomy....as someone who held tight to the dream of another baby for sooo very long, even when month after month dashed those dreams, until the ashes of them lay scattered around my feet and even I gave them up, who now has the most beautiful, amazing, miraculous daughter, I have to say that my belief that she was a God given miracle is the main reason that when the AFP came back with an elevated risk, we chose NOT to have further testing at that time. I fought tooth and nail to not miscarry her and even a 1 in 500 chance of miscarriage that came with an amnio was too much of a risk to my miracle, especially when the fact that regardless of the results, nothing would have changed our decision to continue on. We were treated as if, quite frankly, we had lost our minds to refuse the amnio. It seemed to be completely incomprehensible that we would NOT care.
When later it came necessary to know for sure whether Lydia did indeed have DS or not for HER well being, it was too late in the pregnancy for any discussion of abortion. However, we did face a little bit of the "why didn't you just do this sooner?" attitude and the remainder of my pregnancy (17 weeks worth of an almost continual stream of doctor's appointments with a whole slew of different specialists, etc) NOT ONE PERSON had ANYTHING positive to tell us. Even the geneticists first words to us were that we could expect our daughter to live about 50 years.....I'm sure not a single parent in this world wants to be told that they will probably bury their child in 50-60 years when the baby hasn't even taken its first breath.....(btw that conversation also took place two days after we received Lydia's diagnosis). Months of stumbling along, hearing bad news at every turn, mostly from people who never HAD a child with DS, and many who probably had never even had contact with a child with DS.
Here's what they never tell you...
We (all of our family) are more in love with our bright and beautiful baby than even we could have ever imagined. No one told us that her smile would absolutely leave us breathless. No one told us that she would be full of laughter, grace, beauty, sass and determination. No one told us how strong she would be, or how strong she would make US. No one told us that her existence would bring me to my knees before a God that I wasn't even sure I believed in any more. No one told us that she would be the very best thing that ever happened to us.
I wish they had. Truly wish just one person had stepped in and said, "I know you're scared to death. But this is going to be okay...It's going to be BETTER than okay. Its going to be amazing!"
Because when I walked this path, that one person was no where to be found, I have made it my own personal mission to educate those doctors and those nurses, and to be the voice from the other side for those parents who desperately NEED to hear the other side of the story, the TRUTH, in order to make a truly well informed decision. I'm pretty sure that even with my dying breath, I'm going to be still saying, "It's going to be so amazing being that baby's mama, you're seriously not going to believe it."

Patti said...

Carol- I absolutely did not censor your comment. It did not go through. I will go check my spam, if you linked to anything, that might be the problem. Feel free to comment again.

Lisa said...

Carol, why would you give companies the benefit of the doubt - as if they're human with human values and ideals? They're businesses - run by humans, to be sure - whose goals are to make money. Period. And there's nothing wrong with free enterprise and capitalism - it's what our country is founded on. But these companies are trying to make their profits by exploiting people's ignorance and fears about Down syndrome. I believe that with all my heart.

Where do I stand on the issue of insurance carriers covering contraception? I'm completely in favor of it. Absolutely. And you're right - by covering birth control, they're minimizing the cost of unwanted pregnancies; it's cheaper to pay for contraception than it is to pay for abortions, births (which now run into the 10s of thousands of dollars for a typical hospital birth in the US), and the raising of the product of an unwanted pregnancy.

There is a vast difference, however, in providing a means for women to avoid unwanted pregnancies to begin with, and encouraging termination of not unwanted pregnancies, but unwanted babies based on biased information and views about a particular condition known as Down syndrome. While I don't have any sources to back this up, I think it makes perfect sense to assume that the vast majority of women who actually undergo prenatal screenings are women who WANT to be pregnant, who WANT to be mothers, who WANT the babies they are carrying. That only changes when they receive a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome and then have a grim picture painted for them of life with Down syndrome.

Again, I am pro-choice. I believe strongly that every woman should have control over the decision making process over her own body, and if she chooses to terminate a pregnancy - any pregnancy - while it's not something I could see myself ever choosing, I support women's rights to do so, and I believe that safe, legal abortion needs to remain available. However, I believe just as strongly that every woman who is faced with such a decision has the right to receive accurate information and access to resources, and to not be pressured by views that are biased by misinformation, stereotypes, worst-case scenarios, and outright untruths.

Carol said...

Lisa,

I completely agree with everything you said in your last post, one hundred percent. I believe the only place we differ is in our views of the actual test itself - as you can see in my other posts above, I don't think the testing companies are to blame as much as you do. Or I suppose, I just feel like it's hard to force technology backwards. The test is here, it exists, and while it will be unnecessary for the vast amount of people they will be recommended it to, for the small percentage who actually WANT or need thorough prenatal screening, it is undoubtedly safer for them and their unborn child. There does exist that positive aspect. I simply feel that instead of targeting the companies (who, as you said, are corporate machines that will not back down) and wasting breath calling out the test itself, efforts and voices would be better utilized to create more accurate resources that should be a mandatory accompaniment to the test. There are states that are forcing women who have been raped to see ultrasounds of their unborn children before they abort them (the recent Oklahoma Personhood bill mandates this), so why not push for a mandate that includes accurate literature, videos, or something of that nature to accompany the blood test? I can't see how the Oklahoma law could be more ethical than something like that, knowing the implications that this test could potentially have for the Down Syndrome community. I also don't believe it will be eradicated, but it could still be greatly diminished.

It just seems futile to write blog posts about "the direction our country is headed" and how this test is a step toward eugenics, because obviously if it's been released to the public it has gone through the proper ethical channels and enough people have passed it for public use (whether we like it or not). I feel like rather than ruminating on the existence of the test itself, knowing full well that they're not going to pull it and say "whoops, yeah this was a bad idea just kidding we take it back!" it's a waste of energy that could be spent on something truly proactive.

Annie said...

I guess I'm not surprised about the concern about the test triggering more terminations, but I'm surprised about how much people are reading into the article about the most recent company to launch the test. Yes, it's driven by money -- that's business. I do economic analysis myself, and the "economic impact" that could be measured is the difference between the cost of the primary alternatives to the test -- CVS and amniocentesis -- and this test. In my view, folks seem to be looking for a reason to stir up some trouble over this.
The fact that it's listed as "preventative care" also seems like a red herring. I have been on down syndrome websites for months, and so many people are happy to have diagnoses in advance and be able to prepare for possible complications at birth -- thereby PREVENTING problems with their newborn. The heart problems are a case in point. In many cases, specific heart problems are missed on ultrasound (as are markers of down syndrome). Simply knowing your newborn has down syndrome (something also not always clear immediately upon birth) alerts both parents and medical staff to monitor for potential issues from the get-go. This can save lives.
I was recently told I had a higher risk of down syndrome with my pregnancy (and higher risk of other genetic conditions). I needed to know what I might expect with this pregnancy and the eventual birth. Like so many other women, I was concerned about my child and simply could not function until I knew what was going on. I was immobilized. I would not have terminated. I actually discovered your site in the process and it was helpful! (Thank you!) I opted for CVS -- but the genetic counselor also mentioned this test. I would have taken it instead because it carried no risk to my baby -- but I was there from out of town, and they didn't have openings for the test until the next week. So I went ahead with the CVS.
I think this test will be a BLESSING. To be able to gain valuable information without any risk to your baby whatsoever is incredible. People will use that information in any way they chose, but the test itself is much needed.
My experience with the genetic counselor and doctors was positive. I was facing increased risk of the 3 trisomies they test for -- and they were concerned for me. They also mentioned there were good support groups in my area for down syndrome. I felt no pressure. I understand others' have a different experience, but this is mine.
I think information is a good thing. And, besides the medical preparation, so many families say they are so happy to know about a down syndrome diagnosis in advance. And some are glad that didn't know until birth. But, again, for many people, it gives them time to learn and prepare before their precious bundle arrives. And this is a way to give people that information without the potential risks of the only other alternatives available. Yes, it's driven by money, but that's capitalism. They see a big potential market, because they can take the market share away from the CVS and Amnio markets. That's all. Sorry for the long post.

a different Annie said...

Oops -- I see another Annie is posting, too. I should have caught that earlier & signed mine " a different Annie" or something. Anyway, the post immediately above this one is from me -- "a different Annie."

Patti said...

A different Annie:) I completely agree with what you said about how this test can be beneficial...which is why I stated in this post that I would take the test during this pregnancy if it was available. I'll go into that in a later post. I am so glad you had a positive experience- I do know that for many, many moms the opposite is true, and my follow up posts are aimed at highlighting those experiences, as well as others like yours.

ccc said...

I am very interested in this and look forward to reading more of what you post on the subject.
On Babycenter I am part of a group that is over 40 TTC and this test is the new talk. But, the people who are getting the test seem to be the ones who are not going to terminate and instead, the ones who would terminate are still opting for the CVS to be 100% positive on the results.
I have never done any prenatal testing on my 11 preg's, and if I were to get preg again I am interested in getting this non invasive test done solely for 1 reason. I have home births and because of my age it would be informative to know if the baby had T21 so that I could do a higher level ultrasound, which I normally do not do. And, then based on the US showing any issues that need to be taken care of in a hospital vs, home birth I could address beforehand.

Lisa said...

Carol, that's what the Prenatally and Postnatally Diagnosed Conditions Awareness Act, which was signed into law in 2008, is supposed to be accomplishing - the mandating of full, up-to-date information and resources being provided to parents who receive a prenatal or postnatal diagnosis. It doesn't appear, however, that it's being widely instituted or enforced.

I don't think these blog posts and discussions are a waste of time at all. It's how grassroots movements begin, it's how people rally together for a cause. We do want to be proactive, and publicly discussing these issues is a way of being proactive.

Susanna said...

Patti, I'm proud of you, lady! :)

cara said...

Patti- I am really looking forward to all of your posts and all of the information you have discovered. This is definitely worth posting and we DO have a voice and need to be that voice for the voiceless. Thank you for doing this.

Carol- my heart aches to read your words, "If they don't want to raise a baby with down syndrome, they have the right to abort the fetus." NO, we do not have a right to abort any baby that our Maker has created in our womb. We think we do; we have bought all of the lies. We have placed the law of government as God in our life. But no, we truly have no right to murder our precious babies that God has seen fit to give life. They are babies; precious, precious gifts from God made to be cherished and adored. I realize this post is specifically about this new test, but those words just broke my heart. I know you are not the only one with this opinion; it is quite common. Those words sadden me every time I see or hear them. May God open our eyes for those with no voice and lift the veil.

Mike Sullivan said...

Verinata's CEO got wrong thing right: "There’s even potential for political and moral debates to sidetrack the company, as people argue over whether it’s ethical to use this kind of information to potentially abort a fetus." Sounds like aknowledging intent to me.

Rachael said...

"We have placed the law of government as God in our life. But no, we truly have no right to murder our precious babies that God has seen fit to give life. They are babies; precious, precious gifts from God made to be cherished and adored. I realize this post is specifically about this new test, but those words just broke my heart. I know you are not the only one with this opinion; it is quite common."

I don't usually comment here but I saw this response and just needed to.

Cara, you are entitled to your own opinion, as am I. Unlike you, I have not allowed my personal faith to cloud my judgment on what I believe others (who may not share my faith) have the right to do with their bodies and the fetus they may be carrying, and I am happy that our government has done the same. You have your own personal convictions, which you are fully entitled to, but to generalize them as the "truth" for everyone, and force or guilt other people into similar beliefs is not right. Your God, despite what you may believe vehemently, is not the same God that everyone believes in and we can argue until we're blue in the face about which of us is "right" but at the end of the day all that matters is that we are happy and content in our own personal convictions. We only get to live our own lives. I learned yesterday that my God is not the same as Christian political Rush Limbaugh's, because I do not believe a woman wanting her insurance company to cover contraception makes her a "slut and a prostitute" who "should post videos of herself having sex online so we can see it, since we're paying for it" and could never reconcile saying something like that publicly, although he believes he is portraying an ideal of "our" God.

To each their own. Don't believe in abortion? Don't have one. Don't believe in this test? Don't take it. Don't believe in contraception? Don't use it. But do NOT tell me or anyone else that I shouldn't do those things simply because you don't believe in them.

Rachael said...

Oh and on a side note (since I was all riled up in that post ;) ) CONGRATULATIONS PATTI! I can't wait to see your new baby, he or she has got a lot to live up to in the cute department with Lily around!

Karen said...

When I was pregnant with my first child in 2006, the nuchal translucency test was newly available, and my husband wanted to do it (I was 30). I opted not to, because 1)it wouldn't affect the outcome of the pregnancy and 2)a false sense of security, as in, you get a negative result for this test and you think 'great, no problems', but there are so many things that could happen that just because you have a negative screening test doesn't guarantee that you're going to have a perfectly healthy baby. I would hope that people would use this test responsibly, but I can see the implications.

cara said...

Rachael- not sure if you will even come back to read. But just wanted to tell you that I was right where you are now at one time as well. I believed that women should have the right to choose. I did not think anyone should tell me what to do with my body. And I did not believe abortion was murder. But God did a work in my heart and transformed my life in a way that only He can do. I will now unashamedly be a voice for the voiceless. I will never stop fighting for the unborn that have no voice. Abortion is murder- there is no way around it no matter how much we try to justify it. Some lies of this world- it is not a baby, just tissue. I believe now that a baby is a baby from the moment of conception, and it is never okay to snuff out that life. Babies have heartbeats at 18 days after conception- before a woman even knows she is pregnant. They have a beating heart. Only God can make a beating heart. I would encourage you to go to a local Lighthouse or place in your community where life is fought for. They should be able to show you a video of an abortion taking place inside the womb. It is horrific to watch that baby try to get away (I won't go into graphic detail here). Or talk to a nurse that has rocked an aborted baby after the abortion procedure as the baby is still waiting to die. Ask her if that baby is suffering. How is it not murder?? How can we continue to accept and condone this holocaust going on in our country with our precious babies with everything we know? I am giving you the truth- the facts. With these facts, how could anyone say that abortion is a choice. And it is not stopping here. I was just reading an article where some experts think that we should be able to murder our newborn babies if we choose. At least they acknowledge one thing, these are babies we are aborting, and there is no difference inside the womb. Yes, I will unashamedly tell women that it is not their choice to murder their baby. Who will fight for these babies if we do not? Few people stood up and fought for the Jewish people being exterminated because of deep convictions in their hearts that it was wrong what was taking place. They were their voice. Just because something is legal by our government, does not mean it is right.

And I realize I got off track here when Patti is trying to convey something different. She is writing these posts about a test. I am concerned about this test because children with down syndrome and other syndroms, etc. are being targeted for this so that they will be erased. SO SAD!! SO thankful that Patti is always a voice for those with no voice.

Do not know about Rush Limbaugh and cannot judge him personally, but just because somebody says they are a Christian, it does not mean that they sincerely abide in Christ and walk in love as He has called us to do. I cannot comment because I did not see that. But sad that anyone would attack a person like that personally with cruel words. It just isn't love, and is certainly not the Christian God that would treat this woman like this.

Rachael said...

Cara,

http://youtu.be/s9QI4v9Jehs