Discrimination against unborn babies with disabilities is a huge problem in our supposedly modern, progressive culture.
Countless times, LifeNews.com and other pro-life sources have encountered stories of mothers being pressured to abort unborn babies after a diagnosis of Down syndrome, spina bifida, microcephaly or even cleft lip.
A new study highlighted in Scientific American found more evidence of this discrimination while conducting research about medical diagnosis trauma.
Authors Cindi May, a professor of psychology at the College of Charleston, and Jaclyn Hennessey Ford, a research assistant professor in the department of psychology and neuroscience at Boston College, surveyed more than 300 mothers of children diagnosed with Down syndrome.
They asked the mothers, ranging from age 21 to 79, about their memories of their child’s diagnosis, including details about the medical staff, the date, time and even the weather, according to the researchers.
While some of the mothers described positive experiences with doctors and medical workers, many told the researchers that they had negative experiences, including feeling pressured to abort their unborn babies.
Here’s more from their report:
More often, however, the mothers reported negative experiences with medical staff, including a lack of compassion, pressure to terminate their pregnancy, and pessimistic expectations about outcomes for their child and family. Many received limited or no additional resources or support systems. For those individuals, memories of the diagnosis continued to be associated with negative emotions, and the time that had elapsed had not helped lessen the impact. Mothers who had not received positive feedback could recall their diagnosis experience in specific, often haunting detail, even after 20 years.
In contrast, mothers “who described positive interactions with the staff—such as a balanced delivery and additional resources and information for support—were less likely to report negative feelings when recounting the experience and saw a decrease in the memory’s intensity over time,” May and Hennessey Ford continued.
They concluded by cautioning doctors to remember their Hippocratic Oath when they tell a patient about a medical diagnosis, noting the long-term trauma that patients may experience.
“… for some individuals, a medical diagnosis event does create a flashbulb memory that endures for years after the fact,” May and Hennessey Ford said. “But our findings also showed that the intensity of these memories and the emotions associated with them depend on the doctor’s delivery, which either softens the impact or prolongs the pain. Medical professionals would be wise to carefully consider how they convey such news.”
In cases involving a prenatal diagnosis, the doctor’s advice and attitude could have even more horrific effects. Mothers could be pressured into ending their unborn babies’ lives in abortions, an irreversible decision.
Down syndrome discrimination is a problem across the world. Several years ago, a CBS News report shocked the nation with its exposure of the discriminatory trend. According to the report, nearly 100 percent of unborn babies who test positive for Down syndrome are aborted in Iceland. The rate in France was 77 percent in 2015, 90 percent in the UK and 67 percent in the United States.
In England, new data shows the number of late-term abortions on unborn babies with Down syndrome has doubled in the past 10 years, the pro-life organization SPUC reported in February.
A number of American states have passed laws to ban discrimination against unborn babies with Down syndrome and other disabilities, but many of the laws are blocked by legal challenges from the abortion industry.
States also have been passing laws to provide better education and support for families of children diagnosed with Down syndrome. In 2014, for example, Pennsylvania passed a law named after young pro-life advocate Chloe Kondrich to provide to new and expectant parents with “up-to-date, evidence-based information about Down syndrome that has been reviewed by medical experts and national Down syndrome organizations” and “contact information regarding First Call programs and support services.”
Because of this growing support, many families are being empowered to choose life for children with Down syndrome. Recent stories of these families include: