Down syndrome and abortion, Bristol Palin, and me (plus a book giveaway)

Penny posing with A Good and Perfect Gift just after it came out last September

Some of you may know that Bristol Palin has recently joined the roster of Patheos bloggers. Some of you may also know that Bristol and I have at least one other thing in common–she has a brother with Down syndrome who is close in age to Penny. So I noticed when she wrote about Down syndrome and abortion a few weeks ago: Stand with the 8%. For a long time, I thought Bristol (and many many others who write about this topic) was correct in saying that 92% of babies conceived with Down syndrome are aborted. But recently I’ve discovered that I was wrong, so I wrote Bristol an email to tell her what I’ve learned. She graciously responded with a follow up post–”So How Many Babies with Down Syndrome are  Actually Aborted?” in which she quotes my email:

. . . out of all babies conceived with DS, 50% are actually born. Still a terrible reality that 50% are aborted, but a much better situation than the 8% number implies.

I think it’s important to get the accurate numbers out there so that women who are facing decisions about prenatal testing and abortion recognize that they are not alone if they decide to forgo the testing and/or keep the baby with DS. There are thousands of other women making the same decision who want to support them and love their babies.

Click here to read Bristol’s full post, including more of my email to her.

In addition, the Faith and Family Channel here on Patheos is running a review by Anna Quinn of A Good and Perfect Gift alongside a book giveaway. To enter to win a free copy, all you have to do is comment on the review by noon on May 31st (Thursday).

About Amy Julia Becker

Amy Julia Becker writes and speaks about family, faith, disability, and culture. A graduate of Princeton University and Princeton Theological Seminary, she is the author of Penelope Ayers: A Memoir, A Good and Perfect Gift (Bethany House), and Why I Am Both Spiritual and Religious (Patheos Press).


  1. Idscforlife says:

    For a more accurate understanding of the percentages we hope your readers will read this post.

  2. You know, you and Bristol Palin have your points of view about the choice to end a pregnancy that has been identified as Down Syndrome. I respect your position deeply because you are walking the walk. But, Palin is someone who is filling up space with talk that means little. She writes as the mom of a perfectly average typical if you will little boy who will in all likelihood live an average if not advantaged life. Palin should really be more respectful of the choices many other parents make when they feel they aren’t able to continue a very early pregnancy that has been identified as one with severe physical or intellectual deficits. I simply ask her to wait a few years and get some real life experience under her belt, before she launches into her typical judging diatribes against parents who make responsible choices based on thoughtful and deep consideration. Much of the time Palin sounds like a whiny adolescent who needs nothing so much as a time out.

  3. Fredmikethompson says:

    Bristil palin. When i hear her name all i think is ” what a sick person”! Who can kill there own baby? She is a stupid bitch and if her mom supported her, well so is she. Pieces of shit in my book!!! Just think a tiny baby that had to aborted because of down syndrome :(