I Tested and I Terminated and I Do Not Regret by Anonymous

I should begin by thanking the anonymous contributor who was willing to share her story, an unusual one for this blog, about choosing to terminate her pregnancy after a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome. As I wrote yesterday, I ask readers and commenters to be honest and gracious in responding to this story. This post comes as one of a series of posts giving personal stories about prenatal testing in relation to my recent ebook What Every Woman Needs to Know About Prenatal Testing. For support and other stories like this one, go to ourheartbreakingchoices.com .

I have been pregnant three times. The first time, I had a flimsy understanding of genetic screening and of conditions such as Down Syndrome (technically known as trisomy 21). I felt that since the screens were not “accurate” in the sense of being diagnostic, they were thus not worth doing. Besides, I believed if I had a prenatal diagnosis of trisomy 21, I would continue the pregnancy anyway. Looking back, I see I was also engaged in some magical thinking: “If I do not test, my child will not have that condition.” Sure enough, there she was on the 20-week ultrasound. They said, “She looks great!” My daughter was born healthy, bright, strong, without T21 or any other genetic condition. She is bounding around preschool as I write.

With such great results to go on, I cheerfully declined screens when pregnant for the second time. Except this time at the ultrasound, they didn’t say, “Looks great!” They said, “We see problems.” Calcifications throughout his abdomen and liver. Growth rate drastically slowing. Diagnosis unknown. Implications? Hard to say, but whatever it is was very likely to have affected his developing brain. “Affected it how?” I said. “Anything from learning delays to severe retardation,” they said. “I’m sorry, I’m confused,” I said. It is strange to experience a fight or flight reaction while lying on an exam table with clear goo on your belly. “What are the chances everything is actually fine?” “Virtually none,” they said.

It took two weeks more to get a diagnosis. Along the way we tried on possibilities including everything from toxoplasmosis to cystic fibrosis. Down syndrome was considered a low probability. My husband and I had to decide in advance under what conditions we would be prepared to continue versus terminate the pregnancy. This entailed taking out our values and looking at them in the harshest of lights. What constitutes quality of life? What is the purpose of parenting? What was our actual capacity to raise a special needs child? What path could we envision for such a child as a child, and also into adulthood and past when we ourselves would be out of the picture?

I went into a stairwell at work for some privacy when the maternal-fetal specialist called with our amniocentesis results. I was on the building’s eighth floor at the time. He said, “Your baby has Down Syndrome.” I said, “No. That’s the one I don’t have a game plan for…” I hung up and tried to find my office, but it is on the ninth floor. I just kept walking down and down and never reaching my office at the top of the building. Eventually I came face to face with a friend who said, “Let me drive you home.”

I was so late in pregnancy, there seemed not to be time to meet with a genetic counselor so I did my own research on Down syndrome. I concluded it was a grey diagnosis where best case was hard and worst case terrible. I could envision handling the early years, but not the long term. We have family friends with children who have cognitive disabilities, and those families and children have struggled. I have seen the parents “leave it all on the field” to try to position their kids for some form of independence and still fail. Once the kids aged out of school, there were no jobs, no meaningful roles, no chance of family and homes of their own for these young men. The parents have suffered. The kids have suffered too. I didn’t want that future for my son or for my family. We decided to terminate.

In all, the late prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome and termination of that pregnancy took roughly a year-sized chunk out of my life. I experienced grief that I never want to feel again. I went down to rock bottom. I didn’t wish to die but did not look forward to living either. I climbed out of that hole slowly.

I got pregnant again. Based on thorough research this time, I had my testing game plan in hand for the first meeting with the (new) OB. I did bloodwork/NT scan, and one of the new blood tests for T21, T18 and T13. The combined results indicated the odds of this being a second T21 pregnancy were 1:11,000, which my new genetic counselor gently pointed out was “not zero”. Only an amniocentesis would be definitive but after much agonizing, I declined. Partly because the miscarriage odds outweighed the odds of undiagnosed T21. But also, by that time I was savvy enough on prenatal testing to know that even with amnios there are no guarantees. Sure, it would mean absolutely no T21. But genetic microdeletions that can have a similar impact on a person to Down syndrome, can go undetected by standard tests. Alternatively, there can be findings with no clear prognoses. Having mapped out in my mind where the grey area was, I determined for myself what I considered to be true due diligence, hit that standard, and accepted the remaining unknowns. A healthy baby was born to us four months ago.

In all, my experience was not only painful; it was educational. Regarding prenatal testing, i certainly learned the “what,” the “why,” and the “so what”. I wish I had had that knowledge before. I met many women who had terminated wanted pregnancies for medical reasons — due to all kinds of conditions, of which Down syndrome is the tip of the iceberg. Bigger picture, I learned that in life, things go wrong, and when it comes to kids, the stakes are through the roof. In fact, strangely, I think I became a better parent. It was revealed to my husband and me that our children are everything to us, and ensuring their welfare our primary purpose in life. We treasure every moment with them. We moved into a better school district. I never forget that what I do is all for them. And I never forget my son who had T21. I loved him just as much as the kids I have living here with me today.

When it comes to continuing or terminating a pregnancy with Down syndrome, I believe there is no right answer. This means there is also no wrong answer. I would never advocate for a family to choose one road or another. It is a personal choice with many complex factors and, ultimately, both choices should be supported more than they are today. Families raising children with DS deserve greater social and practical supports, particularly aimed at adults with DS and their roles in life as adults as well as their medical long-term care. On the flip side, termination of pregnancies should be de-politicized and de-stigmatized. Parents on both “sides of the fence” have more in common than they may think, since in every case we are talking about people loving their children and thinking only of their quality of life in the face of a very difficult diagnosis.

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. My gracious response: I am so sorry you had to go through this horribly difficult time. Thank you for being brave enough to share your story, and honest too. I am praying for you to be blessed and healed.

    My honest response: This is the saddest thing ever, and that is all that I can honestly say and remain gracious.

  2. I am sorry that you went through this. It must have been very hard. May God, the Great Healer, tend your wounds gently.

  3. Victoria Warneck says:

    You were very brave to post on this blog. Thank you.

    I will gingerly say that if there is common ground to be found, the focus might need to shift toward understanding that different families have different resources, capacities, and/or abilities to face different types of challenges (and away from quality-of-life arguments, which as far I as can tell do not mesh with the experience of most families with DS children).

  4. My heart is absolutely broken…as I’m sure yours is. I mourn the loss of your son. I had the luxury of not knowing my daughter had Down syndrome until the day she was born. And by luxury I mean that my pregnancies were never ruled by prenatal testing and the unknown possibilities of everything that can go “wrong” at
    birth, prenatal testing or not. I never had to read sentences that convinced me “it was a grey diagnosis where best case was hard and worst case terrible”. It is misguided to sum up “best case” in one word. And if I had to choose a “best case” for our lives I would have to say it would be a tIe between blessed and joyful. Is raising children hard? Yes it is. Raising ALL children is hard, special needs or not. Being a mother will be my greatest accomplishment in life and it will also be the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Not unlike you, our children are also everything to us. We work hard to ensure their welfare and happiness. I know they ensure ours. Mainly, I am so sad for you and your family. And while I doubt your article was intended for “us” (the women who actually bring a child with Down syndrome into the world), we will be the ones who understand your loss the most because we actually know what you gave up. You will never know the love and boundless joy your son would have brought to your family. The kinder, gentler, more compassionate souls your other children could have been. The secret club you would have been a part of that actually broadens your world ten-fold. My daughter will be 13 in May. She has been my life’s greatest blessing. And while I do know that the majority of women agree with you (most women with a Trisomy 21/Down syndrome diagnosis in utero choose to abort, hovering over 90%), I am grateful not to be one of them.I get the impression that you feel like you saved your son from a fate worse than death. Only you didn’t. And I will never believe that my daughter’s “quality of life”can be judged by anyone other than her.

    • If keeping my baby who may have Down syndrome will turn me into someone who writes fake sympathetic but actually superioristic, “totally looking down on you” letters like this one, maybe I’d like to stay on this side of the fence of people who may be short-sighted and not make the best decisions (according to you), but don’t write awful letters dripping with condescension like this one.

  5. Thank you for sharing. You are very brave to do so. We ALL face difficult moments in our lives. God is right beside all of us as we grapple to find peace and answers.

  6. I’ve said it before – I thank god everyday that I did not have our diagnosis before birth. I can understand your logic and am sure you had a terrible time making that decision. The sad part is the problem in the logic – “a grey diagnosis at best” – is so full of faults. Your story is the reason that blogs like Amy Julia’s are so important – we need to make sure that parents making this decision understand what the best case scenario can be and not just read horrible lists of problems in a book or from a doctor who doesn’t even know anyone with a disability.

  7. Thank you so much for sharing your story. It is refreshing to read a piece that is non-judgmental. I am so used to reading about prenatal testing and coming away with the feeling that people judge others because they chose differently. I’ve come across this a lot in my reading; I think we all love our children no matter what. It is evident that your decision was made out of love and with much thought about long term planning.

    I often wonder if the people who speak out against prenatal testing also choose to forego the anatomy scan, or do they go in there and tell the doctor they do not want to know anything about their baby? I ask this question because that is where my world fell apart, like yours, with goo on my belly. I wonder how many women this has happened to versus those who do diagnostic testing. It’s because of this that I chose to do first trimester screening with my second pregnancy. I also know of women with children with disabilities who choose to do PGD IVF with subsequent pregnancies, another form of prenatal testing, and for some reason that does not receive as much judgment which baffles me.

    I don’t know what you gave up, and the reason I don’t know is because no two diagnoses are the same.

    • Thank you to anonymous for sharing your story, you are brave and I know that would’ve taken a lot of courage, especially when there is so much stigma attached to the topic and you face the chance of being judged so harshly in some cases.
      I, for one, appreciate your story as it has helped me to realise I am not alone in my experience of sadly having to make this decision very recently.

      Thank you GG for posting this. Everything you have said, I have felt.

      I respect that everybody has their own opinion but seriously??

      I certainly, have never judged anyone in this situation, nor have I judged anyone who has a child with downs syndrome (if that is the path you have chosen or not in some cases).

      Our love for our much wanted daughter will never cease and she is with us in our hearts every single day. This heartbreaking decision and the grief that follows is hard enough without others making judgements especially when as you state “no two diagnoses are the same”.

  8. Meadow Rue Merrill says:

    My daughter, who had profound special needs, was one of the greatest joys and miracles of my life. My family chose her through adoption, loved her completely, and lost her to sudden death at age seven two years ago this month. I would do anything, give anything, suffer anything to have her here still. Her life was much more than her disabilities. Her life was full of joy. She was one of the happiest people I’ve ever met. Caring for her and contributing to her happiness has forever enriched our lives.

    • Adoption and Parenting are slightly different when it comes to a special child. Adoption is rewarding, satisfying, gratifying but Parenting is guilt ridden. Looking at your own gene blood in such a condition is like dying every second. Like you did something wrong when pregnant. Like you blame yourself day and night. Like a failure .. Its hard to explain

  9. Suffering and difficulties are unavoidable in life, but life is always worth living! Love does not cut life short. It is not mercy to kill. You can’t know what all of what life would have held in store for your boy. That action is from fear and despair, and a lack of hope in the future and in God. It’s not naivete to think he was sent to you for a reason, and that he had a purpose and meaning. I’m not judging you, I might have done the same and felt it was the responsible thing to do when I thought differently about abortion. But truly, there is a right and wrong here. If you ever see this situation differently, God’s love for YOU is immense, then, now, and forever. Here is a link for a group that some have found to be a consolation, just in case. http://www.rachelsvineyard.org/

  10. I appreciate this honest, thoughtful post. Others have made excellent comments here but I just want to add one thought. For me, basing a decision like this on what we can/can’t envision about our future or on what we think our family can/can’t handle is problematic because it suggests that we should only do what we can envision doing well. It also suggests, in some cases, a kind of magical thinking: “I don’t have what it takes to raise a disabled child, so I’m off the hook; I won’t be faced with that challenge.” But there are no guarantees and no magic. I have 2 special needs children whose disabilities became apparent well after birth (one at school-age, one in toddlerhood). I couldn’t have envisioned their future lives, or how well/poorly I’d be able to handle things as time went on — I still can’t envision it sometimes. And I don’t think I’m inherently any better able to handle it than anyone else. Sometimes how well a person or family can handle a challenge is only really seen in retrospect.

    Thanks again for this post and series; I’m following with great interest.

    • This is so good, thank you for saying all that you said. As a mother of teens (and little ones too….) I would add that physical problems are not the totality of a person’s life. Perfectly healthy teenagers can cause such stress and anxiety and trouble for a family – as can older parents who get to the point who have almost no apparent quality of life. We can’t control everything by terminating perceived problems. It is the “problems” of life through which we learn our greatest lessons, and often, they are our biggest blessings.

  11. The writer is very brave to share her story. And she stays anonymous likely because of those who would comment on her story thusly: “Suffering and difficulties are unavoidable in life, but life is always worth living! Love does not cut life short. It is not mercy to kill. You can’t know what all of what life would have held in store for your boy. That action is from fear and despair, and a lack of hope in the future and in God…I’m not judging you… “

    • I’m sorry you found the comments trite. I wish I knew how to express it better. But you are right, I would have said the same thing to her if I had known her name, or if it were my sister. I used to be adamantly pro choice, and I have personally participated in obtaining an abortion. You have to realize what you have done in order to put it behind you. I said something to her that I think is crucial to hear.

      • RubyTuesday says:

        You personally obtained an abortion, and then dare to judge another who made this choice to prevent what she believed would be suffering to the child she very much loved. Was your decision better because it did not involve a Down Syndrome diagnosis?

        I have read so many of these articles that begin with “I am pro-choice. I had an abortion. But…” You aren’t pro-choice. You are pro-choice until it isn’t a decision you would make. “I’m not judging you”- your statements drip with judgements- in the worst way.

        • When the anti-choice choose, it’s always different. They “need” an abortion; everyone else is just “a murderer.”

          I used to be profoundly anti-choice. Then, I learned that life is not all black-and-white. I applaud the anonymous writer for her honesty.

  12. I am always saddened when adoption is not even mentioned as an option in these circumstances. Given that most people with Down Syndrome are genuinely happy with their lives, and given that there are many people willing to adopt special needs children, why wouldn’t you choose adoption? The only reasons I can think of are feeling like you just can’t cope with the pregnancy and adoption process emotionally, or a desire to hide the situation from family and friends. Though these are difficult things to deal with, it hardly justifies taking a life.

  13. I guess that who (or what) I feel judgmental toward is not an individual, but toward a society that has given this horrible option.

    I’ve not been in this mama’s shoes, directly, but I have chosen over and over again to relinquish my picture (and control) of what my life should look like in order to take care of other people. (Disclosure: I have nine children and I take care of my elderly parents.)

    With my 8th child, I developed a very rare rh disorder for which there is no shot. As i visited a genetic specialist for the first time, she sat across the table from me and offered my husband and I the opportunity to abort. Flippantly, no big deal. I had other kids, she said. THEN, she opened the chart from the ultrasound, and said, “Oh! Okay, then, everything looks good!” I was offered to abort my child, and nothing was wrong. And? As a woman, I could have made that choice, and my husband (beloved friend, father of all of our children, and he would have had no say in my decision.) As the weight of that settled in, I was horrified at the power given to me, a woman – and I did NOT want that power to take a life, perfect or not.

    I, too, think that while we need more education for women on the wide range of prenatal testing available (and what it does and what it means ,) but I also think that we need more information as regards adoption. Do mothers who carry babies with Downs KNOW that there are people who are happy to adopt them? There are families who travel the globe and raise thousands of dollars to bring home handicapped babies and children?

    • Sorry for the poor completion of phrasing above. I left sentences hanging and placed parentheses in improper places. I was on the way out the door to a doctor’s appointment and trying to hurry and talk with children at the same time. I should have waited.

  14. I read this blog yesterday and since then I have been pondering how to respond. I agree with much of what has been written in the other comments, and I genuinely want to avoid being (and sounding) judgmental. I am puzzled by a sentiment that I see in this blog and that I hear also from many who support unrestricted access to abortion services, the idea that this child would be worse off if brought to term and delivered than if aborted. In many life versus death discussions, we assume that living is always the better choice and that death is to be delayed as long as possible. In the justice system we believe that death is the most severe punishment and that life in prison is preferable to death.

    In the abortion debate we hear the heartfelt declaration “I couldn’t stand to give my child up for adoption, so I had an abortion.” This sounds bizarre to me, and perhaps reflects a self-centeredness that infects our society. Is the aborted child better off, or is the adult better off? Like others who have commented below, my anguish is much more over the character of a society that promotes this sort of thinking than over the individual woman who wrote the article.
    I acknowledge that such decisions are difficult and complicated. My grandmother died recently at the age of 102. Her body simply wore out; we grieve her loss but we know that she lived a full, meaningful life. By the time she drew her last breath we knew that no hope for additional meaningful life existed, so we let her go (under hospice care). My eight-year-old son has Down syndrome, and he enjoys every day of life (and we enjoy them with him). I do not know how many years we will have with him (probably not 102), but his life is good and sweet and precious and our lives are much better with him than they would ever have been without him. He has made me a better person by granting me the blessing of being his father. I suppose that is a sort of self-centeredness I am willing to embrace.

    • Warren (and many others), I just want to thank you for the tone you’ve taken in expressing your thoughts and feelings in response to this post. It is rare for people to disagree to be able to speak with compassion and yet firm divergent views. I appreciate especially the way people have been able to recognize the complex relationship between individual actions and collective views. Thank you.

  15. “I concluded it was a grey diagnosis where best case was hard and worst case terrible.”

    My favorite class in college was logic (and one of the few I got a solid A in, lol.) When it comes to women who terminate and their justifications/rationalizations for terminating vs. my justifications/rationalizations for having my child with Down syndrome, I always focus on the premises that we both have and the logic behind them. What factors got “Anonymous” to the conclusions that she reached in the sentence I quoted? And with so many other possible diagnosis that a child might have during their life (that we have no insurance against) why does Down syndrome deserve termination, when multitudes of unknown hard and terrible things that may happen to an individual not prevent her from wanting any child at all? I know so very few people who have not experienced hardship, and terrible circumstances. They seem to go hand in hand with life. I always come to our kids being lumped into one neat box of “Down syndrome” by most people. They assume that Penny’s life is the same as Violette is the same as Johnny the Bagger, is the same as… Another faulty premise (as is the contributor’s conclusion is that the best of their lives is hard.) They believe they are right, and we can’t possibly be right in stating as fact that for many of us the reality is not hard every single moment and that there are relatively few of us who would assign the world “terrible” to our lives – at least not every day, day in and day out.

  16. Quality of life arguments for ending the lives of those with Down syndrome – great, we have seen it all before. If one has unconditional love for ones child, then that is that.

    This is a really offensive blog that devalues the lives of those with Down syndrome and their families. It doesn’t fit with the concepts of faith, family and disability and I am at a loss of why

  17. I appreciate the author’s willingness to share her story. I find it so interesting the statements she makes, especially what she terms as insight from the termination. I find it interesting because I could apply this very same quote to our family, and my son with T21 is thankfully here with us.

    “Bigger picture, I learned that in life, things go wrong, and when it comes to kids, the stakes are through the roof. In fact, strangely, I think I became a better parent. It was revealed to my husband and me that our children are everything to us, and ensuring their welfare our primary purpose in life. We treasure every moment with them. We moved into a better school district. I never forget that what I do is all for them. And I never forget my son who had T21. I loved him just as much as the kids I have living here with me today.”

    My David has made me a better parent, he and his brother are everything to us, we moved to a better school district for David which will also greatly benefit his younger brother, and I love them both so intently my heart bursts with pride on a daily basis.

    I am a pro-choice person, always will be. I often think of the what-if’s with David, still 7 years later. It is the most bittersweet feeling, like a bad dream. His quality of life is so good, he enriches us all so much. I like to say he is my little soul mate, liek he has always been a part of me in some way, an old soul with wisdom in his heart that is beyond most adults I know. He is so smart, so kind, one of the most intuitive people I know when it comes to knowing other people’s feeling. I never worry about his future, I know it is bright. If given the choice, over and over again I would always choose him. I respect the author’s choice, I am just glad it wasn’t my choice.

  18. Just wanted to give some support to the anonymous writer. I had an early T-21 diagnosis and terminated. Even if I had connected with other families successfully raising Down syndrome children, it would not have helped the fact that there already existed a child in my life with special needs, along with a disaster of a marriage. To be the best mother I could be for the child I already had, I felt like I had to make the decision I did. As I face single motherhood, I don’t have regrets. At the end of the day, abortion is legal in this country for a reason. Were I younger, with a happy, good, even “good enough” stable marriage, I might have done something different. But those are not the shoes I walk in.

  19. I appreciate the writer’s honesty and willingness to share her story. It’s unfortunate that so much of the information that prospective parents find leads them to the conclusion that it’s a “grey diagnosis” and a life destined for “suffering” for all involved; thus the 90% termination rate. Of the many families I’ve met since joining the Ds community, none have suggested they are suffering. On the contrary, they say their experience has made them a better person, transformed them in ways they had not thought possible. I think our suffering is caused by our attachments to what we think should be. We are shaped, defined and potentially transformed by our life experiences; with our attachments influencing the paths we choose. Too often I find the press about Down syndrome is not representative of my actual experience, which concerns me as prenatal testing is more widely available and more expectant mothers are faced with this writer’s decision.

    • antoinlove says:

      I am truly disappointed by so many of the responses. I recently terminated my baby who had a severe chromosome abnormality. I do not feel as if I have to justify myself to anyone on here as I was the one who felt the pain and heartbreak after a 6 hour delivery only to walk away leaving my son in a mortuary. The lady who wrote this blog just like myself is not asking you to justify why you chose to keep your baby despite the knowledge many of you had, if indeed you knew in advance. We do not know you, your circumstances, mental health or anything about you. In fact I admire all parents who sacrifice for their children on a daily basis. You are clearly happy with your choices and life so why do you feel the need to judge others who you do not know after they have experienced the.most difficult time in their lives. Such a low blow. I am a Christian so please don’t comment on my lack of faith in God because if you knew God you would know that he would only require you to show compassion. To those of you who have used the words ‘murder and evil’ shame on you. Also a termination for medical reasons is not consideredthe same as an abortion. Live your lives and have compassion for others.

      • antoinlove: I respect your compassionate choice. People who apply their distorted right to ‘life’ (whatever the cost to the individual) beliefs on others, particularly those who will live a life with a condition which prevents them from participating in that which most of us take for granted, and who, in a world which daily evidences it cares not for the suffering of ‘voiceless’ sentient beings, will always be dependent on others’ advocacy.
        Abuse in the disability and aged care domains is rife. True empathy inspires compassionate choices and that is what you made.

  20. I took a few days to think about this post before responding. First I want to thank Anonymous for being so honest about her decision. Because of your post I am better able to understand why you had the abortion and can see you as a person just like me, who also loves her children, but just made a different choice. The conviction I have about not choosing abortion is equal to the conviction you had that abortion was the most humane and compassionate choice for your child and your family. We will never change each other’s minds, but I can now better understand your decision…and have more compassion for your loss.

  21. Dear AnonMom, I don’t think you are a bad person. Soon enough you will realize that abortion never goes away, and it does not erase your son from your life. He will always be there in your mind and his memory will hit you at the oddest times.

    A pro-choice viewpoint puts one in the position of deciding who is, and who is not human, and whose lives are worth living. But again, I dont think you are a bad person because evil mainly works by getting good people to believe in lies.

    Despite our founding documents, our society has progressed to believe that a person’s right to life depends on his or her level of health. But what society is really teaching us is that disabled babies have fewer rights — were less human — than able-bodied ones.

    AnonMom is not the first to believe that in wanting to spare a potential child from suffering, the best and only option is to end the pregnancy out of love for the disabled child.

    Evil’s greatest achievement is accomplished when Love = killing.

    Ours is not the first society that was conditioned to believe in this false love. Another mom describes this point beautifully,

    “I was reading yet another account of the Greek societies in which unwanted newborn babies were abandoned to die, wondering to myself how normal people could possibly accept something like that. Then, a chill tore through my body as I thought:

    I know how they did it.

    I realized in that moment that perfectly good, well-meaning people — people like me — can support gravely evil things through the power of lies. From my own experience, I knew how the Greeks, the Romans, and people in every other society could put themselves into a mental state that they could leave a newborn child to die: The very real pressures of life — “we can’t afford another baby,” “there’s no dowry for another girl,” “this disability would overwhelm us” — left them susceptible to that oldest of temptations: To dehumanize other human beings.”


    “I imagine that as those Greek parents handed over their infants for someone to take away, they remarked on how very unlike their other children these little creatures were: They can’t talk, they can’t sit up. Surely those little yawns and smiles are just involuntary spasms. I bet you anything they justified their choices by referring to these babies with words that stripped them of their human dignity. Maybe they called them something like “fetuses,” and walked away confident that the lives that had been taken were not really human at all.”

    Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/blog/jennifer-fulwiler/the-enemy-of-sex#ixzz2LB0MBsVK

  22. I am pro-choice, but I am also the parent of a child with a rare genetic syndrome. The part of this story that I must say I have trouble with (and others I’ve heard before) is the idea that parenting a child with special needs is always hard. My experience (and plenty of others I know) is that it *can* be hard, but is mostly just as joyful and enriching as parenting a typical child. One of the most difficult things for me in parenting my daughter is the number of people who don’t accept that this is my experience–joyful, though like any parenting experience, not always easy. I know that this is not everyone’s experience and the writer may truly have not met people who feel as I do. Would the writer have had my experience? There is no way for me to know and I cannot judge her desire to not take the risk. But I guess I would ask her to reconsider her assessment of parenting children with special needs and accept that for many of us, it is a joyful experience.

  23. Thank you for sharing your story. It was a much-needed offset to the many articles I’ve read so far from parents of small children with Down syndrome who are only 4-5 years into the experience and encouraging others to take on the same.

  24. Eastertoday says:

    I don’t understand why when arguments are made supporting the abortion of children with down syndrome, why adoption is not brought up as a viable option? I would adopt a baby with down syndrome and I also am very aware of what that would entail in terms of a lifetime commitment. Perhaps there should be better networks in place in terms of mainstream OB/GYN offices and adoption agencies specializing in disabilities. As a side note, I know there are a few agencies out there who do specialize in DS but I am confident there are many more folks in the world willing and wanting to adopt, raise and love a DS baby. I am empathetic to the fact that many people are overwhelmed with the thought of raising a down syndrome child, caring for them in their adult life, and preparing for their life after mom and dad are gone, but there are those of us out here who would be willing to do that, even if they did not come from our own flesh and blood – they would still be forever bonded to our hearts which is more important.

  25. With respect, the experience of a very lucky few does not represent the reality of what a Down Syndrome diagnosis means.

    Many babies with Down Syndrome do not survive to birth. These parents to Down Syndrome children carry their babies in their hearts, not in their arms. There are the babies who die early in life from complications of Down Syndrome. Then there are others whose children suffer such a degree of disability that they are unable to walk or talk or even sit up or smile.

    Talk to those parents, and the doctors that treat them. Then form your view about the ethics of termination for a diagnosis of Down Syndrome. A discussion based on the positive outcomes of a lucky few does not fully consider the true quality of life issues that arise.

    • While you are correct to think that there is a range of abilities among individuals with Down syndrome, the negative portrait you paint of children with Down syndrome is as inaccurate as you accuse the “lucky” few as being. The vast majority of people with Down syndrome report being happy with their lives, as do their family members. Life expectancy has doubled in recent years. Most people with Down syndrome walk, talk, read, go to school, and enjoy their lives. Kind of like the rest of the population.

      • However, uncomfortable as it may be to acknowledge, the spectrum of Down Syndrome extends far further than is generally represented in the media.

        While I support your message of protecting life, I would ask that you not fall into the same trap.

        More than 3/4 of babies with Down Syndrome are lost during pregnancy or neonatal death.

        My precious daughter was one of them. I had no knowledge or understanding whatsoever of the high rates of fatality, just as I suspect most here do not.

        The writer’s baby had calcifications throughout his tiny body at an early stage, in addition to Down Syndrome.

        And yet, you, and every one posting here, has limited the discussion by reference to relatively healthy, living, happy children.

        Naturally, on this basis, the case is open and shut, judgement and moral superiority prevail.

        All that I ask is that you show compassion and wisdom in acknowledging the grey.

      • The negative portrait of downs syndrome is not inaccurate. Downs syndrome is associated with a dramatic increase in cardiac anomalies, a greater than 500 fold risk of developing acute and life-limiting haematological dyscrasias and their intellectual disability causes them to rely on the compassion of other people.

        When considering the manner in which the human species treats those who cannot self-advocate, the frequency and severity of abuse experienced by the vulnerable members of society: the disabled and aged is to be expected.

        The many face book sites promoting downs syndrome children as ‘gifts from god’ show photos of darling little children but deliberately omit to focus on the older downs people languishing in nursing homes or community houses where their grief from being separated from ageing parents and being thrust into the ‘care’ of staff who too often cannot meet their needs, or directly abuse them is further undermining these individuals’ quality of life.

        Right to ‘life’ at any cost is a distorted mind set which contributes to terrible suffering.
        If only the human brain could efficiently replace indoctrinated information (generally sourced from primitive, illogical belief systems) with rational and empathetic analysis.

  26. This breaks my heart as well. I see this as a gift from God. God trusting you with a special needs child. But in my view there was no chance given. I am praying for you.

    • Which god and why? Humans have believed in thousands of gods throughout the ages and cultural origins are generally the predominant factor for determining the god of choice. The reasons are simply related to the need to believe in life after death, death-denial, and that we are a special species with superior status amongst all other animals. Religious doctrine has, and continues to wreak havoc on this planet; not least that it perpetuates the sanctity of human life and ironically condemns many vulnerable people to a lifetime of suffering and dependence.
      Please do some research: open your minds to rational analysis and make choices based on compassion instead of a patriarchal, primitive, illogical doctrine.

  27. Esther O'Reilly says:

    There is only one question that needs to be asked and answered: Is the baby in the womb a human being, with the same rights to life that you or I have? If yes, what would we call the taking of that life if not murder?

    At the end of the day, this is the only thing that matters. The only thing.

    • Yes, the baby in the womb has the same rights as a human being.

      One of those rights is that his mother, who loves him more than anyone on this earth, make the decision to end his life if she knows that his life will be one of suffering because of an incurable condition with a very poor prognosis.

      Just as many mothers have chosen to give their babies palliative care or remove their children from life support systems, this is not murder.

      • Esther O'Reilly says:

        Let me try to sharpen up your statement a bit: What you seem to be saying is that every human being, right down to an innocent baby, has the “right” to be killed without his knowledge or consent if the person who decides to have him killed is under the illusion that he is acting with the victim’s best interests at heart.

        Golly, wonder why that “right” never made it into the Constitution…

  28. Hello Amy, Reading your story has been helpful for me as I am currently waiting results from my recent non invasive blood test (maternit21) that was offered. My husband have been researching and waiting for the results. We do not know what we will decide to do, but most likely terminate if diagnosed with DS. I recently miscarried, and this child would be our first. I believe that if the child is not going to be able to live a full/healthy life then we are not the right parents to take on this challenge. I understand there are many people out there that are willing and able, we however may not be. Our decision has not been made, and hopefully will not have to decide.

    • Thanks for reaching out. I imagine that waiting for those test results is stressful. If you want to read more, this post came in the context of a series of posts which included other women who decided to keep their babies with DS and also feel grateful for the choice they made. Our daughter Penny has both a full/healthy life and Down syndrome, though that of course is no guarantee for any child or for any child with Down syndrome. If you want to read more, another resource I can offer is http://www.lettercase.org, where they offer a free booklet about understanding a Down syndrome diagnosis. If you have specific questions please feel free to reach out, regardless of what you decide.

  29. Bottom line? People with Down Syndrome now frequently and by many years outlive their parents. I wouldn’t knowingly abandon a kid who could not take care of themselves.

    • People with Down Syndrome now frequently and by many years outlive their parents.

      May I see a citation, please? Thanks.

    • Valerie Lewis says:

      There are agencies that take care of adults with disabilities. You do not have to worry about abandoning your child when you die.

  30. Good morning everyone,
    I have also found myself in very uncharted waters these past few days, with recent news from our Maternity21 blood test, that tests for tri13,18, & 21. With almost 99% accuracy, our test came back positive for Down Syndrome 21. I am currently 13 weeks and 6 days.

    I am age 43 1/2 yrs old, and this was my very first pregnancy (My husband is age 53). We are both very healthy and active, and have no genetic issues ourselves or in our families. I have strived my adult life to build towards a successful career, and was now feeling prepared emotionally, physically and financially to begin our new chapter in life.

    We were referred to speak with a fertility doctor last fall, due to our age, and lack of time to try on our own…..to begin possible treatments. We did several rounds of AF and 1 IVF cycle. Nothing worked, BUT in May of this year, we casually tried on our own, and couldn’t believe a month later we were pregnant!!!

    We truly felt it was a true blessing from God, and seemed just right. We passed the hurdle of the window of a possible miscarriage….and then onto our 1st trimester prescreen which was a little abnormal with our Papp-A being a little lower than the average (.25 versus the norm of .40) but they loved our NT scann(1.5), the beta hcg was good and all of the ultrasound pictures looked great ( according to 3 different techs). I insisted to follow through w/ the Mat21 test, and the life changing news came in last week! I was unable to function, literally! I could not stop crying long enough to speak to my husband….We both were so confident that this was right! I was immediately offered to a CVS procedure that very same day, just hours away…..to try to obtain more certainty. We decided to rush to appointment, and and the procedure was done transabdominally due to difficult location of placenta :(
    We hope to hear results on Monday…..and are praying to a false-positve. If the results are positve, my husband is adamant that he does not wish to raise a child this way….and was agreed, however, once you find yourself in this position where this might be the only time or chance to have gotten pregnant, I seem to question my thoughts….endlessly. Is a possible termination something I am allowed to do? Will the Lord forgive me? Endless feeling of guilt already….Or is having this child something I was given to do?

    I would so welcome ANY feedback from anyone out there…..AND I wish we had more time in life to keep trying. I feel like our window is just about shut :(


    • Febbaby, I’m sorry to hear about how difficult these past few days have been. There are many stories on this blog that talk about starting in a similar place of fear and confusion and eventually receiving a baby with Down syndrome as just another member of a family. This booklet (available as a free download) might be useful to you: http://lettercase.org. And here are a few other posts that also might help as you think and pray through this decision: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thinplaces/2013/01/imagining-down-syndrome/ (and then the posts that follow from women who made a range of decisions about prenatal testing), http://www.huffingtonpost.com/amy-julia-becker/missing-out-on-beautiful_b_2630177.html. My fullest expression of my experience as a new mom figuring out how to think and feel my way through this diagnosis comes in my memoir, A Good and Perfect Gift, which is available here: http://www.amazon.com/Good-Perfect-Gift-Expectations-Little/dp/0764209175/ref=pd_sim_b_1 I hope we can offer you some help and support as you enter into the decisions of the next week.

      • Thank you Amy Julia……My husband being 53 and father already to 2 wonderful adult children….is so adamant about not having a DS baby at this point in his life, etc….but so desires to continue to try again and again. I have expressed my confusion and uncertainty with a possible termination but in the end, he is holding firm on his stance. Have you had any experience with this type of situation?

        • Hmm. I know of two similar situations, though they weren’t the same. In both cases, I know about them because the woman decided to keep the baby come what may, and the father eventually came around and truly loves his child. With that said, there may very well be examples that don’t have such a happy ending. I’m going to ask around a bit, and ask people to comment here on this point. I also would encourage your husband to consider why he is so reluctant to have a child with Down syndrome. If he is anything like I was, it has as much to do with outdated and misguided impressions of Down syndrome as it does with practical concerns. Again, not to minimize his concerns but just to make sure he’s making a decision based upon accurate and holistic information not just a list of potential health problems or even a notion from when he was first having kids about what life with Down syndrome looks like. Two other posts I’ve written for parent.com that might be helpful: http://www.parents.com/blogs/goodyblog/2011/10/what-i-learned-from-raising-a-child-with-down-syndrome/ and http://www.parents.com/health/down-syndrome/down-syndrome-resources/. Again, I’ll ask some others to chime in and please feel free to ask other questions here too.

          • Vicki Vila says:

            Also in response to Febbaby: I love all the answers given to you by Amy Julia — please do encourage your husband to read the suggested materials and posts — so many people do not even realize how outdated their notion of Down syndrome is. I know mine was, and I was 37 when I had my son 5 years ago. Might I also suggest making a call to your local Down syndrome support group, who should be able to refer you to some parents in your area, even perhaps families similar to yours where the husband was older when the child was born. It always helps to have an accurate picture of life with a child who has Down syndrome. In our experience, they truly are more alike than different and raising our son (who has a twin and a big sister) has had the same ups and downs as raising his siblings. Warm thoughts coming your way.

        • @ Febbaby, I completely understand how your husband feels because I am in similar shoe. Unfortunately, we have already received the news of our baby having DS (17 weeks). For me, I grew up with a sister that was disabled; so, I saw and experienced the troubles my mom (and dad) went thru – nights at the hospital, tears e.t.c I told myself that my children will not be dependent on somebody else for basic things that normal children can do. As a Christian, this is a bitter pill to swallow. The problem with being pro-life or pro-choice is that everyone is boxed in their own ideologies, moral, and personal lifestyle that they don’t truly focus on the grey area. My heart was broken as I read your story because no true stories are alike…no two people are alike. In our situation, the baby has not only DS, but heart defect and brain complication. The OB already confirmed that the chance of survival rate before the baby is 1 year old is very small. It’s been extremely difficult for my wife and me to make a decision that we’ll dedicate the child back to God; however, we feel this is the best thing to do. In a case like this, there is no right or wrong answer. It’s a personal choice. Since there is a spectrum on the severity of DS, try and find out as much as you can about your baby; it will be very helpful for your husband – especially if the case is mild. I pray for God’s peace for you and your husband. We’ve cried, grieved, and shared this issue with our mentor. It has made the process easier. Please, don’t resent your husband for his stand. Simply, talk through it – be honest and open about your fears, concerns, and reasons why you want or don’t want to continue the pregnancy. Best wishes in your decision!

    • Febbaby, I’m sorry to hear of your husband’s position regarding your baby. I thank God I was fortunate to have someone who stood with me and said we would not terminate any child. Our daughter is now 6 months old and has brought more beauty to our lives than we could have ever imagined. She’s a child just like my other 3 and we often forget that she has T21.

      When we had just found out about her diagnosis, also via Maternit21, I spent countless hours on the internet learning as much as I possibly could. I found reading blogs of parents with Ds chlidren the most reassuring. I aslo came across this video:

      It might be helpful to your husband to see how another father felt and came to terms with his daughter’s extra chromosome.

      I would also like you to know that if you do decide to continue your pregnancy, and I’m hoping you do, that you will find there is a huge support network for parents of children with Ds. You will meet lots of new people in your community and you will discover there is no shame in loving your child.

      Lastly, there is new and promising research on an eventual treatment for Ds, but I don’t want to bring that discussion to this post. You might look into it on your own.

      I wish you well.

      • Mark Leach says:

        Kellie–thank you for posting the ESPN video. It was the one that came to my mind as it shows someone who was very committed to not having a child with DS, but once his child was born and he had his child to hold, he became a very committed father to his child, who he came to see as more than just the DS-diagnosis. For further views by fathers, there is the Dads Appreciating Down Syndrome (DADS) website as well as the brightertomorrows.org’s family stories, several of which are told by fathers. Here are those links:

        DADS: http://www.dadsnational.org/.

        BT.org: http://www.brightertomorrows.org/

        As I say in the video on the BT.org website, my advice to expectant parents is to reach out to other parents to learn what it is like to raise a child with Down syndrome.

        I hope this is helpful.

    • @Febbaby I would also recommend meeting with a genetic counselor for more information; reading “Understanding a Down Syndrome Diagnosis” at lettercase.org; watching the videos recommended here; and making sure that both of you have all the information you need. Another great video is: http://www.onetruemedia.com/shared?p=7ecd5813917c14a7ec98f9&skin_id=801&utm_source=otm&utm_medium=text_url
      Because you’re receiving a diagnosis so early in the pregnancy, you have several weeks to explore your decision and get more information about Down syndrome. It’s understandable that you’re processing stages of grief right now, so it will be helpful if you can make a decision based on all the available information and the most balanced emotions possible. If you find that your emotions are too overwhelming, you can also turn to Postpartum Support International at 1-800-944-4PPD or a local therapist. In addition, the decision about whether or not to terminate a pregnancy should not be something where you feel pressured, so a marriage counselor might also be helpful in coming to a resolution with your husband. You might also be interested in learning more about the National Down Syndrome Adoption Network ndsan.org. Best wishes to you as you try to figure out the best path for your family.

      • Jeffrey Kraus says:

        If you do decide to not raise the child an abortion is much better than adoption, https://www.facebook.com/AbortionNotAdoption

        Pregnant and know damn well you don’t want it? Then do the decent thing and get a bloody abortion – at least that way, the lifetime of agony’ll be over in minutes instead of the decades some of us have been suffering for. Adoption hurts kids!

  31. It’s sad to see the decision the author of this article made being lost in a abortion debate. Some of the commentors seemed to focus more on the abortion than the issue of abortion related to Down Syndrome. However, I’m not sure those are entirely separate issues. Women (and their partners) choose abortion for a host of reasons as related to fetal abnormalities. At what point is it “okay” or “moral”? Who decides what fetal abnormalities are abortable and which are not?

    Raising children is tough, but raising children with special needs is tougher. That’s a fact. Saying anything less than that is as deceitful as those who paint an ugly future for any child with Down Syndrome. It is also a fact that parents won’t know the actual prognosis of their child until afterwards. I have a friend who has a son with Down Syndrome—and yes, he loves his son dearly. But his son was recently developed pulmonary hypertension. Having to cope with the medical requirements/emergencies and the real likelihood that his son can die at any moment and will have moments of genuine suffering—his experience isn’t like those whose child with Down Syndrome had a more optimistic prognosis. Not every marriage can survive that type of stress. Not everyone’s bank account can surivive changing from a two income household to a single in order for one parent to be present to take care of their son. I wouldn’t judge my friend as being ‘self-centered’ if he and his wife had opted to avoid that hardship by terminating their pregnancy. That’s the reality that he lives with. That’s the reality that we all are a part of.
    Good decisions—right decisions—they are made based on the totaltity of the circumstances. Those are things we, outsiders, are privy to. We shouldn’t interject our own life experiences and politics into a painful decision made by someone else.
    It’s okay and moral to put your oxygen mask on first before putting it on your child. Sometimes what makes you a better parent is addressing your needs first. That’s not selfish; that’s real. I certaintly don’t think the author’s decision makes her a bad person or a bad parent. She made the best decision she could based on the totality of her circumstances—of which we only have this article to guess at.
    If you wouldn’t or didn’t make the same decision as her, good for you. But, don’t judge her, don’t offer her insincere sympathy about her ignorance or her self-centeredness and don’t use this as a platform to engage in political rehetoric. That’s merely demonstrates an abundance of self-regard, and that, my friends, is no virtue either.

  32. It is better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all.

  33. I was born with a severe genetic defect that left me with no quality of life. All I can say is that it takes real love to let your disabled child go. Abort them and let them go free. Let them have their dignity. Because my parents didn’t and I feel like by giving birth to me they tossed me into a perpetual hell where I am constantly suffering, constantly made fun of, no dignity, no freedom, no life, no happiness or love. All I can say is that it takes a callous and cruel person to bring a child into existence who is going to be forced into an undignified, limited, unhappy life. Do not listen to what parents say about how happy they are to have their severely disabled child, rather, look at the poor quality of life of the child, who is suffering due to its evil parents!

    • Valerie Lewis says:

      To me you sound pretty intelligent. Can you tell me what genetic defect you have? I was born perfectly normal but I am made fun of every day of my life too. I know how words can hurt you. Some people are just real jerks. You have to find other friends. The book “Tounge Fu” helped me deal with the jerks of the world. But be careful, once you start using it, the jerks will go away because you won’t be any fun to make fun of any longer. Once these mean people go away, you will find those that appreciate you for you.

  34. I know this article was written some time ago but in just 1 day I am due to terminate my pregnancy over sever medical complications both to my baby and to myself. I have looked high and low over the internet for some kind of comfort that my poor husband hasn’t been able to give me and all I keep finding it judgmental and mean comments on how God knows and I am murdering my child. Thank you so much for this article, it moved me more than you know and has given me the strength I needed to never forget my baby but to move forward with things that are in the best interest of my unborn child as well as the best interests of my family. For those who judge on abortion and have never been in this position, shame on you, it is a heart ache I would not wish on my worse enemy, it is a struggle and a pain that will stay with you forever but sometimes, it is the best choice. I appreciate the honesty of this article, it was moving and truthfull. All respect to the families with DS children, you are amazing people and are not thought about enough in this world, I could not be that brave. Worse is the knowledge that I literally had to choose between the life of my child and my own life. My heart is with you and again thank you, you’ve helped me more than you can ever imagine.

  35. pattersonsm says:

    It’s ashamed you chose to abort your baby. My daughter who has downs is a wonderful.person. She is happy and loves life and everyone. The so called “normal” children can learn from her because she doesn’t hate she doesn’t bully but accepts everyone who accepts her. Too bad doctors and planned parenthood instill fear in New and even old parents about downs. It is not as bad as you think. Sure they have their on minds and timelines but overall they are good people. It seems like there is an effort to eliminate children who might have this condition. Is it hate and embarrassment over having a child with downs?

  36. Everyone should abort the downsyndrome children. Waste of resources on earth go towards them and a waste of space and money. It’s sad people bring such humans into the world that will be forever miserable because they are not normal.

    • Valerie Lewis says:

      That is a terrible thing to say. How can you call anyone a waste of space? You are totally rude!

  37. I believe that only God can end a life. All human life is sacred and a gift. Each little one has meaning. If it doesn’t fit our picture it still doesn’t take away that life’s meaning and purpose. We must not take a life. Given that, God is God to every one of us. He will deal with each of us in a way that will lead us to greater healing. My daughter-in-law recently chose to end a pregnancy because of an anomaly. I wept for this nameless little one
    . They thought it would decrease the pain of allowing nature to take its course. All I can do is to not judge and just be there when or if the pieces fall apart. Love will mend a broken heart. I lift this one short life up to God and know that she touched my heart even if I never met her and even if I wasn’t told until well over a month after her life was terminated.

    • The human species is arrogant and has devised beliefs which encourage humans to feel ‘special’. Gods are created to support the concept that we are singled our from all other life forms as being made in the image of a creator. The tragic irony is that sanctifying human life leads to shocking misery. Your daughter-in law made the correct decision. Procreating is an activity which humans and other animals participate in. I implore you to research and listen to those who understand that clear analysis, unfettered by religious dogma, can enable greater empathy.

  38. Father of Daughter with Downs says:

    I’m joining the conversation quite late, but I have a strong desire to comments. It’s been 5 months since our fourth daughter was born. We refused any and all prenatal testing. Our fourth daughter was born with Down Syndrome. We were shocked and had all the spectrums of emotions. When I look at her now, I wouldn’t want her any other way. My wife and I are in our early 30′s and far from being “well to do”. But we know that life cannot allows be planned nor should it. The writer of this article tried to look into the future and base her decision on all the “what if’s”. Yes, this may sound judgmental, but the truth is, all her decisions were based on selfish reasons. She says that she loves the child she aborted just as much as her living children. If you love someone, you don’t end their life. What an injustice.

    • Father of Daughter with Downs says:

      Hopefully my message made sense since I didn’t proof read it before submitting and found about thousand errors. It’s difficult I do this on cell phone.
      Just to follow up with what I was saying. How can a person know what the quality of life of that child will be? How do you know what you will and will not be able to handle in the future? Life is series of punches and we have to roll with them. We have to adapt to our situation. It unfair to deny life to one person because it is inconvenient to you and that the child will not “fit” into your life. Any child will cause you pain, difficulty and grief. Any child on the other hand will give you joy, pride and happiness. People with Down Syndrome are exceptional people and it’s a same to judge them saying their quality of life is poor. As a parent, we can determine their quality of life. If people only realized the worth of every life, abortion would cease. I every person would look at the potential in themselves and say, “I can take on any challenge that life throws at me”, then I think there would be fewer abortions.

  39. EyesofOpinions says:

    I am not even planning on kids yet, but I wouldn’t even know how to take care of a child with special needs. And honest to god I am afraid I will have a child with mutated genes. Their would be a 50/50 chance of abortion. I don’t want to do that but I wouldn’t want my child to suffer or not go through certain expirences of life. I couldn’t handle that. And to all of the mothers that can, God bless you. I envy your strength. And for the the women who wrote this I’m glad she gave us her story, not just one on how she doesn’t want her child because of mutated genes but of because she doesn’t want that child to suffer. This is every women’s opinion. And it should be. Aborting isn’t bad and it’s not good. It’s what you see it to be.

  40. Valerie Lewis says:

    The blogger discriminated against a handicapped person when she had the abortion. In addition, she admits that it was late in her pregnancy which put herself at grave risk and tortured her baby. Nobody deserves to be murdered in a painful, gruesome death, especially by their own parents. This woman made a very bad choice and this choice should not be legal. Nobody has the right to decide who is and is not valuable. That is discrimination against the disabled and this has to stop!