So How Many Babies with Down Syndrome Are Actually Aborted?

So How Many Babies with Down Syndrome Are Actually Aborted? May 25, 2012

Many of you read, commented, and shared the post I did about “The 8%,” referring to the percentage of babies diagnosed with Down syndrome who aren’t aborted.  I wrote:

In the United States, would you believe ninety-two percent of babies diagnosed with Down syndrome are aborted before they get a chance to take a breath? When I hear this statistic, it makes me want to burst into tears.  I can’t imagine a world without Trig — he is the best brother!  (Okay, you’re not too bad either, Track!)

It’s crazy how in love with Trig we all are. When Tripp is acting up — which he does often! — I sometimes joke with my mom.

“Hey, want to trade kids?” I laugh.

Willow and I always talk about how lovable Trig is, and how we’d take him over any so-called “normal” kid anyday! He’s way cooler than people with fewer chromosomes. I’d have a Down syndrome baby in a heartbeat, and I know anyone else would if they saw any sort of glimpse of how perfect my little brother is.

Thank you for sharing your stories in the comments section and for sharing that post with your friends. However, my website administrator got an e-mail from another on the SixSeeds Faith and Family Channel, author Amy Julia Becker – the mother of a daughter with Down syndrome.  I’m sorry to say I think I unknowingly passed on incorrect information.  She told me that the 8% number is not exactly accurate.  She writes:

I just read Bristol’s post about babies who are born with DS being one of the 8%. I love the poem she includes, and I think her point is an important one. Still, I’ve learned recently that it’s an inaccurate number. It’s widely cited by many people, but it’s based on a single study from a single hospital in the 1980’s. Overall, it seems that about 70% of babies prenatally diagnosed with DS are aborted, and that the abortion rates vary greatly from region to region across the US. Moreover, lots of women don’t seek prenatal diagnosis, whether out of ignorance or because they don’t want to risk an amnio or because they don’t think the information is necessary. So 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.

Thanks, Amy, for the correction. Yes, moms who are facing this challenge, know you’re not alone!

And some of you might enjoy Amy’s book called, “A Good and Perfect Gift:”

A GOOD AND PERFECT GIFT: Faith, Expectations and a Little Girl Named Penny (Bethany House) is a spiritual memoir that chronicles Amy Julia Becker’s journey through her daughter Penny’s first years of life. Top of her class at Princeton, Amy Julia Becker always imagined that her children would turn out just like her. So when her daughter Penny entered the world with Down syndrome, Becker had to rethink everything.

In fact, another Patheos blog is giving away this book.  Click here for Anna Quinn’s complete review and details on how to win your own copy!

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  • GrizzlyMom

    Bristol this is a good start. I am happy to see you start taking responsibility for your words.

    • Josh


    • RefudiateObama2012

      You are Bristol’s guest when you comment on her blog. Try to show some respect. Bristol has done a great job of accepting responsibility, both in her words and her actions.

      • Mrs. Sixx

        Don’t be such a child. It’s the internet. If she didn’t want people to comment, she wouldn’t have comments open. It’s not your responsibility to police other peoples’ comments.

        • Michael Teuber

          RefudiateObama2012 says:

          Try to show some respect.

          Mrs. Sixx says:

          Don’t be such a child. It’s the internet.

          Ladies and gentlemen, the cultural conversation in a ‘fundamentally transformed’ America! *Rimshot*

    • Robyn Lund

      She started that a long time ago.

  • Joseppi

    Kudo’s for the correction

  • Thank you for this – and for directing your readers to Amy Julia Becker’s powerful book. Those interested in issues around raising children with Down syndrome or other special needs will love it, as will anyone who just loves a good, honest memoir about faith, family, and battling perfectionism.

  • Sue Lynn

    There are all kinds of studies out there. I’ve seen 90% many times. Bottom line love is greater than our fears. I know Trig has a heart of gold and we are lucky to have him. God knows what he is doing!

  • Thanks for the correction Bristol as I too shared that 8% info.

  • LMA

    I applaud your willingness to make the correction. Now please correct your assertion that kids do better in “mother/father homes” than in homes with same-sex parents. A simple Google search will yield a great deal of information regarding that matter.

    • Josh

      Bristol was corrected a point of fact with the 8%. Her comment about how kids do better in a mother/father home is not a point of fact, it’s an opinion. YOUR opinion is not fact LMA. Even if the MSM wants to tell you it is and that everyone who thinks differently is evil or dumb. Don’t buy that lie. Because that is an error that should be corrected. But the media doesn’t seem to have the clarity or humility to correct that mistake like Bristol just did.

      • GrizzlyMom

        Josh why don’t you compare the statistics of child abuse amongst heterosexual parents vs gay parents? And then look at poverty rates and divorce rates. Bristol is stating as FACT that children do better in homes where a mother and father exist. She should back that up or its just an opinion. With the divorce rate hovering around 50 percent I would dare say that children aren’t doing too well in heterosexual families. If Bristol is really concerned about how children are raised you would think that she would post a blog about ways heterosexuals can be better parents rather than concern herself about the very very small minority of children being raised by same sex parents.

      • Michelle

        Thanks, Josh, but my “opinion” is based on actual credible studies. Your opinion is not evil or dumb, as I’m sure you’re not. I’m simply trying to share with Bristol that her opinion does not reflect actuality. Why is that so offensive to you?

        • Michael Teuber

          Arbitrarily asserting as fact an opinion, that relies on studies we are to search for on the internet to find evidence for, does not establish ‘actuality’. Moreover presenting dissenting opinions based on clinical studies would not establish ‘actuality’ but merely present evidence to support an argument you have not engaged on the arbitrary grounds that these unproduced studies prove there is no need for you to prove you are right. Asserting knowledge of Josh’s unexpressed emotions is also arbitrary psychologizing.

          • LMA

            Did Bristol cite her studies? No. She wrote, “…in general, we know…” But it’s clear that those who agree with her are willing to find their own supporting evidence. Michael, it’s second nature now for folks to go straight to the Internet to look up anything. If you were actually interested in finding any studies at all that support my contention, then you know you could without my handing those sources to you, such as this one:
            Or this one:

            Also, congratulations. You’ve apparently mastered the use of the word “arbitrary.”

          • Michael Teuber

            Michelle: Since we’ve run out of ‘reply’ buttons I will post this as a reply to myself.

            Bristol did not refer to any ‘studies’, she is not required to in stating her personal opinion. You however stated categorically that her opinion was not ‘actuality’. The onus is upon you to support your claim to certainty. I am not responsible for, nor am I aware of, anyone else who agrees with Bristol’s opinion, who may have found evidence to support their contention on the internet. What you may consider ‘second nature’ is irrelevant. If you state that Bristol’s opinion is invalid because it is not ‘actuality’ it is your responsibility to back that claim up, not anyone else’s to prove you wrong. I have no interest in your contentions at all, purely the high-handed and dismissive assertion that Bristol’s opinion was, not just one with which you disagreed, but ‘not actuality’, a claim you have now provided two rather weak news articles to support, but have by no means established.

            Yes, Michelle, arbitrary claims to certainty, or doubt, are the bane of rational discourse.

      • Michelle

        And apparently, you are wrong: Bristol’s 8% “point of fact” was not actually factual! She’s got a bigger pair than you, because she corrected her mistake.

        • Michael Teuber

          That Bristol asserted the 8% figure as fact, then corrected herself was, in fact, Josh’s original point. You however continue to assert, arbitrarily, that those you disagree with are mistaken.

          • LMA

            Michael, there is evidence that children who are raised by same-sex families are well adjusted and happy. By saying that, in general, kids are better off in families that are raised by mother/father couples, you have to ignore evidence that kids are happy with same-sex parents also, and you also have to ignore the rate of divorce in this country among hetero couples with kids, not to mention the kids who are abused while living with both mother and father. I’m not saying that because you disagree with me you’re mistaken. I’m saying that you all are ignoring everything that’s proving contrary to your opinion that kids who are raised by mothers AND fathers in one household are better off. Is that the ideal situation? Most people would say that, yes, kids should be raised in two-parent homes. Does that two-parent home have to be a mom and dad in order for the kid(s) to be happiest? There is credible evidence to support that the answer is no.

          • Michael Teuber

            I have taken no position on the issue at all, simply pointed out that you made an arbitrary statement that Bristol’s opinion on the subject, was ‘not actuality’ and demanded that she apologize. You have, when prompted, provided two links to articles which might constitute evidence, but not certainty.

            Curiously, your reply does not refer to the point of my comment, that you falsely asserted Josh claimed that Bristol’s 8% figure was accurate, when he actually stated she had been corrected. Demanding that Bristol recant opinions you do not agree with, while evading responsibility for your demonstrably false assertion is confusing.

      • LMA

        First, my apologies. I didn’t mean to misrepresent myself. “LMA” and “Michelle” are one and the same. I sometimes use my initials and sometimes my middle name. Second, Josh, I went back and looked at what Bristol wrote in her post regarding same-sex marriage, and here’s what she said: “…we know that in general kids do better in a mother/father home…” That’s slightly paraphrased, but she definitely wrote “we know that in general.” That’s a pretty strongly worded opinion! I’m sure she meant for us to assume that it was based in fact.

    • Judy

      Not so LMA. Bristol doesn’t need to offer a correction on that issue. She is absolutely right.

      • Michelle

        Who says, Judy? There are very credible studies that point to the contrary. Just because you choose to ignore them does not mean they don’t exist.

        • Michael Teuber

          Your question is essentially a demand that Judy provide evidence that your assertion of doubt is not wrong. Simply asserting the existence of credible studies does not establish that you are right, nor is it necessary for Judy to refute an argument based on evidence you have referred to but not provided.

          Simply relying on the authority of studies which support your conclusion, does not demonstrate that conclusion as ‘actuality’.

          • LMA

            And that’s not what you’ve all done? Rely on the authority of studies which support your conclusion?

          • LMA

            And no, Judy said that Bristol is absolutely right. Period. End of statement. Now the onus is on me to prove Judy’s unproven statement wrong? I think at the very least I’d demand that Judy provide evidence that her own assertion is correct. (This exchange is almost comical, BTW. It reminds me of the “Who’s on first?” thing.)

          • Michael Teuber

            I am not responsible for those arguing Bristols opinion, pro or con. That I observed your original claim was arbitrary and cognitively void, does not make me responsible for proving those with whom you disagree correct. Therefore I provide no studies to support a position I haven’t taken.

            Bristol proffered an opinion. You, LMA/Michelle stated that opinion to be ‘not actuality’ (which makes me think of the TruTV commercial slogan “Not reality, actuality”) and required a correction. Judy quite properly rejected that demand, because, in its original form it was arbitrary, now, as amended, merely not proven. That Judy happens to agree with Bristol does not change the fact that at that time you had offered no evidence and still demanded that Judy disprove your original arbitrary proposition, accusing her of ignoring studies which you had not yet identified.

            Who’s on First? relies on confusion between proper nouns and interrogatives to create an apparent incongruity. Our exchange however seems more of a parallel monologue. Its incongruities are yours to repair by either admitting that you should not have stated Bristol’s opinions were ‘not actuality’ and demanded a correction without proof, or provide that proof and renew your demand. As this is a blog comment section, not a peer reviewed journal of child development professionals, perhaps the first option would be easier.

    • Emily

      Google can tell you anything you want it to tell you. One of my very best friends is gay, and he’s an amazing guy. I have no right to “throw rocks” at gays and lesbians. Just because I can’t add that to the list of my sins doesn’t mean my list isn’t long. I believe that gays and lesbians can be wonderful parents, as well as terrible parents. Just as your “typical” parents (a mother and father) can be wonderful parents or terrible parents. Overall, I do believe that children do better in a family with a mother and a father. They need to be able to flourish under the influence of a mother and a father.

  • Georgia

    This is so sad, Bristol. It is nothing short of murdering precious pre-born babies, which are the most vulnerable among us. May the Lord hold each of these precious little human beings, in the palms of His loving hands.

  • Amy August

    Hello Bristol! For some reason I am unable to comment on your posts anymore. I think for some odd reason I was blocked by somebody. Thank you for being a big voice for what we believe in! Thank you for the article the other day. I am hoping to get your book and the one from Amy Becker sometime in the near future. Thanks again!

  • rusty

    I always felt life was precious. Not a religious person at all, but feel life comes from a place we know nothing about at this time. Many who are “different” from most of us are in truth just that, different. We know not where we come from or where we are going, but all should have a fair chance. Just my opinion. Pro life.

  • Kimberly Lindsey

    Thanks Bristol… Love your Blog

  • There is an old socialist (don’t quote me on the source, please) saying that if you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes a truth. The homosexual community wants us to believe that their lifestyle is finding more and more acceptance everyday. Because so many people don’t want to offend anyone or get in trouble , they may tell a pollster that they are “evolving” on their thoughts toward homosexuals but behind closed doors or in the company of friends they say the opposite. For anyone who has ever read through the Bible or sat in a church pew, God has very plainly stated that homosexuality is an abomination to Him and He will never change His position. He goes so far as to say that they will never enter into heaven. I have read through the Bible over 20 times and the Words have never changed but I would always hope for His mercy on all of us.

    • JustAMom

      Eileen the gay community doesn’t need polls to know there is acceptance. We see it every day in our friends, families and coworkers. In music, top rated television shows. In the workplace where gay leaders are creating some of the most exciting new technologies and products ever known to man. As a gay person its astonishing how quickly things have changed in such a short time. We’ve already won you just don’t know it yet. I hope your still around in a few years to see marriage equality become the law of the land. Conservatives can continue to stick their heads in the sand all they want…and the rest of the world will just right by them.

      • Allie

        JustAMom, there will not be equality until people are looked at as people, not a race, not someone with a different sexual preference. I personally do not care if my music, technology, television or anything was made by a gay person or a straight person or an asexual. There is nothing to be “won” since there have been gay people since the beginning of time.

        All that being said, I believe in religious rights and if a religion does not want to marry a gay couple it is their right. Again, I believe that there should be a some kind of civil union (call it marriage if it makes you feel better) that allows for gays to have the same rights as a married couple. For example, I am Catholic and because I got a used husband (he was divorced, just in case you did not get my humor) we had to get married in a non Catholic church. I do not consider our marriage less valid because of it and eventually he got an annulment but it took a few years. I did not go wild against the Catholic church and just made do.

        • JustAMom

          Allie I completely agree that equality will not happen until people are looked at as people. Unfortunately as long as the majority gets to vote on the rights of a minority this will not happen. I also agree that churches should not have to marry anyone that goes against their beliefs. I think government should get out of personal relationships completely. Or give EVERYONE a civil union and let churches perform marriage ceremonies at their discretion. Regardless everyone should be treated equally in this area.

          I’m sorry that the Catholic church did not allow you to get married. In my opinion institutions such as this will have to change as contemporary society continues to make progress.

  • traci

    well, i believe and most of the country believe that a child raised in a house with a father and a mother would be the best situation. That is not just an opinion, but a fact! poll after poll shows that the majority of the country do not believe in same sex marriages. I believe that marriage is a holy union made before god! Now, i do believe that a civil union for gay couples and any couple that dont want to be married, but want to enjoy the same LEGAL rights that married couples enjoy would be an excellent alternative. As far as Bristol admitting that she gave out the wrong information, i say “you go girl”! At least she had the honesty to admit she was wrong and offer a correction. You are a GREAT girl Bristol! Keep up the good work

    • kelly

      What the heck has this rant got to do with the article traci? that topic was done to death last week. move on!
      and why would you say ‘you go girl’ to passing on unresearched and inaccurate informationto the masses? You are an idiot.

    • LMA

      Michael (below) will want you to cite specific polls, traci.

      • Frederick Lang

        LMA. In EVERY state, where the ballot has been introduced for consideration on same sex marriage before the people of that state, the people of that state vote down this idea of redefining marriage. This includes twice done in California where I live…one of the most liberal states in the union. The majority of people wish marriage to remain as only being between a man and a woman. Only those states that passed a same sex marriage bill, they were passed by their out of touch legislature, NOT the people of that state. What more “poll” do you need except it be an actual vote cast by the people and where it means something. Oh, I’m sure the sentiments are slowly changing but for the past 250 years of this nation till present, the people of this country want to see this nation remain a beacon to the rest of the world concerning God’s moral law and social conservatism.

        • LMA

          Frederick, you brought up an undeniable point…until your last sentence. And yes, American voters have voted to not redefine marriage in some states, but that still doesn’t speak to the fact that children can be raised well and happily by same-sex parents, as proven in credible studies. And you can’t make a pronouncement about morality and call a question definitively answered. That this nation is a “beacon to the rest of the world concerning God’s moral law and social conservatism” is certainly an opinion. Have you ever been to any European country? You’d probably be like most Conservatives I know and scoff at this, but I’ve been to Europe, and quite a few of the people I’ve met think we Americans could stand to evolve a bit when it comes to social issues.

  • Awesome! In doing research for my own website, The Esther Legacy, hearing the 8% didn’t quite seem right and was depressing sounding~but I didn’t quite know since I just finally moved on to tackling the Down syndrome section yesterday! So, reading this just made my day!! Seriously, with all the information I have been reading the past month and a half…it was this week that hit me hard, and I had to go to God, asking for more strength, patience, peace, and love to keep up this vision he laid in my heart. It is not easy to forgive President Obama or those who work in abortion clinics, but I need to. I recently heard, by Susanne Cox, that the chains of unforgiveness only bind you to the people that make your heart hurt and heavy-laiden. Until I forgive, then I am free of the pain as well. Kudos to you, for admitting the error! I am just happy more than 8% have their right to life. I pray the percentage that are allowed to live continues to rise!

    • LMA

      Robyn, why does the president and those who work in abortion clinics require your forgiveness? Just curious…

  • Thanks for the update! I think that this is really the key point:

    …abortion rates vary greatly from region to region across the US.

    Around here, I think that the 8% number is pretty accurate. Sadly, outside of my religious friends, it’s completely commonplace for pregnant moms to make offhanded comments indicating that they would have abortions if tests for DS came back positive — there’s not even a stigma against such talk, even when the mom is well into the second trimester. Just so sad.

    Anyway, thanks for speaking out and writing about this. It’s such an important topic.

  • Down syndrome statistics are slippery things… you really can’t get a handle on them. I’ve been trying to sort them out for a dozen years, since my daughter was born. The 92 percent abortion rate is bogus, and I believe the 50 percent is wrong as well.
    If you believe the latest reports that the incidents of Down syndrome births has increased (from one in about 700 to one in 691) then you simply cannot have an abortion rate of 50 or 90 percent of all conceptions with Down syndrome. That just does not add up. If you have an increased occurrence at the same time you have a high abortion rate, that means you have significantly increased the number of conceptions of Down syndrome at a unbelievable rate. (If it’s a 90 percent rate, then you’d have to believe that the incidents of DS conceptions has nearly doubled in recent times, which seems unlikely.)

    Although I have yet to get a definitive answer, I believe Dr. Brian Stotko of Children’s Hospital Boston has the best answer. Last fall he wrote that the abortion rate is really 90 percent of the cases where there is a DEFINITE prenatal diagnosis. He said only about 2 percent of parents get a definitive diagnosis, because a definitive diagnosis has required invasive testing. All this means is that the actual abortion rate would be very low–90 percent of 2 percent is 1.8 percent of ALL Down syndrome conceptions. This would explain why the live birth rate has not significantly changed.

    My gut says a 1.8 percent rate is too low, but there really is no way of actually knowing. However, we could see a true 90 percent abortion rate if the public latches on to the new non-invasive testing that was released last fall, which supposedly has a better than 95 percent accuracy rating. This would be a great tragedy. Individuals with Down syndrome have much to offer our world, if we normal people would just get over our prejudices against them.

    In the end, it really doesn’t matter what the abortion rate is. What matters far more is that babies with Down syndrome are rapidly becoming public enemy number 1, and are being targeted for extinction around the world. (Denmark and France boast even higher rates of abortion. And they do boast! They want to rid their countries of people with the condition.)

    Our best hope is honest education. We need to tell the truth about having a child with DS, and avoid the sentimentality. Kids with DS are not “little angels” who are “always loving,” etc. They are kids, who have a variety of emotions, and who make life very challenging, as do all children. And like all children, the rewards are great for helping them reach their potential and become contributing members of society.

  • Ok, so the 8% was from a 1980’s from a single hospital. So how extensive and accurate is the other source for 50%? I can’t find the source.

  • bellagrazi

    You may have gotten the number wrong, Bristol, but this is still a heartbreaking statistic. Thank you for the correction.

  • Another DS Mama

    Bristol, I’m not so sure your numbers were wrong. Nor that they were from a single hospital from the 1980s. Please check with the National DS Association or other national advocacy groups before you apologize further. I haven’t seen any sources or citations that the blogger/author has provided for her numbers. Did she give you any information on her sources?

  • Bruce O’H.

    Well, now a whole lot more people know what the more probable percentage is. You done good, Bristol 🙂

  • Gail Thatcher

    There are also many woman that are told that their babies will be born with Down Syndrom and when they are born they are fine. I’m truly not sure what this % is, but understand the rate is higher with woman of Asian ancestry. I don’t want to say right/wrong for any woman’s decision, but I do want to point out that not every pre-birth diagnosis of downs syndrom is correct.

  • chris

    The best thing Bristol can do for herself and her son is get a college degree. Her book is selling for .01 cents at amazon. I could be wrong maybe she is attending college and will soon graduate.

    • Michael Teuber

      Her book is selling for .01 cents at amazon.

      So is “Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance“, and its author can’t produce college transcripts either.

      p.s. that’s 1 cent, not .01 cents

      • BobbyJoe

        You are one sick piece of shit.

  • Paulette

    Bristol, not only will you listen to others, but you are more than willing to post corrected information. AND you promote her book! Good for you! Stand strong with God!

  • tina

    Bristol,I don’t think that you were totally wrong because it is really 80 to 90 percent of down syndrome children being aborted.Rick Santorum told Bob Schrieffer that statistic.Politifact say he is almost true you know how Politifact is.New York times did a article about it google it.

    • David

      Santorum is not at fault for repeating an oft-cited statistic. It’s just not accurate.

  • kate

    Nice one Miss Bristol. You can sense the closeness you have with Trig in the words you write when you mention him. He is very cute. 🙂

  • Techqueen333

    It is grossly offensive that you pass judgment on families who decide to abort fetuses diagnosed with DS in utero. Not every family has your family’s $$$. Your family can provide a nanny and whatever care Trig needs throughout his life. This is not the case for working and middle class families. They have to figure out a way to deal with the chronic illnesses many DS children suffer and, if the republicans have their way, many of these families won’t be able to afford insurance to cover that care. Further, the decision to give birth to a fetus with DS is not only a decision for the parents, but potentially for siblings and the extended family. Eventually, parents die and those DS children who outlive their parents will need care.
    Yes, I am well aware of the loving nature of DS children and all the reasons people are glad they made the decision to give birth despite a diagnosis of DS. The decision to abort is at least as complex and certainly deserving of respect and legal sanction.

    • Bristol, your original statistic was correct. I wrote a series of articles on Down syndrome and abortion for the National Catholic Register and my editor made me recheck the 90% statistic. It came from a Pulitzer Prize series winning of articles called “The DNA Age” by New York Times journalist Amy Harmon
      who cites a 1999 Journal article from the National Institutes of Health.
      I included the 92% statistic in my book “A Special Mother is Born” which contains 34 stories from parents of special needs children who see them as blessings from God, including my daughter Christina who has Trisomy 21, and Rick Santorum’s daughter Bella with Trisomy 18.
      But really, does 70% or 92% make that much of a a difference? The hard fact is, that in ours the most prosperous nation on earth, where people with Down syndrome are crashing through barriers each day; getting married, graduating high school and even college, driving cars, acting on TV and even swimming Lake Tahoe, we are rejecting them in overwhelming numbers.
      What ever happened to the concept of embracing diversity?
      When I married a man from El Salvador, many of my European-descended family opposed the marriage, but once they got to know my husband, hardworking, intelligent, loving towards me and our three daughters, old stereotypes were abandoned in favor of the truth. My daughter is no different, she wins over people’s hearts by her vivacious, affectionate personality and her persistence in working to achieve her goals. Soon, the labels associated with Down syndrome are inadequate to describe her and she becomes simply Christina.
      I wish Techqueen could see our kids as individuals, not merely expensive children who are the luxury of a few. We live on one income and have never encountered a shortage of medical or therapeutic assistance for our daughter in the ten years of her life. People with Trisomy 21 are individuals with the same human rights as you and me, and if a mom doesn’t fee up to raising such a child, there are over 200 families on a waiting list to adopt her child at the National Down Syndrome Adoption Network.
      No child with Down syndrome need ever be rejected for not living up to society’s false standards of perfection. My daughter has learning delays but is a contributing member or her family and society, her biggest obstacle is overcoming prejudice against people who are genetically diverse.

    • BobbyJoe

      Great post. Parents do NOT need guilt heaped on them when making this decision. AFTER ALL, Sarah herself briefly considered abortion. So who needs these holier than thou Palin’s guilting ANYONE about their PERSONAL decisions about their families.

    • Non-rich mom to a kid with Down syndrome. No nannie, just a very loving tight knit family whose world was changed for the better since this child came into our lives. Obamacare already ruined our insurance coverage. We used to have decent coverage until this year Our premiums went up by 40% and they are taxed like income now, so our taxes are insanely high now. Not only that but the coverage we used to get is non existent. Our out of pocket expenses have skyrocketed this year because of new obamacare regulation. I pray the conservatives can stop the nightmare that is obamacare and our daughter can get the care she needs. Our family is being put under financial strain so our insurance coverage and our wealth can be redistributed. How on earth anyone can think that solves any health care crisis in this country is beyond me.

  • Lynn


  • Rose

    Bristol, although reasons for abortion aren’t accurately tracked in the U.S., they are in other countries. I believe the statistic of about 90% is actually accurate for countries such as Canada and the U.K. I could be mistaken, but I think that is true. One important thing to realize (which you probably do, and others have probably pointed out) is that it that the 90% statistic is for babies PRENATALLY diagnosed with DS. There are still plenty of babies who were not detected because their mothers didn’t have prenatal testing, who are being born. So the statistic over all is not as high. But it is still high. I really don’t think you needed to apologize. Many advocates have used that number; you didn’t say anything different than what others have said. And the point is well taken: TOO MANY babies with Down syndrome are being aborted, mostly because of ignorance. That’s why we must keep speaking out and educating people about what life is realy like with a child or sibling with Down syndrome.

  • Kathleen

    Chris, the facts are that Bristol’s book is selling on Amazon as NEW for $16.20, hardcover edition. It is selling USED for, at the lowest price, 65 cents. There is a price listed for the audio version of $0.01, it’s from two private sellers who lists on Amazon. Just wanted to clarify.

  • Misty

    Thanks for the information Bristol. It’s not a bad thing to find out as much information as possible and talk about it without name calling. Thanks again!

  • Elizabeth

    Bristol, It takes grace and humility to share “corrections” to your posts. I support adults with disabilities and would not trade a single moment. Each day brings laughter and a chance to see the world through their eyes. I get to be “silly” and share the joy of living every day. It saddens me to think that others make the choice to miss out on such joy.

  • Operations are performed if they are found to have endometriosis with retrverted uterus, uterine fibroids or ovarian cyst. I will analyse in more detail each factor that may cause early abortion.

  • Crystal

    Being the mom of a SN child it breaks my heart to know that people think its ok to abort a child because they are unique. My son does not have DS but he does have a chromosome abnormality. I wouldnt give him up for anything in the world he is my everything. He is very loving and sweet and such a great child. He is so loving towards everyone and animals. Who cares if she got her information from the wrong place she corrected it and lets get past it.
    I say that God just spent more time on my child he is the only one in the world with his condition and NO one knows how things will work out but I say since he is the only one we will let him write his own story. Thank you Palin family for being an inspiration to others as well as show all these haters that you are strong and will continue to live your life and stand up for what you believe in.

  • Hi Bristol, I have followed your show and some other things you have done. I have a daughter with Down syndrome, so I always enjoy seeing things about Trig. Someone from the Down syndrome Baby Center board linked to this article. I really appreciate you putting this out there, because it is important for pregnant moms who get a Down syndrome diagnosis to know that they are not unique or unusual for deciding to carry to term. I’m a Christian, so abortion isn’t a consideration for me, but even people who don’t hold that belief should know that they can do this. Thanks again. PS, check out my blog to see some pics if my adorable little girl. I’m biased, but she’s pretty cute.

  • Emily Malsam

    At 20 years old I was told that the baby I was carrying had Down Syndrome and that I should consider an abortion because at such a young age I would not be able to cope with the child. I was pressured from my doctor and a genetics counselor for 2 months. I refused the amnio and assured them that I COULD cope with my child being born with DS and there was no need for increasing a miscarry rate to get a test result. I continued my pregnancy and much to their surprise my son was born without DS. I often wonder how many children are misdiagnosed in the womb and never given a chance to live. My son is “normal” by the standards of the masses, however, he was born with something called dyspraxia and I’m curious if the two possibly show some of the same signs inutero to cause a doctor to assume DS. Who knows. I would have been just as ecstatic to parent a child with DS as I am with my 3 children I have today….anyone who really should be a parent should be able to say that.

  • Ashley Marie Ostrowski

    I understand why people are upset with fetuses with DS being aborted but don’t forget that your family can afford to care and support your brother. Many can’t. And children with ailments are less likely to be adopted.

    • Chris

      Hi Ashley. A popular misconception is that having a child with DS is exponentially more expensive to raise that a “typical” child. While there certainly ARE more expenses, most of (and in many states ALL of) those “extra” expenses are paid for by the state. For example, in Kentucky (where we live) a child with DS has FREE early intervention therapy for their first three years, automatically qualifies for FREE Medicaid with no deductible (covers all medical bills), has FREE therapies provided as needed through the public school system, AND many states have programs (like the Michelle P Waiver in Kentucky) that provide income for the mom and other caregivers to provide any needed living supports for that child/adult.

      Our expense is not financial; as with ANY child, it is time and emotion. And when you invest in loving and caring for a child with special needs, you will be blessed far more than you ever give, and changed for the better. You will find quickly that what you thought would be sacrifice is actually reward, and you would not want your life or child any other way.

      Whether or not you agree that the state should help provide for children/adults with disabilities is another topic. I’m sure plenty of folks would rather kill them in utero than have tax dollars help provide for them to live full lives. Fortunately, society hasn’t quite degenerated that far yet.

  • Chris

    With all due respect to the mom/author quoted above saying the Down Syndrome abortion rate is closer to 50%, there is AMPLE independent research (beyond one mom’s reasoning) that puts the abortion rate for a prenatal diagnosis of Down Syndrome (those that CHOOSE to abort a child having been told they have Down Syndrome, not the parents that don’t know until the baby is born) at anywhere from 76%-94%. Here’s the National Center for Biotechnology Information (part of the National Institute of Health) report stating a 92% abortion rate for Down Syndrome babies:

    I could post links to dozens of reports and studies putting it in the 76%-94% range: I have NEVER heard a number as low as 70%, much less 50%, even by pro-choice groups.

    In the end, arguing whether it’s 83%, 92%, or somewhere in the middle is like arguing how dead you are. The point is that choosing to abort babies with Down Syndrome is GROSSLY disproportionate to non-Down Syndrome pregnancy abortions.