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Sunday, August 15, 2010

Some people are just idiots

I do a lot of debating about the issue of abortion and medical termination. I mainly do this on the's debate team board. Most people understand why someone would choose to terminate a pregnancy, but there are some who don't. About half of those are nice about why they don't understand, but the other half are downright cruel.

I posted something like this last night on one of the debates, and I will repost it here as an education for people.

1. People who terminate a pregnancy due to a poor prenatal diagnosis aren't doing it because they don't love their babies. They do. It isn't about wanting a perfect baby. A perfect baby doesn't exist. It's about making sure their babies feel no pain and don't suffer. These babies are very much wanted and very much loved. Parents are devastated when they received the diagnosis, and it's an agonizing decision to make. No one makes it lightly, and when those babies are gone, they are grieved for and missed. I just truly hate to see and hear, "It doesn't matter to me. I won't have that testing done. I'd love my baby no matter what." People need to realize how painful that is to a lot of families.

2. Over the past two years, I have often heard, "My aunt, cousin, sister, teacher, mother, etc., had that testing done, and it showed the baby had something wrong with it. When the baby was born, s/he was perfectly healthy." This only happens when a woman gets the genetic screening, not genetic testing. These screenings are the AFP and the Nuchal Fold, and they measure a patient's risk factor for having a baby with a chromosomal abnormality. They usually give a risk factor, such as the 1 in 10 that I had with Jenna, but both tests are well known for having false positives.

The people who say this DO NOT have family members who have had amniocentesis or CVS testing done. These tests are 99.98 percent accurate. Mistakes just don't happen. If these tests say a baby is going to have a chromosomal abnormality, they will. If it says the baby doesn't, then the won't. My maternal fetal medical specialist said he had never in all of this time of practicing seen or read about a mistake being made with the amniocentesis or the CVS.


cgd said...

This information is so important to be put out there. I feel lucky to have gotten no negative comments about the choice I made to medically terminate, but I know that this does not always happen. Thank you for being this voice. I have never looked at the debate boards on babycenter but I will check it out. Any links that you suggest.

biojen said...

That's a really good distinction to make. I went to grad school for genetics and didn't even think of telling people that. My quad screen was normal, and the baby couldn't have had much more wrong with him and still been in one piece. Those screenings are only a guideline to help doctors decide who needs further testing. I wish more people understood.