31 for 21: O is for Ohio

Every morning I receive Google alert emails with news stories that mention Down syndrome, Trisomy 21, and special needs. For a couple weeks, there was always a story about Ohio’s attempt at a law that would prohibit abortions motivated by a Down syndrome diagnosis.

What I found most interesting when reading these articles was how many women are steered by their doctors to terminate a pregnancy following a Ds diagnosis. That would certainly help explain the 2007 statistics that 90% of Down syndrome pregnancies end in abortion.

These articles made me wonder what my OB would have done had our genetic tests had a different result. Based on how she reacted to every other less than ideal situation, I think I have my answer. Second trimester bleeding? Go see a high risk specialist. Third trimester cramping? Go to the hospital. Down syndrome diagnosis? Take care of that.

As a naive young woman I probably would have made the hypothetical choice not to birth a baby that wasn’t “perfect.” It would have been a decision motivated by fear. Then I became pregnant and the choice was taken away from me, my body and Mother Nature making the decision instead. Whether you’re pro-life or pro-choice, it hurts you to the core when the decision is not your own.

I honestly don’t know what I would have done if we did receive a prenatal diagnosis. My heart would have wanted to keep the baby, but my mind would have been flooded with misconceptions and stereotypes. As much as I hated the surprise, there are times I’m thankful we didn’t know. No one could have prepared me for the  joy we’d miss out on because of one little girl.

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