Down Syndrome is Not Something to be “Safe” From

Negative media connotations of Down syndrome may discourage people from keeping a baby with the condition.

Negative media connotations of Down syndrome may discourage people from keeping a baby with the condition.

by Eileen Haupt -

Just today, my daughter Sadie came up to me and gave be a big hug.  Why?  Because I happened to mention it was February 1st, a new month.  This is not unusual for her; she greets each new month with the same enthusiasm.  I remember one of such times, along with her hug, she cried, “Oh thank you, Mommy!”  Like I had something to do with it!  And don’t think this response is limited to the turn of the calendar.  One day not so long ago I happen to mention to Sadie that she had a dental check-up the next day.  Yes, believe it or not, I received a big hug and an “Oh, thank you!”  Seriously.

Such is the life of a mother of a child with Down syndrome.  The recipient of hugs and expressions of gratitude and joy for things most people take for granted.

But you would never know that from watching the Today Show.  An expectant couple were guests on Monday’s show on a segment about a new prenatal maternal blood test called Maternity21 Plus.  “Let’s get right to the good news,” says host Matt Lauer, inquiring about the results of the test they had taken a week ago.  “We are safe that the baby does not have Down syndrome,” answers the mother.

It pains me to hear Down syndrome talked about in such a negative light, especially on a show that millions of people will watch and come away with the idea that Down syndrome is something they are fortunate to be “safe” from.

Coincidentally, my entrance into the pro-life and advocacy world was marked by a Today Show episode 14 years ago when Sadie was an infant.  I watched with trepidation, curious on how the segment “Who Should Have an Amnio” would be handled. (Amnio is, of course, short for amniocentesis.)

My fears were realized as the guest, a gynecologist–after talking about mothers receiving the results of the test–said something to the effect of, “….and then they can decide whether to continue the pregnancy or not.”  I cried at the thought of babies like my precious infant daughter being treated as if they were disposable material.

Read more at The tragedy of viewing the birth of a child with Down Syndrome as something to be “safe” from.

[Via National Right Of Life News Today]

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