This is not the first, nor will it be the last time we ever hear anything like this. No, for some sad & strange reason, a large section of humanity is going backwards. Back to the time of Hitler and killing for the sake of developing some supposed "perfect" human specimen. There are many scholars, doctors, and others who feel that a child with any chromosomal defect or other possible disability should not be brought into this world. The majority of parents are counseled on how difficult life would be raising a child like that, and that abortion really would be best for everyone. It is very disturbing, and I have no doubt it is only going to get worse and further escalate as genetic screenings become broader. Yet one more reason why Autism Speaks makes me queasy. A bulk of the research they are funding is working toward finding genetic markers, which will undoubtedly lead to prenatal screening.
At any rate, a screening for Down Syndrome exists here and now today. It's been estimated that more than 90% of all pregnancies thought to be carrying a child with Down Syndrome are aborted. That's 9 out of 10 babies, 9 out of 10 human beings that will never be able to make a mark in the world--all because of an extra chromosome. It's sad to hear the stories of parents who were counseled by their "trusted" physician on why bringing such a child into the world is not advisable. There's also the rates of false-positives and other issues with the testing itself (risk of bleeding, miscarriage, etc. with amnios).
Back to the article from a that caught my attention.
"In my opinion, the moral thing for older mothers to do is to have amniocentesis, as soon during pregnancy as is safe for the fetus, test whether placental cells have a third chromosome #21, and abort the fetus if it does," he said, according to a Raleigh news and Observer report.
He told the newspaper he has no apologies for the remark.
"I know somebody who had a child like this, and it ruined their life," he said.
Amy Allison, executive director of the Down Syndrome Guild of Greater Kansas City, told the Associated Press, "I think you can see rather quickly why our community would be concerned about it when you are talking about eliminating a whole race of people."
ACTION: Contact UNC about Professor Harris at Office of the Chancellor, 103 South Building, Campus Box 9100, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-9100. Email firstname.lastname@example.org, call (919) 962-1365 or fax (919) 962-1647.
Reading this type of article just sickens me. And to think, this is someone teaching our future doctors and scientists. What will the world-view on disabilities and differences be in 10 years from now? 20 years? It's a scary thought. Prenatal screening is a slippery slope, and ultimately, I can only see it leading to bad things. Scratch that, it has already led to bad things.
All I know to do now, is to share my wonderful & beautiful child with the world, and to embrace others who, like my daughter, are different--and amazing because of it! I found this, and thought it was fitting. It is nice to see so many parents speaking out for their children (with Down Syndrome), I see many parents of autistic children (slowly but surely) following their lead.
I have previously written on what I call an assumed "Neurotypical Entitlement" that expectant parents often seem to feel they have, see here.