Wednesday, 29 December 2010
Let me start by saying that I have never had a nuchal translucency test, and I doubt I ever will. With my first pregnancy, I turned down CVS testing, amniocentesis, the NT scan, and quad screening – and I will do the same with this one.
For legal reasons, I had to sign an acknowledgment that my doctor informed me that by waiting until my 20-week ultrasound to do any sort of testing for Down Syndrome or other chromosomal disorders, it might be too late under state law to terminate my pregnancy.
As I scrawled my name across the bottom of the page, I couldn’t help but think to myself, “Who terminates a pregnancy for Downs these days?”
The answer? Everyone. Except Sarah Palin, and she's an idiot.
At least that’s what my old friend Google wants me to believe. Depending on where you get your statistics, up to 90% of mothers terminate their pregnancy following a positive screening for Down Syndrome. Ninety percent.
Now, I realize that it’s mostly Christian websites advertising these statistics. And yes, I was raised Catholic. But that has absolutely nothing to do with my decision to decline testing.
I’m not here to ignite a pro-life vs. pro-choice debate. I understand that many mothers opt for prenatal screening before the 20-week scan so they can better “prepare” themselves for the possibility of raising a child with disabilities.
But for every mother whose mind has been put at ease by a nuchal translucency scan, another has spent months agonizing over her baby’s health just because her numbers came back with a slightly increased risk of a genetic disorder. Does a test performed at 12 weeks really prepare a mother any better than one done at 20?
My inclination is no. In my opinion, the possibility for a false positive at 12 weeks just cannot justify the insomnia and heartache. Especially when perfectly healthy babies give us enough sleepless nights as it is.
I just can't bring myself to agree to invasive testing with the sole purpose of termination. Even if the screening was definitive for a chromosomal disorder, it wouldn't change my mind. I've had the privilege of meeting plenty of adults and children with so-called "disabilities" who wouldn't be here if their mothers decided to terminate upon learning of their health issues. And I certainly didn’t spend a year of my life crying over negative pregnancy tests just to voluntarily say goodbye to this one.
Do you agree? Under what condition(s) would you end a pregnancy?