Susan's Blog

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Prenatal Testing and Abortion

What would you do if you knew that your unborn baby was carrying a disease? What would I do? This issue, discussed in the November 20 New York Times has sparked a new debate in abortion and prenatal testing. The answer is very different for me now than it would have been sixteen years ago, when I was pregnant with my first. This is still a matter of personal choice in our country, but that does not stop me from wondering where I stand. My feeling is, how would I know and really be able to trust that any condition was so acute that I would not be able to give that child a life? On the other hand, if the child suffered from his disease, what then?

Is it better not to have been born?

How could I make that choice for him?

But how horrible to be someone else who does not feel the way I do, and has no choice in the shape her life must now take?

With such testing, where will people draw the line between eliminating fetuses carrying incurable, fatal diseases and fetuses who are disabled in some way?

1 comment

Our first child will be born without a left ventricle (hypoplastic left heart syndrome). The first ultrasound missed it. The second did not. He’s going to need surgery immediately after birth, and will almost certainly not live an active life, though there are exceptions. The doctor offered to refer us to a late term abortion provider, but we declined. It’s not easy, and we still lose sleep each night. I don’t know where my cutoff is, but obviously this wasn’t it.

— added by Anonymous on Friday, November 25, 2005 at 1:23 pm