As many of you know, I am pro-choice. And, even if I did have a momentary lapse after looking at pictures of first trimester abortions, I have recovered. Because being pro-choice doesn’t mean that I have to think your choice (or mine) is good or even appropriate.
But if you are going to do it, be honest with yourself at least. Aborting a pregnancy, terminating a pregnancy, pregnancy interruption, losing a baby, letting it go, saving your baby from a “lifetime of suffering”... it all equals the same thing... choosing to end your baby’s life. That is a death sentence.
And I would do it.
You read that right. I know what it is like to be sitting in a doctor’s office with a belly full of broken baby. The difference was that, in my mind, my imperfect baby did not merit a place on Gordo’s broken baby list. He writes,
“If anything, late-term abortions should be less offensive, since they’re so often performed in order to save a woman from having to carry a fetus to term who has one of the following horrific conditions”
He put T21 on his “save me from this horror” list. He put my sweet baby on the hit list. When I let him know that Down syndrome is not a “horrific condition” and not worth a death sentence, he told me I must be lying about being pro-choice.
I am not lying. There are conditions on his list that I might not accept for my child. No, not the ones that are incompatible with life, like T18 or Potter’s syndrome... the other ones... the ones that are compatible... but are so very hard to live with. The truth is that I don’t know what I would do. And I will venture to suggest that you don’t either. Unless you are one of the few amazing parents out there who now know for sure, you just can’t sit back on your couch and speculate that you would choose life for any baby under any circumstance.
And why might I choose to terminate my baby? Because I am scared, selfish, ashamed, guilty, horrified... Because I have convinced myself that “letting it go” is “saving it from a life of suffering.” (Mainly my own suffering, but don’t tell me that.)
Or because I believe there are circumstances where people are better off dead.
Or because I read too much crap on the internet.
So let me say it again here on the internet, Down syndrome does not merit a death sentence. Doctors who deliver doom and gloom with a Trisomy 21 diagnosis do a terrible disservice to parents who are going through a very hard and very susceptible time.
Is my T21 girl a slow learner? Yes. At ten months old, it took her at least twenty readings of a certain book before she caught on to the game “How big is baby?” and she only throws one arm up into the air while squealing with laughter. I appreciate those who would take me to Kansas to spare me this horror, but thanks anyway, I can live with it.