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This week brought news of a vitally important medical development for millions of future parents. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine reported that a new fetal DNA test is far more accurate and much less risky than current methods at identifying—and ruling out—serious genetic disorders including Down syndrome and Trisomy 18. Though still expensive (up to $2,000) and not yet covered by most insurers, the new blood test for pregnant women could bring a new generation of families peace of mind—or a crucial early warning—without first turning to invasive procedures like amniocentesis.

As the Boston Globe explained, the findings from the Boston researchers (funded by the test's creator, Illumina) could pave the way "for a new generation of prenatal genetic tests to be offered to all pregnant women." But because earlier and more accurate information about catastrophic fetal disorders could lead some women to terminate their pregnancies, a medical advance that could be a blessing for many Americans will be seen as a curse by the anti-abortion forces that now dominate the Republican Party. And as the flood of draconian abortion restrictions in states like Kansas, Alabama and Arizona suggests, conservatives can be counted on to undermine the use of the new test—or perhaps even ban it outright.

To understand why, a quick overview is in order. As the New York Times reported, the NEJM study "found that the fetal DNA test was 10 times better in predicting cases of Down syndrome than the standard blood test and ultrasound screening, and five times better in predicting the other disorder, Trisomy 18. It also greatly reduced the number of false-positive results." While a negative result from fetal DNA found in a pregnant woman's blood would rule out Down syndrome and Trisomy 18, a positive finding "would still need to be confirmed with invasive tests, because in more than half the cases in which the newer test predicted a disorder, there was no chromosomal abnormality." Dr. Diana Bianchi, the executive director of the Mother Infant Research Institute at Tufts Medical Center's Floating Hospital for Children and lead author of the study explained, "Nine out of 10 women who are currently being referred for further testing would not need invasive tests" like amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling, which can be stressful, much more costly and carry small risks of miscarriage.

Please read below the fold for more on this story.

But as the Globe suggested, for anti-abortion activists that good for American women will negated by what they perceive as complete evil:

Since 2011, four companies have begun offering prenatal DNA tests that use a vial of the mother's blood to screen for conditions in which her fetus has abnormal numbers of chromosomes, such as Down syndrome. The research published Wednesday is the first US study to compare these new genetic tests with standard screening methods in large numbers of low-risk pregnant women, and it found the tests were more accurate and produced far fewer false positive readings.

That means fewer women who get tested would have to confirm their result with invasive tests such as amniocentesis, which carry a small risk of miscarriage. It could also lead to more women being screened with the new technology and more abnormal fetuses being identified at an early stage of pregnancy—when parents could consider having an abortion.

Dr. Hank Greely, director of the center for law and the biosciences at Stanford University predicted, "I think non-invasive prenatal testing is likely to be very, very widely adopted." But with that progress will come controversy. "I think that is likely to lead to some increase in the number of Down syndrome fetuses that are aborted," Greely concluded, adding, "How big an increase, I don't think we know."

One approach the GOP will certainly take is to try to limit access to or outright ban abortion in cases of fetal abnormalities. Last week, South Dakota Republicans tried—and failed for now—to get a bill out of committee banning abortion in cases of Down syndrome:

Under the measure, a doctor who performed or attempted an abortion sought because a fetus had been diagnosed with Down syndrome could have been charged with a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a $4,000 fine. A woman seeking such an abortion could not have been penalized.
Rep. Steve Hickey, R-Sioux Falls, explained he reluctantly voted against the bill because its passage could complicate an ongoing legal challenge to other abortion restrictions recently passed by GOP-dominated South Dakota.  “We all agree with this bill,” he lamented, “but there's a bigger battle."

And his Republican colleagues in other states are fighting it by other means. While Texas allows abortions in cases of fetal anomalies, in violation of Roe v. Wade the procedure is now illegal altogether 20 weeks after conception. (Combined with harsh new restrictions that have shuttered a third of the clinics in the Lone Star State, that law produced a horror story for one Texas couple who learned only in her 19th week that their child "had a brain defect so severe that the doctor described it as incompatible with life.")  But as ThinkProgress detailed last week, states like Alabama and Oklahoma are trying new approaches to erect new barriers to what the National Right to Life Council deemed a woman's "search and destroy mission:"

Two obscure abortion proposals are currently advancing in Oklahoma and Alabama that would target women during some of the most emotionally painful moments in their lives. Both bills seek to prohibit women from having an abortion based on fatal fetal abnormalities unless their doctor provides them with "alternate options" first -- essentially, information about perinatal hospice centers that can care for the infants in the first few weeks or months of their lives, before they succumb to their fatal medical conditions.
To be sure, as ThinkProgress rightly noted, "Perinatal hospice centers are an important resource for parents who are faced with a devastating diagnosis that reveals their pregnancy is doomed." The centers helped grieving parents spend what little time they have with their child and help them with the process of saying good-bye. But many families seeking an abortion have already grappled with the heartbreaking end of life decision; for them the intervention of the state is just more torment. Phoebe Day Danziger, who decided to have an abortion after learning her baby would quickly die from severe abnormalities, explained:
These decisions aren't really about "life" in the traditional way that term is used in debates over abortion rights. In reality, they're decisions about the best end-of-life care that a family can provide for a child who they will not have the chance to raise. "In our case, abortion was a parenting decision -- the most important and powerful one I have yet to make," Day Danziger noted.
To deny women like Day Danziger the moral agency to make perhaps the most painful decisions of their lives, Republicans in states like Arizona and Kansas want to prevent them from getting the information they need to make any choice at all.

With Senate Bill 142 signed into law last March by Governor Sam Brownback, Kansas moved to the forefront of the "Right to Lie" movement. That is, under SB 142, physicians who refuse to test for or communicate to parents findings of severe fetal defects are shielded from civil suits in so-called "wrongful birth" cases. The Kansas law, to which Brownback added the message "Jesus + Mary," states:

No civil action may be commenced in any court for a claim of wrongful life or wrongful birth, and no damages may be recovered in any civil action for any physical condition of a minor that existed at the time of such minor's birth if the damages sought arise out of a claim that a person's action or omission contributed to such minor's mother not obtaining an abortion.
(While Kansas has banned lawsuits by parents against physicians who refused to inform them of catastrophic fetal disorders, a new Iowa bill now under consideration would allow women to sue their doctors for having performed a legal abortion at all.)

In Kansas and Arizona, social conservatives are encouraging—and protecting—medical malpractice to help deceive parents about the true health of their fetuses. There will be no more multimillion dollar judgments against doctors like those in Oregon, New Jersey and Washington because, as Kari Ann Rinker of the Kansas chapter of the National Organization for Women worried, "I believe it would allow them to lie about the results of an amniocentesis or simply opt out of even performing an amniocentesis that would normally be a part of standard care."

Sadly, Republicans across the nation are rapidly succeeding in making medical malpractice part of "standard care" for women seeking an abortion. Whether regarding potential birth defects, the spurious abortion-breast cancer link, fetal pain and mythical "post-abortion syndrome," doctors are being required to lie to their patients. More and more, physicians are being mandated to provide medically unnecessary and invasive ultrasound procedures in needlessly regulated facilities solely for the purpose of making Americans' reproductive rights a thing of the past. Meanwhile, states like Iowa are already trying to outlaw routine and safe practices like “doctors prescribing abortion-inducing drugs from remote locations, typically using a video link.” The slippery slope from such bans to restrictions or outright prohibitions on new fetal DNA testing techniques is a short one.

Simple genetic testing for fetal abnormalities, meanwhile, is the future for American women and their families. And while it is not without its ethical quandaries (imagine tests for eye or hair color, etc.), the benefits are profound. "The current testing scares the wits out of a very large number of women, relatively speaking, who when they go through further testing are found to have totally normal fetuses," said Dr. Michael Greene, chief of obstetrics at Massachusetts General Hospital, who wasn't involved in the study. "With this new test, the number of women who get inappropriately or improperly labeled as having an abnormal fetus is very small. So that's a major advantage."

A major advantage, indeed, as 29 year-old Jennifer Fontaine can attest. After a standard screening showed an elevated risk of Trisomy 18 in her fetus, Fontaine chose a "free-cell" DNA test over amniocentesis. "I wanted the noninvasive procedure," she said. Her DNA screen was negative for Trisomy 18, and her daughter, Morgan, was born healthy.

But women who instead receive the worst possible news will have advantages, too. They and their families will be armed with the knowledge to make the most private—and for many, the most difficult—choice imaginable.

Unless, that is, the Republican Party and its anti-abortion allies prevent it from ever happening. After all, American women can have no right to choose if there is no right to know.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 12:00 PM PST.

Also republished by Pro Choice.

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Comment Preferences

  •  And the argument is going to be (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marykk, Andrew F Cockburn

    That aborting a child on the basis of a birth defect promotes the notion that said defect indicates the child has no value. It's going to depend, again, on where one defines life beginning. What is the difference between abortion in this case, versus leaving the child to die after birth if it is born with an abnormality? Since life is argued to be continuous pretty much from the point of conception this will be a hard sell. There's also the weird future of genetic manipulation seen via movies like Gattaca. I foresee a future in which people screen to determine if a child will be gay or not, and take preventative action if it is.

    by DAISHI on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 12:09:17 PM PST

    •  It depends on a lot of things (13+ / 0-)

      all of which are personal.  Some of which make perfect sense to me, some of which don't, and some of which I'd be on the fence about.  

      I had a pregnancy that went very bad early on, spent a weekend in the library reading about non-Down trisomy disorders and prayed for a miss (which, as it happened, I got.)  If it had been Down, I'd have been really conflicted.  

      When I worked as a guardian ad litem, I once represented a baby whose first adoption blew up when the prospective adopters learned she had been born missing one finger.  I rejoiced for the baby and the parents who were only too glad to welcome her.  

      All knowledge can be used for good or evil. Knowing when which is which is sometimes another story.

      If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

      by marykk on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 12:43:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Even with Downs it some serious guessing (11+ / 0-)

        While some Downs suffers are functional (say IQ >75) the average IQ, I was told, is 40

        That's a serious burden on all involved, and one which often ends up in the hands of State care, grievously underfunded State care at that

        •  I've been around a lot of kids with Downs (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          i saw an old tree today, Mayfly

          Doesn't scare me as much as a lot of things.

          If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

          by marykk on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 04:50:10 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Er, "been around"? How high was their function? (0+ / 0-)

            I was blessed to be related to a Downs adult who was IQ >75.  Such an awesome person and I miss him.  But if average is IQ 40, that means half are at or below that, and that's really, really non-functioning.  I never met a non-functioning Downs person, and I doubt you have, too, as I think you would have mentioned it in your post if you had.  It might actually "scare" you into exhibiting a little sympathy for the parents who have to take care of their kids with IQ <40 on a day-to-day basis.  

            And let's be honest, "been around" ain't the same thing as having to take care of someone day after day.

        •  My perspective shifted (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          marykk, Lashe, pennyck, Ceri Cat

          as I aged into the higher-risk group for Down Syndrome births, ironically.  As a younger woman I would have been much more likely to outlive my child (DS lifespan has increased to their 50s, with nearly all having dementia by their 40s) and be able to advocate for him/her, not to mention possibly have siblings to assist with care issues later on; fortysomething parents who don't already have children will most likely have to simply trust in a system to advocate for their disabled adult children.  That was a tough realization.

          "Conservative principles" are marketing props used by the Conservative Movement to achieve political power, not actual beliefs. -Glenn Greenwald

          by latts on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 06:31:45 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I can relate (0+ / 0-)

            I have a child with a suspected autistic spectrum disorder (still trying to get tests done). My life expectancy at this point is around 20-30 years more (heart defect). If he is autistic and really not functional as an adult WTF happens to him once I'm gone? His mother is already incapable of dealing with him.

            I wish I had stocks in aluminium these days. All that foil would be a great investment opportunity.

            by Ceri Cat on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 06:47:49 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  As long as life is dependent on the mother's womb (28+ / 0-)

      then the mother should be able to decide what is best for her body, as well decide what is possible in terms of her ability to care for a child that might be severely disabled.

      Because it is not the GOP is NOT helping working mothers.

      If we had two years maternity leave, guaranteed 100% care for our disabled, and quality daycare that is guaranteed, then let's talk.

      Until then, reality bites.

      Separation of Church and State AND Corporation

      by Einsteinia on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 12:45:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It should be suggested to any (16+ / 0-)

        rep, state or federal, suggesting the restriction of testing and the curtailing of abortion availability in any bill they put forward that it then must also legislate the state or federal-provided coverage of care, 100%, in lieu of the choice they've denied.
        It is hardly a good trade. But if a government intrudes so intimately as to legislate a woman's womb, it should not be shy then of being responsible for the consequences.

        That's the non-emotional response that occurs to me.

        My wife works for our county ARC [Association for Retarded Citizens (used to be "Children")]. She makes medical and dental appointments for the "residents", as is the proper term, and delivers them to and from those appointments, recording everything that is said and done and delivering any prescriptions or referrals to the resident nurse for each of the 7 homes that are my wife's responsibility. She loves her work. A good number of her residents are high-functioning, working in the community alongside you and me and our neighbors. It may take a time before you can tell there is anything different about them. They earn a wage, can date, come and go but with a curfew, but can't drive if they're living in a residence funded by government resources.
        Others are the Down Syndrome people you meet everywhere you go. Still others have no power of speech and are in wheel chairs.
        My wife tells me of an improved quality of life for residents of all descriptions. She hears from families and from staff what conditions some of her people have come from. She shares with me their joys, their trials, their heartaches...
        But they're living lives as fully as they can and are given opportunities that sometimes leave me a bit envious, but only for a moment.
        I'd been married to my wife for about 20 years when she took this job, moving to it from having been a hospice home health aide. I'm proud of who my wife is. But the first time we encountered some of her residents while out shopping and they screamed in delight at the sight of her...
        Mick Jagger couldn't expect a better reception. And my eyes well up when I think of what she does for them and how they love her in return.

        I'm hoping to see my first grandchild within a year or two. Like all good prospective grandparents, I hope for the best of health for mother and baby when the time comes my son and d-i-l make that decision.
        So, yes, I am torn. And I have a stake in that eventuality. My primary concern will be for my incredible, beautiful and nearly perfect daughter-in-law when that time comes. I know her choices will be best.
        Out of my Liberal philosophy, I believe in freedom of information, especially in critical instances. I believe in the freedom of all human beings to be self-determined. And I believe in a government that enables rather than restricts.

        And I believe in Life. A life well-lived, no matter the circumstances, is beautiful.

        No one is "pro-abortion". Everyone, save the sociopathic, is Pro-Life.

        We can not let those who are so sure that their way is the only way legislate their morality over their fellow Americans'. However noble their ideals may be, the ends do not justify the means.

        But I am just a man. It is her body. And no one, save (a) God, should have authority over that basic personal integrity. No one should be able to intrude so intimately, no matter the reason.

        "Non-violence is a powerful and just weapon which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it. It is a sword that heals." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

        by Gentle Giant on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 02:30:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  My though exatly (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Einsteinia, BachFan, Gentle Giant

          but they are unlikely to put their money where their mouth is...
          1000 Recs!

        •  basic personal integrity (4+ / 0-)

          "We can not let those who are so sure that their way is the only way legislate their morality over their fellow Americans'. However noble their ideals may be, the ends do not justify the means."

          There in lies the problem.  How can we be sure down the road that those who legislate one process or aspect won't want to legislate another.  How long before the gene for homosexuality is discovered, will they then mandate testing and termination, or possibly just terminate the "host"?

          This indeed is a complex moral question, however it should never involve the state or anyone other than the woman and her physician in private.  I would include the father if this was a consensual pregnancy, although I suppose that too would become a major burden and intrusion on the women's body.

          Your wife is a blessing for us all.

          "To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medication to the dead." Thomas Paine

          by My two cents worth on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 03:42:19 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I hope you wife doesn't mind, Gentle Giant, but I (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Gentle Giant

          love you.

          "Stand your ground" laws promote aggression rather than discretion."

          by Mayfly on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 06:27:40 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Your wife is an angel in both of her careers. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          She once helped people die with grace and dignity, which is an incredible gift given at a terrible time.

          Now she helps people live with grace and dignity.

          Many thanks to your wife, and to you for supporting her.

          On the whole, I prefer not to be lectured on patriotism by those who keep offshore maildrops in order to avoid paying their taxes. - Molly Ivins

          by Lashe on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 02:44:29 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly (0+ / 0-)

        If you cannot get pregnant, just STFU about abortions. It's none of your business.

    •  Of course the difference (17+ / 0-)

      Is the amount of pain the infant experiences in those few minutes, days or weeks of independent life.  But hey, what does the torment of an infant matter in the face of the smug moral superiority of people who will never carry a child, much less have to decide the fate of one's own?

      "Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom." -- G.W.Carver

      by northbronx on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 12:48:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Who would CHOOSE to condem a baby to this? (13+ / 0-)

        "essentially, information about perinatal hospice centers that can care for the infants in the first few weeks or months of their lives, before they succumb to their fatal medical conditions."

        Never heard of a perinatal hospice center, pretty sure there's none around here, and doubt insurance would cover it. Even so, to put someone through a few weeks or months of pain while waiting to die? Some folks don't deserve to be called human!

        •  I usually call them (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          old not-dead-yet white guys.  When I'm feeling charitable.

          "Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom." -- G.W.Carver

          by northbronx on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 02:16:49 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Racist. Seriously. nt (0+ / 0-)

            It's all a Communist PLOT!

            by quiet in NC on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 03:54:33 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm sorry? (0+ / 0-)

              Are you saying that my comment is racist, or that their attitudes are rooted in racism?

              "Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom." -- G.W.Carver

              by northbronx on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 04:20:11 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Actually, (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                quiet in NC

                your comment is ageist ("old not-dead-yet"), racist ("white"), and sexist ("guys"). I've met people of all ages, colors and genders who suffer from that smug sense of superiority that allows them to climb on their high horse and attempt to dictate their own morality to others. I know several younger people, several black people, and several women (some are two of those, though none are all three) who are vehemently, viciously opposed to abortion for any reason. They'd likely praise such a perinatal hospice facility to the skies.

                •  So you know (0+ / 0-)

                  young people, blacks and women with the attitudes of old not-yet-dead white guys.  (Maybe I should throw Christofascist into the mix?  That's probably the common denominator.)  Congratulations.  And let's face facts: lots of people hold these beliefs, but it's largely caucasian males, many of whom are over 60 years of age, who are making and voting on these laws.

                  I have no problem with perinatal hospice.  Hospice generally, from my experience, is a great way to manage end-of-life.  I have a huge problem with families being forced to depend on such services -- which I've never even heard of, despite living in the largest city in the country -- when there are other legal options available to them.  I would imagine they're not common at all in rural America, where even the nearest NICU might be a hundred miles away.

                  "Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom." -- G.W.Carver

                  by northbronx on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 08:54:48 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Speaking of "facts"... (0+ / 0-)

                    you took a negative connotation and assigned a race to it.  That is the very definition of racism...and the other 'isms too.  
                    Fun story....I live a small town that has one black guy in it..well used to have one black guy.   A couple months ago someone stole a car from an neighboring small town--and funny thing, it showed up in the black guys yard, so now he lives in the county jail.  That makes 100% of the black guys from this town stupid theives.  Does that mean I have the right to consider all black guys stupid theives?  By your reasoning I can.  

                    It's all a Communist PLOT!

                    by quiet in NC on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 03:09:30 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

        •  Bet there's money to be made there (0+ / 0-)

          Bet the ones making the money are the same ones promoting not telling the parents.

          Women create the entire labor force.
          Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

          by splashy on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 03:30:10 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I never heard of perinatal hospices before. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          How do I find out if my WA community has them? And where do they fit in the current insurance profile under ACA?

    •  Fetal abnormalities (13+ / 0-)

      I've known people who refused to get amniocentesis even though they were more advanced in age at the time of their pregnancy because they had already decided they would never abort no matter what was wrong with the fetus.  And I'm fine with that.

      But every child born with abnormalities is likely going to be a child that costs more, maybe for awhile or maybe for a lifetime.  And so we then see how much society really "values" the life of that human.  

      I always find it ironic how the most fiscally conservative, anti-welfare, anti-government programs states are the ones that simultaneously fight for every child to be born.   Since I doubt not all those parents are part of the 1%, it's likely to be an ongoing financial challenge. If they're lucky, they'll have some form of insurance; if not, they'll be having lots of bake sales and car washes.


    •  What is the difference? (0+ / 0-)

      Follow the money. It costs a lot of money to provide hospice care. Money that wouldn't be spent if the doomed fetus was aborted.

  •  People Who Ignore Birth Control And Screening (10+ / 0-)

    Are the ones that are likely to keep rolling the dice until kid #4 or #5 turns up with a severe disability.  That house full of kids (often with more than one in diapers) are suddenly getting a lot less attention.  I've seen this happen more than once to folks who plan to have kids "as long as God wants them to," while ignoring the fact that God is a notorious prankster.

    I'm not sure I'm making a point here, but it's a mindset  which I do not understand.

    Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness. -Pascal

    by bernardpliers on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 12:09:35 PM PST

  •  Is there a test to see if a fetus will become a (7+ / 0-)


  •  I'm over 45, male and no kids... (20+ / 0-)

    My wife and I have finally come to the conclusion we should remain childless because if we have a child at this stage in my life and it is special needs, chances are I won't be alround long enough with income to provide the proper care for a special needs child.  With better ealy warning tests available, we would not have the same reservations. So think about that prolife Republicans, please.  

    It's all a Communist PLOT!

    by quiet in NC on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 12:16:26 PM PST

  •  Some disabilities can be (13+ / 0-)

    lived with but there others that are too tragic and fatal to be viable. I don't know what the right thing to do is, but we ought to have access to all the information possible.

    A true craftsman will meticulously construct the apparatus of his own demise.

    by onionjim on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 12:18:58 PM PST

  •  The Kansas Law (5+ / 0-)

    AKA:  The Right to Lie Act.

  •  MIT's Technology Review article (7+ / 0-)

    on implications of fetal DNA testing, Too Much Information, by Amanda Schaffer, Jan/Feb, 2014:

    Pregnant women and their partners can already peer at an unborn child’s chromosomes: with amniocentesis, they can learn about the presence or, more likely, absence of large-scale genetic defects, often gaining peace of mind. But only a small percentage of parents-to-be take the opportunity, because the procedure is invasive and uncomfortable—a large needle is inserted into the amniotic sac—and causes miscarriage in roughly one in 400 cases.

    Researchers have long hoped to develop a noninvasive alternative. Ever since scientists discovered, in the 1990s, that pregnant women’s blood contains substantial amounts of fetal DNA, they’ve theorized that they could use this genetic material to test for fetal abnormalities like an extra copy of chromosome 21, which causes Down syndrome.

    That technology has now arrived (see “Prenatal DNA Sequencing,” May/June 2013). Several companies have introduced genetic tests that use blood drawn from the mother. These tests can be performed earlier in pregnancy than amniocentesis is usually done, which means that if the results suggest an abnormality, women and their partners have more time to grapple with whether to have an abortion or prepare for a child with special needs. If the results are reassuring, the cloud of anxiety dissipates sooner.

    I can't help it. I love the state of Texas. It's a harmless perversion. - Molly Ivins

    by rsmpdx on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 12:54:36 PM PST

    •  Large Needle? (0+ / 0-)

      I have performed many hundreds of amniocenteses and must disagree with calling the needle, "Large". I would typically use a 22 gauge needle which is smaller than the typical 20 gauge needle used for blood draws. The length of the needle was about 3.5" long. The most uncomfortable part of the procedure according to the women undergoing it was the local anesthetic infiltration. While not the most fun that can be had lying down the procedure should not be horrible.

  •  Early intervention (5+ / 0-)

    I recall hearing that one of the issues with Down syndrome is an extra abundance of a certain protein produced by chromosome 21 (makes sense) that leads to some of the abnormalities in brain development.  We need a way to either block the protein from forming, or shut the third chromosome off entirely.

    There is no cure for trisomy 21, but if we can eventually develop a treatment for it that can prevent the child from being low functioning (as many high functioning Down syndrome children go on to lead stable, productive lives) then early screening and detection will become even more crucial.

    The Cake is a lie. In Pie there is Truth. ~ Fordmandalay

    by catwho on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 12:55:49 PM PST

    •  that test has a lot of false positives.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      that leads expensive and more risky amnio.  The new test would be better.

      You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

      by murrayewv on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 04:10:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Downs Syndrome (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Downs is not "just" about mental retardation. Those afflicted suffer a host of consequences including a high rate of heart defects, GI problems, more rapid aging with significantly shorter life expectancies and earlier manifestations of expected age related degenerations to the heart and brain including dementia. And remember, Trisomy 21 (Downs) is the cream of the crop of major genetic defects! Other trisomies are much worse!

    •  help for Down's (0+ / 0-)

      I have read that a particular nutrient regimen is in fact effective in mitigating the effects of trisomy 21, but I cannot at this time lay my hand on the references for you. (Recently moved)

      Of course, mainstream medicine is absolutely convinced that nutrition is useless and evil because it doesn't cost the earth and help them put their kids through college. So don't expect to find any mention of it by the AMA.

      •  Nutrition isn't useless, but... (0+ / 0-)

        I think the problem is that it's over-hyped and people are getting taken for a ride by unscrupulous health food marketers as a result.

        For example, people without Celiac or gluten sensitivities who switch to gluten-free almost invariably feel better. This is probably a result of having to eat less processed food and more healthfully overall than it is from eliminating gluten by itself.  

        And the same marketing teams who decry "big pharma" will happily sell you a month's supply of ditch weed for $30.  How much fresh fruit and vegetables could you buy with that?

        I think the nutrition supplement industry is also getting hit hard by actual scientists saying "you know, multi-vitamins are useless and you are wasting your money" since that was such a huge market for them.  I've stripped out the multis and just stick with my targeted iron, Vitamin D, and calcium, since those are the three things I've historically had trouble with.

        The Cake is a lie. In Pie there is Truth. ~ Fordmandalay

        by catwho on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 06:10:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Let's see (16+ / 0-)

    Do we treat adult women (and their partners) as competent individuals with the ability to make decisions for themselves and their families, according to the best information available?  Do we provide them with this information in the most timely and safest manner possible?  Or do we treat women (and their partners) as minor children in state custody, incapable of making decisions for themselves?

    That's what this is about: letting adults make decisions about their lives.  This test screens for three very serious genetic defects, two of which are usually fatal, if not before birth then shortly after birth.  As in, 5% of individuals diagnosed with Trisomy 18 will see their first birthday.  Only half will even survive to birth.  Those that do survive to birth are profoundly disabled.  The numbers are worse with Trisomy 13.  Down Syndrome is the least severe of these diseases, and while individuals with this condition can go on to lead full and independent lives, the reality is that they will probably need supports -- financial if not material and/or supervisory -- for their entire lives.  That's a huge burden for parents to face, given that the life expectancy for a Down Syndrome patient can be into the 60s.

    I cannot imagine the pain a family must face when the news of a genetic defect of this nature is delivered, but adults have the right to hear this news and deal with it as they see fit.  It is part and parcel of being a responsible adult.  How dare the politicians try to play G-d with the lives of the families they bleat so loudly that they are defending?

    "Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom." -- G.W.Carver

    by northbronx on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 01:08:37 PM PST

    •  Craig Carter wrote: (0+ / 0-)

      Other than telling us how to live, think, how (and who) to marry, pray, vote, invest, educate our children, and now, die, I think the Republicans have done a fine job of getting (and keeping) government out of our lives."

      I don't know who wrote this, but the following came from a comment on the Kos.  "Freedom has two enemies: those who want to control everyone (and everything) around them, and those who don't believe they need to control themselves."

      My problem with those who want to control other people's decisions is that they usually have no interest in controlling themselves.

      The intention of bullies and rapists is to control their victims.  They never think about controlling themself because they have learned to blame their victims for any and all feelings they have.  They think if they can control their victims, they can change how they, themselves, feel.  Most rational people can see the fallacy in that way of thinking.

      Those who want to control others will never trust the ones they can't control; nor will the trust the ones they can.  It is not possible to trust other people until one stops trying to control them.

      It is believed that those who want to control everyone and everything simply want to feel safe, and at peace.  That will never happen either.

      My main problem with most of the people who want to control another person's choices, is that their reason for doing so is almost always, if not always, based on opinions they hold that they assume to be true.  If one can not prove a belief to be true, they have an opinion, and not a fact.  

      And yet, so many people want to believe their opinions are facts.  And once they make that assumption, they start acting as if their opinions are more important than the opinion of anyone who disagrees with them.

      For instance, no one can prove the existence of God.  Because that can not be proven, that is an opinion, and not a fact.  And yet, how many people act as if it were a fact, and then respond to others as if it were.

      I believe everyone has the right to their opinion, but it is not rational or healthy to believe something is a fact, when it is merely an opinion.  

      My guess is that people who have this problem, also have a hard time admitting to the possibility that they might be wrong.  My guess is it damages their self-image.  And if  person cannot admit to the possibility that they don't know everything, how are they ever supposed to learn anything new?  And how easy will it be for them to support other people, their kids, or their family, from learning things that are different from what they think they know?

      As a human being, I am not here to work "for" other people, I am here to work "with" other people.  Those who want to control my choices, no matter how well-intentioned they might  want to think they are, are trying to get me to work for them.  I have no interest in that possibility.

  •  Well, the mouth breathers on the right (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, OldDragon, BonnieJeanneTonks

    lost the argument that they were smarter and more productive than Jews a long time ago.
    Then they lost the argument about Asians.
    Then they lost the argument about blacks and Hispanics.
    Then they lost the argument about LBGTs.

    So they really need a big population of profoundly impaired kids to keep their self-respect.

    They had better watch out for the Downs population, though. If the speech deficits get cured that's another clear loss.

  •  And of course withholding money for care (6+ / 0-)

    Once born. My heart goes to the parents of babies testing positive, there is no easy choice, and other people's agendas only make it all so much worse.

  •  I feel certain that all the legislators (9+ / 0-)

    voting to prohibit abortion in the case of Down syndrome are also working hard to ensure full funding of prenatal care for all mothers, universal healthcare coverage for children, fully funding special education services, and creating strong social safety nets for Down syndrome adults where they have access to the care and caregivers they may need.

    Because anything else would be inhumane madness.

    Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

    by elfling on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 01:52:13 PM PST

    •  I hope you aren't holding your breath. (3+ / 0-)
    •  You know who actually tried to do that? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      murrayewv, elfling

      Henry Hyde, who in 1994 amended ERISA to include insurance from birth for babies adopted within the first 30 days of life - no preexisting condition exclusions.

      If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

      by marykk on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 03:00:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I didn't know that was him. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Good for him. That's one of those things that everyone takes for granted, forgetting that the free market would never choose such a rule on its own.

        Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

        by elfling on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 08:04:55 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It was (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          elfling, Lashe, pennyck

          the irony (for me, anyway) is that I had worked my ass off to get a provision like that passed in my state, only to have it shot down in about 2 seconds flat by the insurance lobby. Hyde slips this little provision into OBRA, nobody even sees it and there you go.  To his credit, he was heard to say at the time that he did it because, if he was going to insist on preventing abortions, he felt an obligation to try to see that there could be homes for the children of unplanned pregnancies.

          If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

          by marykk on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 08:10:09 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Iowa (5+ / 0-)

    The Iowa bill proposed that would allow women to sue their abortion providers received a blistering editorial in the Des Moines Register. It is not going anywhere.

    Gov. Branstad stacked the Iowa Board of Medicine with anti-choice zealots. The Board voted to ban telemedicine abortion on "safety" grounds in spite of evidence that the procedure is safe. Planned Parenthood challenged the ban in court, and the court issued an injunction against the Board of Medicine halting the ban and allowing the procedure to continue subject to a ruling later.

    •  You know, they talk about "liberal guilt"... (5+ / 0-)

      I'm sorry we let Conservatives get so much wide-spread power. We should have fought them harder when they first reared their ugly agenda.

      "Non-violence is a powerful and just weapon which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it. It is a sword that heals." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

      by Gentle Giant on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 02:41:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  there is a very good article about the GOP's... (0+ / 0-)

      stealth war on abortion in the Jan. 30, 2014 hard copy of the Rolling Stone.  On line, it was dated Jan. 15.  The cover has a picture of the singer "Lorde" on it.

      This article should convince all rational thinking progressives of how zealous these people are.  They are so convinced of their righteous good intentions, they are in denial of where this road is leading.

      They have to think they are "right" about everything, and "don't try to confuse me with any facts."  To have to admit to how wrong they are, I believe would be devastating.  I think it would be similar to watching an addict of any kind go cold turkey.

      To me, they are like bullies and rapists in how much they want to control other people.  The only difference is they are trying to control people with legislation, rather than by physical means.  I'm sure this allows them to rationalize their controlling behavior, so they can continue to think of themselves as being kindly, while demonizing everyone else who disagrees with them.

  •  I will never understand how states can directly (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gentle Giant, Eyesbright

    OR indirectly do any of this under Roe?

    For instance, HOW can a state require that a human being get any kind of test or procedure when that test or procedure is unwanted by the patient (ultrasounds)?

    I don't follow legal cases much, but has this kind of thing been tested under federal law?

    If states put in barriers to one being able to act/live under (protection of) federal law (Roe), how does that work?

    Can someone explain this to me, cuz I sure don't understand.

    202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

    by cany on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 02:20:51 PM PST

    •  With the Supreme Court we have now, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      so rightwing-activist, I would not be in a hurry for them to hear anything of such a high-impact nature.

      "Non-violence is a powerful and just weapon which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it. It is a sword that heals." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

      by Gentle Giant on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 02:42:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Sounds like drug testing, but I'll leave that... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Next it's going to be a crime to be pregnant without alerting the authorities so they can monitor that you aren't accessing termination services. Smaller government will provide every white male a job which must be paid for out of a woman's pocket (GOP-care won't cover this).

      Duties are:
      1. Watching all females of child-bearing age have sex to verify this is not a virgin birth (as Christ is coming soon!)

      2. Administering monthly pregnancy tests so notification of new life can be documented.

      Do you ever feel like we live in a bad sci-fi movie?

  •  15% of abortions in America are for mothers (7+ / 0-)

    Quite frankly, the abortion debate for MANY of the Evangelicals is not about the sanctity of life, but about sex.  

    There is a saying in business 'put your money where your mouth is.'  And social conservatives/Evangelicals LOVE talking about the sanctity of life and how abortion is murder, YET, cannot seem to reconcile that with the $$$'s needed to ensure such an environment.

    My grandmother gave birth to my aunt who had cerebral palsy as a result of a difficult delivery.  My mother - who was born after my aunt - was the 'primary caregiver' to my aunt for pretty much 25 years.  My mother correctly noted 'NOBODY seems to recognize the impact that special needs children have ON OTHER CHILDREN and their families.'  

    There was an incredibly well written diary awhile back here on DKOS about a mother - of two - who had recently found out she was pregnant.  That diarist noted that she was also a primary caregiver to HER mother (who was in frail health), as well as two young children.  The diarist made a very difficult choice to terminate her pregnancy because of lack of resources (most notably: TIME and MONEY).  Not surprisingly, the diarist noted how little 'moral pushback' she received from friends who were informed of the diarist's decision to terminate her pregnancy.

    This is why I continue to be and always will be pro-choice: letting politicians (particularly white, male Christians with a 'we just KNOW better than you, and you should emulate ME' attitude) make choices for women.  It is incredibly presumptuous to believe that YOU know what's best for a particular family and not the mother.  

    That's why 'moral relativism' is such a nasty term to Evangelicals: it's because in the specific example above, it WAS for the 'greater good' of all involved that the diarist terminate her pregnancy.  The mouthbreathers who just HAVE to put a woman/doctor in jail just are not competent enough/high enough emotional quotient to realize that life IS complex and there are many very difficult, complex decisions that occur over the lifetime.  

    It is not surprising given that many hardcore social conservatives are 'authoritarians' who WANT to be told exactly what to do and get upset when OTHERS do NOT 'toe the line'.....especially when it comes to abortion.

    What I tell my Southern Christian friends is simple:

    'What gives YOU the right to tell an atheist/Buddhist/Jewish/Non-christian woman from New York that she cannot have an abortion?  Especially when it does NOT impact you in any way/shape/form and you would not even KNOW it occurred?  The only person who knows that is God and why don't YOU let GOD make the final decision about this person's soul?"

    I basically say 'I don't cast the first stone and I outsource final judgment to God.'  

    Outside of Evangelical circles, the above argument is a flat-out winner.  Inside of evangelical circles, the counter-argument is invariably some sort of 'slippery slope' argument (which is PATHETIC since abortion has been legal for 40 years and the U.S. has NOT gone to hell!).  

  •  I had 3 of 4 babies after age 35 & 1 test... (6+ / 0-)

    was abnormal, XYY. Max is now 26 & a grad of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

    That doesn't mean the decision to have him was easy. I had to fly out to San Francisco for a test done only there, where they withdrew blood from the fetus' umbilical cord.

    I had worked in a hospital for people with severe genetic conditions when I was in high school, which I wrote about in this diary, "Before There Were Late-Term Abortions..."

    I was very lucky that my situation turned out well. I was working at the U of Chicago Medical Center & had worked in OB/Gyn for several years. They took the time to give me info on the most recent research, including getting past some of the unwarranted notions people have about XYY boys. As one doctor told me, "there really isn't that much on the Y chromosome"(!)

    My OB doctor was an immigrant from Iraq. She was wonderful. She pointed out that we had a strong family & said "you will love this child." That meant a lot to me, the way she said it. After some sleepless nights, we decided to go ahead with the pregnancy. My son has had his "issues" but is a remarkable person: extremely sensitive, bright & creative. I've had greater issues with my other two sons. The one XYY characteristic Max shows is he can eat anything & never put on a pound.

    So my advice is: get the best medical info that is available. Check the medical journals online. Find professionals who you can trust. Make a knowledgable decision, & then don't look back.

    "All politics is national."

    by Auriandra on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 02:42:45 PM PST

  •  Republicans actively legislating ignorance (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mayfly, BachFan

    Republicans actively legislating ignorance and allowing doctors to lie to women in order to push their radical forced-birth agenda.  Should your doctor be allowed to lie to you about the results of amniocentesis, and should you have no legal right to sue for malpractice if the result of a deliberate lie is a baby born with no chance for survival beyond a few months of agony?

    •  this is not about ignorance... (0+ / 0-)

      as much as it is about control.  The more one can keep another person ignorant, the easier they are to control.

      If I can make myself believe you are responsible for how I feel, then I can tell myself I have the right to try to control or change you.  I believe that is what the GOP, and everyone who thinks like them, is trying to do.  I believe they want to control other people, so they can control any possible changes that might happen.

      If you can be made to feel responsible for someone else's feelings, you can also be made to feel guilt or shame about those feelings, and that also makes a person easier to control.

      It's hard to fight people whose outposts we allow into our heads.

  •  What about Santorum (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...and his anti-anti-abortionist religulous view?

  •   A. Daily challeng (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lashe, atxcats

    As the parent of a child with Downs I understand both sides.  Our child has many other problems besides Downs.  She has Basilar Invagination Her 1st and 2nd disc at the top of her spine are in her brain stem. It is very serious surgery and is only done when she can't hold objects or walk.  Even if she gets minor whiplash she could die.  I worry every single day what might happen to her.  I wouldn't trade her for the world but it is tremendously hard wondering when and if this will happen and what the outcome will be.  We are a strong family but I could never condemn a woman not to choose having a child.  We all have different stories and circumstances and we are the only ones who can decide. I may not agree with you but I will never condemn you as I do not walk in your shoes,or you in mine.  The state and federal govt.,and religion should not tell women what to do either.  We all must answer for all we do in life.  Only we can truly choose for ourselves.

    •  Thank you for your post, kmom4kids (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The decision to carry a child or abort is one that a woman and her doctor must decide; with the final decision being the woman, and no one else.

      No one, no man, woman, Senator or Congressman, can or should have the power over this decision.

      No one knows the situation, circumstances, physical or mental health, financial stability or anything about this woman and her heartbreaking decision, but her.

      And, when a fetal anomaly is discovered at the 20th week, it should be the decision of the woman, her doctor, and her spouse or partner alone.  

      This is not a decision to make it easier on the would-be parents, but what is best for the potential life.  If there is even one hour of needless suffering if the fetus is born alive, one day, one month, of tubes, and the pricking and sticking of needles, why subject an innocent to this.  

      In my view, to stand by and watch a helpless newborn struggle with inevitable death is absolutely and completely wrong.

  •  Downs and Trisomy 18 (0+ / 0-)

    These syndromes are caused by reproductive errors (sperm or egg mutations) and are generally not inherited. Where do these mutations come from and what environmental risk factors predispose to these reproductive errors. This is a neglected area of research.

  •  Particularly evil (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The anti-abortion hysteria is rightly labeled mass cruelty.  It is not an issue which has any right being an issue.  The option of choosing and securing an abortion is a 'civil right' just like owning a gun and eating in a restaurant of ones choosing.

    It's time to call these anti choice people what they are at their center.  That is they are fundamentally un-American, fundamentally haters of liberty.

    Medical care is also a civil right and to deny one the right to make an informed decision in the area of heath concerns is a malicious and hostile act.

    "I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness," Allen Ginsberg

    by Hermenutic on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 11:39:40 AM PST

    •  I don't view these people... (0+ / 0-)

      as being "pro-life."  Most of them are too dysfunctional to merit that title.

      In actuality, I see most, if not all of them, as "pro-controllers," because underneath all the charm and righteousness, what they really want to do is control other people's choices and decisions.  Never mind the fact that they would scream bloody murder if you tried to institute any controls over their decisions, or their behaviors.  

      Even though it's only their opinion, they are so convinced of their pure and righteous motivations, they believe they couldn't possibly be wrong about anything.  

      For me, the bottom line is this:  if you are trying to control the choices and decisions of another functioning adult human being, there is something wrong with your psyche, and probably your self-image as well.

  •  My son has Down Syndrome (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    atxcats, dewolf99

    I am the mother of a child with Down Syndrome that I did not want. What I wanted was a home birth, but the anti-abortion midwife successfully guilted me into not testing for genetic anomalies.

    However, her incompetence allowed me to give birth at home to a 36 week fetus who suffered a stroke at birth. She...was very incompetent and it's possible I would have died at home had I not been whisked to the hospital after losing copious amounts of blood. Her concern for my baby was nil.

    Her denial that anything was wrong with my baby led us to the brink of insanity until we finally received a correct diagnosis when my son was 6 months old.

    Parenting the child of a disability is an added hardship. If you (like Ruby Payne asserts) are of the mindset that you take whatever comes your way, or you have such a strong faith in "God" that you feel "blessed" to have such a child-more power to you. However, as I witnessed the death from a quick cancer that killed a good friend with a 3 year old child with severe disabilities, it's no easy road.

    Our road has been hard. I do love my child-intensely, but my original desire to terminate such a pregnancy was due to my own personal assessment of my abilities to successfully parent such a child. Because of the stroke, my son at age 5+ has only a few words, does not chew and is still learning how to walk.

    Among people with children who have Down Syndrome, my view is mostly kept hidden. However, my child is not like other children with Down Syndrome. I begrudge NO ONE who does not want to take this on for themselves. I do admire those, however, who take it on with gusto and achieve extraordinary things with their children.

    Advances in medicine have pre-empted nature. The NICU strives to keep alive all children born regardless of their condition at birth. I have spent many hours contemplating this shift in society.

    There have never been more people alive with Down Syndrome than there are now. Terminations will never eliminate Down Syndrome as it is a natural occurrence (with genetic dispositions for some people) Great strides have been made by people with Down Syndrome and in science-and one day the extra chromosome may be able to be turned off.

    I believe in being informed. If you know your fetus has an anomaly, you have more choices and if you choose to carry to term, you can grieve ahead of time so that the birth is a time of joy, and you are prepared.

    Friends of mine who did not know they would give birth to a child with Down Syndrome have had their babies whisked away for emergency surgery, etc and some have suffered PTSD. Why can't we have compassion for these mothers?

    I have two children. My first has no disability and I was thrilled to see her and take her in my arms. My second was born with multiple disabilities and his birth was fraught with fear (of death!) and anxiety over his condition/survival.

    I would love to write more on this subject because it obviously goes straight to my heart. I only wanted two children, was older when I became a mother and felt that the conservative "meme" was that it didn't matter what I wanted. "Every sperm is sacred." When I got the diagnosis? The conservatives just said, "I'll pray for you," and the midwife broke off contact with me. (I did pursue grievances against her on the state and national level and learned a lot about the practice of midwifery that was heretofore unknown to me).

    I FIRMLY believe that children with disabilities should NOT be born at home because the MAJORITY of home birth midwives have ZERO experience with such births-and WILL be responsible for a sub-standard outcome. How the $%^& are you supposed to know you are going to have such a birth if the hysterical "fundies" block your ability to have prenatal tests?

    As I firmly believe, this hysteria over women's bodies and ability to choose their own families is a way to tie up people's time so they are too busy to direct the appropriate attention to the more pressing matters that affect the future of the United States.

  •  I have two issues with this (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    atxcats, dewolf99

    1. "Small government"?!? I thought the GOP and the right-wing wanted smaller government interference in our daily lives.

    2. They talk about "fetal pain" as a reason to avoid abortion. Um, if fetuses can feel pain, is it not possible, even likely, they feel PAIN from their abnormalities? Yet they can't cry, they can't display any sign of that pain. So who advocates for them in that scenario?

  •  I was 38 in 1985 when my only child was born. (0+ / 0-)

    I wanted her so much it hurt. Because of my age (my patient chart was marked "elderly"), I was encouraged to have amniocentesis done at about 12 weeks. I subjected myself to the test and thankfully it was negative.
    Later, I wondered why I did it. I seriously still do not know for sure what my decision would have if the results had been different. I am inclined to think I would have continued to pregnancy because the range of disability is so wide.
    High functioning Down's Syndrome people a a delight to be around.
    Both my parents were deceased and the child's father had already walked out the door because HE didn't like the timing and demanded an abortion to continue the relationship. Therefore, I raised my daughter as an ONLY parent and knew in advance that would be the case.
    Even with my personal experience, I am not happy about "abortion on demand." My resistance to all these Draconian laws is based solely on the unconscionable invasion of privacy they require.
    If the sovereign state of Texas can know what is going on inside my body, then I should know how many and what kind of firearms my neighbors have inside their homes, cars, and ON their person. If we can have a"registry" of abortions, we most certainly can have a gun registry. I am sure there is no enumerated right to the privacy of our bodies because it never occurred to the founding fathers that anyone would even consider being so nosey. One of those self-evident rights.

  •  More evidence that pro-choice people need (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    to stand firmly on the position that only women and their doctors are qualified to make decisions about carrying a fetus to term. Doesn't matter if the decision is based on sex selection or possible genetic problems, it is the RIGHT of the woman to decide on abortion if she wants it.

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