an After abortion

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Help for those whose babies haveDown Syndrome and Other Birth Defects.
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Monday, February 21, 2005

Ayelet Waldman's Looking abortion in the face is about how she decided to kill her baby (her words) in a second-trimester abortion because he was genetically imperfect (her words). Her recognition that her child was a baby-person, combined with her reasons for the child's termination, do make one wonder if she would also support infanticide.

In the personal is political, a mom of a Down Syndrome baby reflects:

At least she has the guts to admit in a national magazine that she killed her fetus because he wasn't genetically perfect - she actually uses that term and doesn't try to couch it in euphemism or political correctness. She is only doing what an estimated 98% of women do when faced with the same news. Once a diagnosis of Down Syndrome is confirmed, termination is expected and encouraged - it is those of us who choose to give birth to our imperfect, hopelessly compromised babies who are shunned, or at least treated with utter bewilderment. I can't count how many times people approached me after Bug was born to bluntly ask "Didn't you know? Beforehand?" The tacit implication being, of course, why didn't you get tested like everyone else does, so you could have had an abortion before it was too late?"
Didn't you know? Beforehand? A remarkably intrusive and callous thing to say, layered on top of a horrifying attitude. Do people say or think this because when one mother chooses not to have her Downs Syndrome child killed, it gives people a fleeting sense of queasiness about mothers who choose to have their child D-&-Xed? Do they find it easier to dismiss that fleeting sense by lashing out at the woman who caused it?

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