Friday, October 30, 2009
Study: Steep Rise In Down's Syndrome Diagnosis

Research conducted at Queen Mary, University of London, has found that the number of Down's Syndrome pregnancies rose as women are deciding to have children later in life. The same study also revealed that despite the increased diagnoses, the number of babies born with the chromosomal disorder has remained almost unchanged because of improved screening and subsequent abortions.

Delaying motherhood is the reason for a 71% increase in the number of babies diagnosed with Down's syndrome in the last two decades.

Stats show that in 1989/90 there were 1,075 with down syndrome and now for 2007/08 that went up to 1,843.

A woman in her 30s has a 1 in 940 chance of having a baby that is diagnosed with down syndrome. At the age of 40 this rises to 1 in 85.

Live births of Down's babies fell from 752 to 743 –or 1.10 to 1.08 per 1,000 births – over the period of time covered by the research. If screening had not happened, the number of babies born with Down's would have risen by 48%.
Around 92% of women who were screened and got a Down's syndrome diagnosis decided to terminate their pregnancy. This is a HUGE number.
Terminations of Down's syndrome pregnancies due to an increase and improvements in antenatal screening have caused the number of live births with Down's syndrome to remain constant." The study used data from the Down's register for England and Wales, published online by the British Medical Journal."
Any thoughts on this? I know that I feel that these babies have just as much of a right to be born and live a life as any other baby. It is sad that so many parents are choosing to abort a child that would teach them so much about life that probably isn't possible with another child. - Shannon, Staff Writer


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Honestly... I think that you shouldn't be judging the parents for making that decision.

I really love this blog, but I was taken aback by this. I respect everyone's right to believe whatever they wish, but this just doesn't feel like the place to me to make such a political post on the right to life.

I've never been in the situation that those couples were, so I can't say how I feel on the matter with any degree of fairness. They had to make whatever decision was right for them.

10/31/2009 07:56:00 am  

Shannon, the writer of this post, is a special needs mom of a 4-year-old boy born at 24 weeks gestation. While her son has not been diagnosed with this disorder, he is not able to walk, eat on his own or communicate verbally.

Because she has only known how to be a mom to a special needs child, she can't understand how others wouldn't choose any baby as opposed to only one that's 'perfect'.

With that being said, I know that she would never change the experiences she has had with her son. She believes that he has shown her family the world from a different point of view.

But at the end of the day many families make these decisions because they fear for the unknown and we both respect that.

10/31/2009 01:27:00 pm  

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