Parents’ reasons for terminating a pregnancy on grounds of foetal anomaly may include the emotional and financial cost of raising a disabled child. Another reason could be the negative impact it can have on the parents’ ability to care for their existing children. Having a child that will need constant medical intervention and may live in pain is disheartening for parents.
A 1981 study of parents of down’s syndrome children in South Wales surveyed parents’ attitudes toward abortion and euthanasia for severe congenital handicaps. Out of the 78 parents who responded, 60 approved abortion for a handicapped fetus. In their responses, the parents considered the degree of handicap as the most important factor in their decisions. However, according to the researchers, social class is the only statistically significant variable.
The National Down Syndrome Cytogenetic Register for England and Wales states that about 90% of pregnancies with a prenatal diagnosis of trisomy 21 (Down’s Syndrome) are terminated. Though not every parent chooses to abort a foetus with down syndrome. It is a personal choice of a person. There have been cases of people with down syndrome who lived a long and sustainable life, with minimum support.
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