The ethical and moral dilemma surrounding abortion persists in the field of medicine. There is a social stigma surrounding abortions historically. However, terminating pregnancies involving foetuses with down syndrome is a particularly contentious topic that is still widely debated. In this article, we will discuss whether every expecting parent chooses to terminate pregnancy in down syndrome cases. We will explain the reason why some people choose to abort a foetus with down syndrome.
Does every expecting parent choose to abort in down syndrome cases?
No. Not every expecting parent chooses to terminate a pregnancy in down syndrome cases. While some parents may choose to terminate a pregnancy upon receiving a diagnosis of down syndrome, others may choose to continue the pregnancy and raise a child with down syndrome. The National Down Syndrome Cytogenetic Register for England and Wales states that about 90% of pregnancies with a prenatal diagnosis of trisomy 21 (down syndrome) are terminated. However, 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.
Why do parents prefer abortion in down syndrome cases?
The decision of abortion is a complex and personal one that depends on many factors, including the parent’s beliefs and values, their access to medical care and support, and their individual circumstances.
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 parent’s 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 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 abortions for a handicapped foetus. 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.
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