Down diagnoses in unborn up, births down

Baptist Press
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Posted: Nov 13, 2009 4:15 PM
WASHINGTON (BP)--The number of unborn babies diagnosed with Down syndrome in Great Britain has increased greatly in the last two decades, but the number of babies born with the condition has declined.

A study published in the British Medical Journal showed a 71 percent increase in the number of unborn children detected with Down syndrome between 1989-90 and 2007-08 in England and Wales. That reflected a rise from 1,075 cases to 1,843.

The same survey found, however, the number of live births of babies with Down syndrome decreased by 1 percent, according to the Daily Mail. The wide disparity resulted from improved testing for the condition and the vast number of parents who chose to abort in such situations. The percentage of couples who choose abortion when their unborn child is diagnosed with Down syndrome has consistently been 92 percent, the British newspaper reported.

Rosa Monckton, 56, has a 14-year-old daughter Domenica, with Down syndrome. Domenica has caused her to understand what is important in life, said Monckton, who has worked to raise awareness of the condition.

Aborting babies with Down syndrome is "a totally wicked thing to do," Monckton said, according to the Daily Mail. "I look at my daughter and see the wonderful things she has given our family and I cannot imagine life without her.

"The medical community puts pressure on women to abort their babies at one of the most vulnerable times in their lives and they can spend the rest of their life regretting that decision.

"Doctors should not play God....," she said.

Reported by Baptist Press Washington bureau chief Tom Strode.

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