I’m Glad I Didn’t Have The Opportunity To Terminate My Baby With Down Syndrome

Down Syndrome

This week, CBS reported that Iceland is leading the way in the successful eradication of Down syndrome. Almost 100% of women who receive a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome in Iceland choose to terminate, and this has been the case for more than a decade (the termination rate in the US, by comparison, is 67%). With prenatal testing becoming more accurate and less invasive, increasing numbers of woman are being given the choice—and the overwhelming majority, not only in Iceland but around the world, are taking full advantage.

My 20-year old daughter, Julia, has Down syndrome. I’ve thought a lot about this over the course of Julia’s life. It is heartbreaking for me to acknowledge that most people in the world see Julia, and the life she is living, as disposable and undesirable. CBS’s report brought this stark reality once again to the top of my mind.

I am pro-choice. I can imagine circumstances where I may have chosen to end a pregnancy. If I’m completely honest with myself, I would have likely ended my pregnancy with Julia—had I known about her diagnosis prenatally. And that disgusts me.