One prominent Canadian OB/GYN says "Yes."  Problem is, he finds that worrisome

Sarah and Todd Palin’s decision to complete her recent pregnancy, despite advance notice that their baby Trig had Down syndrome, is hailed by many in the pro-life movement as walking the walk as well as talking the talk.

But a senior Canadian doctor is now expressing concerns that such a prominent public role model as the governor of Alaska and potential vice president of the United States completing a Down syndrome pregnancy may prompt other women to make the same decision against abortion because of that genetic abnormality. And thereby reduce the number of abortions.

Published reports in Canada say about 9 out of 10 women given a diagnosis of Down syndrome choose to terminate the pregnancy through abortion.

Dr. Andre Lalonde, executive vice president of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in Ottawa, worries that Palin’s now renowned decision may cause abortions in Canada to decline as other women there and elsewhere opt to follow suit.

He says not every woman is prepared to deal with the consequences of Down babies, who have developmental delays, some physical difficulties and often a shortened lifespan.

Well, we can’t have role models diminishing that 90% figure one little bit, can we?  I just find it completely appalling that this sort of "concern" is expressed, let alone by a leading OB/GYN.

Here is his list of "concerns":

Lalonde says his primary concern is that women have the….

…choice of abortion and that greater public awareness of women making choices like Palin to complete a pregnancy and give birth to their genetically-abnormal baby could be detrimental and confusing to the women and their families.

"The worry is that this will have an implication for abortion issues in Canada," Lalonde tells the Globe and Mail.

How in the ever luvin’ world does Trig Palen’s birth prevent women from having the choice to abort?  If it doesn’t, then the good doctor’s concerns are baseless.  How would knowing that there’s another way to deal with a Downs Syndrome baby other than abortion "confuse" them?

And the article concludes with:

Lalonde says giving women detailed information on the consequences of their decision is not actually encouraging them to seek abortions.

Except abortion is the primary coping mechanism in Canada 90% of the time.  So I see this bit of PR as disingenuous.

Some in Canada, however, are trying to combat this. 

Krista Flint is executive director of the Canadian Down Syndrome Society, which says its goal is to foster "a climate of understanding and mutual respect for the dignity, worth and equal rights for ALL people."

The society now displays a photograph of the happy Palins with their baby on its homepage and offers to provide "positive and factual information" for an open discussion of Down syndrome.

However, Flint says doctors usually give couples very dark messages about life with a Down syndrome child.

"We know overwhelmingly the message families get is ‘Don’t have this baby, it will ruin your life,’" Flint says. "And I don’t think people would look at Sarah Palin and see a ruined life. Regardless of politics, I think it’s a good example."

The only rea$on I $ee for a doctor to be concerned that the aborting of Downs Syndrome babie$ may dip below 90% i$ … well, I’ll let you guess.  The dissemination of  helpful information, however, doesn’t seem to be it.

Filed under: AbortionMedicine

Like this post? Subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more!