As painful as it must be to make a decision to abort a child due to defects, in the end it is the easier solution of the two, and in fact is often presented to women as such, by doctors, friends, family members, etc.
Reproduced below are some snippets from Usenet newsgroups dealing with pregnancy and/or parenthood. It is revealing to see the experiences of women with their doctors and/or medical staff who assume or pressure them to abort:
Subject: Re: Amnio
From: email@example.com (CandyBors)
Date: 9 Jan 1998 22:01:57 GMT
Matooshka@aol.com (MATOOSHKA) writes:
>An MSAFP test indicated an abnormal reading for spina bifida. >The followup level 2 U/S "confirmed" that, and possibly anencephaly too. End >result? My daughter was born in perfect health. I never had an amnio for 2 >reasons: a) risk to the unborn child, of miscarriage (I know women who lost >babies after amnios); and b) no real reason, since abortion of the unborn >child is not an option for me.>>>>
Thank goodness it isn't, really! Imagine if you had had labour induced and the baby had been fine! I refused any prenatal testing for the same reasons as you, although I'm not denigrating anyone's choice to have it, as people's views differ on a) whether they feel they could cope with a child with a disability and b) whether they would be happier having "peace of mind" than no testing at all.
But stories like yours are really scary! I wonder how often it happens?
Mummy to Peter, 4th September 1996
Subject: Re: Amnio
Date: Fri, 9 Jan 1998 22:58:22 GMT
I've heard enough first-hand stories to think it's not uncommon. One friend of mine had an amnio with her son. The nurse called, on a Friday afternoon at 5 p.m., and *left a message on her answering machine* saying "there's a problem with your baby, and the doctor thinks you'll probably want to abort. Please call us monday morning to schedule the termination." !!
Now, I HEARD this message with my own ears, I was with her when she listened to it. Thank heavens she wasn't alone, needless to say, she freaked. She was unable to reach anyone by phone (this was Kaiser, Santa Clara CA) and had to wait until Monday morning to find someone to talk to. They told her there was a problem with the baby's spine, and she should abort. Just like that. She agonized and decided to keep the pregnancy, since they couldn't tell her *for sure* what the severity of the problem was.
Well, to make a long and pins-and-needles story as short as possible, her son was born with a TINY spinal defect, the bottom of the spine wasn't completely fused to the tailbone,something very minor like that, he didn't even require surgery to fix it, it had mended itself by his second birthday. He's 9 now, a great athlete and all around great boy. Another friend was informed that her level II u/s indicated dwarfism. Her son is seven now, and absolutely normal. My cousin's AFP and u/s indicated anencephaly, and her daughter was born normal.
I'm personally not planning to have an amnio or AFP, and I say to those who do, take it with a grain of salt.
We'll be posting more stories like this as we come across them.
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