How Down Syndrome Became a New Front in the Abortion Wars
Families are being caught in the crossfire as states enact laws to ban Down syndrome-related abortions.
by Carter Sherman and Dan Ming
Feb 11 2020 (12 minute video)
When Ben and Marissa O’Donnell found out that their child would be born with Down syndrome, both of them knew that abortion was an option.
“In a moment like that, you go through mentally many dark hallways,” said Marissa O’Donnell, who lives in suburban Massachusetts about an hour outside Boston. “I didn't get so far down that hallway to a place of — where I felt like I didn't think that we could handle it. But I did sort of fall into a deep place of feeling like my life would be so different.”
Why a NY woman came to Colorado for a 32-week abortion
Forty-three states place some restrictions on abortions after a certain point in pregnancy, but Colorado isn’t one of them
By Anna Staver, The Denver Post
PUBLISHED: October 13, 2019
In the spring of 2016, Erika Christensen and her husband walked past a tall, wooden fence that obscured the Boulder office of Dr. Warren Hern from the street and into his waiting room.
Printed signs taped to bulletproof glass told her all electronic devices — even cellphones — were prohibited and asked her to tell someone on staff if she needed to leave for any reason. The only items she could carry through the door were a printed book, her identification card and a check for $10,000.
The Last Places in Europe Where It’s Illegal to Get an Abortion
European microstates are some of the richest countries on the continent, but human rights, including abortion, are curtailed.
by Sarah Souli; illustrated by Cathryn Virginia
Aug 19 2019
Lara hadn’t wanted to see the baby.
It wasn’t supposed to be hers, anyway; when she accidentally got pregnant at 18, she had decided the child would be raised by her aunt while she went off to university. The first few months of the pregnancy were normal: doctor’s visits, ultrasounds, the abrupt abandonment of cigarettes and beer. Then, around five months into her gestation, the pain and bleeding started. At the emergency room, a surprising diagnostic—fatally missed by her primary gynecologist—was announced. The baby was lacking two nerve bundles in its neck. A few days later, a second test with Lara’s gynecologist revealed a diagnosis of Down syndrome. The baby, doctors briskly explained to Lara, would be born “a vegetable.”
Mother sues NHS for £200,000 claiming hospital failed to inform her of son's Down's Syndrome diagnosis
8 July 2019
Hospital notes show that a mother shouldn't receive £200,000 in damages from the NHS for having child with Down's Syndrome because she declined to have him tested before he was born, a court heard.
Edyta Mordel, 33, is claiming hospital staff failed to do the antenatal tests she wanted, which would have revealed that she was carrying a disabled child.
The Abortion Conundrum: How Far Israelis Go to Make Sure Their Babies Are Born Perfect
What do parents do if they discover the baby could be born deaf? Or sterile? Or suffer from a disease? Israelis choose to terminate such pregnancies much more frequently than in other Western countries
By Shany Littman
Jun 13, 2019
It was Yael’s second pregnancy. She had received a sperm donation and gave birth to her first child, a daughter, four years earlier, and went through the same procedure this time, too. All the tests were good but now, because she was 44, the single mother also underwent amniocentesis and paid 2,000 shekels ($550) for a CMA (“DNA chip”) test. The result indicated a problem in the fetus’ genetic sequence.
“The doctor talked about possible intellectual disability and autism, about delayed development and attention deficit problems,” recalls Yael, who lives in the center of the country. (Some of the names in this article have been changed to protect the interviewees’ privacy.) “He showed me a list of all kinds of disabilities, which had a 30-percent probability of happening. That sounded very high. I cried but we reached the conclusion that it would be out of the question for me to give birth to a baby with disabilities. I am a single parent with limited resources. There was no way I could cope with that.”
Clarence Thomas tried to link abortion to eugenics. Seven historians told The Post he’s wrong.
By Eli Rosenberg
May 30, 2019
In the opinion he wrote on the Supreme Court’s recent decision about two abortion laws, Justice Clarence Thomas reached back into history.
Thomas argued that the door for abortion rights was opened by the eugenics movement — the now-discredited pseudoscience obsessed with the genetic fitness of white Americans that was popular in the early 20th century — to raise alarm about abortion rights now.
Instrumentalising women’s reproductive vulnerability for political gain: where in the world does it stop?
November 30, 2018
A move to restrict abortion in Norway is a particularly stark example of the readiness with which women’s reproductive vulnerability is traded as a kind of political capital
There is an extraordinary piece of instrumentalisation of women’s health for political gain going on in an unlikely quarter, just now.
Norway has both a relatively good record on women’s rights, and a balanced and popular abortion law with no popular or parliamentary mandate for change. It also has low and falling abortion rates, 80% of which are conducted as a woman’s choice under 9 weeks, and just 4%—far more tightly regulated than, for example, in either Sweden or the UK—in the second trimester.
Amendment to bill on grounds sought for abortion defeated in Dáil
Thursday, 29 Nov 2018
By Ailbhe Conneely, RTÉ News Political reporter
An amendment proposing that abortions are not sought on grounds of race, sex or disability under the Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy Bill has been defeated in the Dáil.
Following a lengthy and often tense Report Stage debate which began last night, TDs voted against the amendment by 71 votes to 21.
Abortion demonstrations draw thousands across Norway after prime minister proposes tightening laws
Thousands joined demonstrations in cities around the country over politicians suggestion that abortion laws could be tightened
Alex Matthews-King, Health Correspondent
Nov 17, 2018
Thousands of Norwegians joined nationwide protests on Saturday as part of a backlash against proposals by the leader of the ruling coalition government which would tighten the country’s abortion laws.
Prime minister Erna Solberg, has suggested amending a key paragraph of existing legislation which allows abortions after 12 weeks where the child will have a “serious illness” like Down’s syndrome, or in some cases for multiple births.
Norway Will Negotiate Discriminatory Elements in Abortion Act
November 5, 2018
Prime Minister Erna Solberg does not want to change abortion practice in Norway, but will remove “discriminatory element in the law”, according to Dagens Næringsliv.
Solberg has been criticized for her willingness to negotiate changes in the Abortion Act, as she needs the support of Christian Democrats (KrF) for her bourgeois government.
In an interview with the newspaper, Solberg says that women should still be able to use abortion right after 12 weeks if there is a high risk of the child having serious disabilities.