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 An Abortion Was The Right Choice For Me: 5 Women Share Their Story
Vogue speaks to five women around the world – from Northern Ireland to Bolivia – who share their deeply personal experiences of abortion, and explain why they believe the choice is a fundamental human right.
By Emily Chan
Friday 5 July 2019
When Alabama passed its anti-abortion law in May – 46 years after abortion was first legalised in the US, in 1973 – it sparked international outcry. The ban, which prevents abortion in nearly all cases, led to thousands of women sharing their abortion experiences on social media, using #YouKnowMe, a campaign launched by American actress Busy Philipps. “One in four women will have an abortion before age 45,” said Philipps on her late-night show. “Maybe you’re sitting there thinking, ‘I don’t know a woman who would have an abortion.’ Well, you know me.”
As Philipps highlights, this is a subject relevant to us all; regardless of age, geography or socio-economic context. Crucially, a woman's fundamental right to choose is under attack, as pockets of political discourse seek to control women’s bodies and reproductive rights.
I Shouldn’t Be Forced to Give Birth to a Baby Who Won’t Live
Our baby had a fatal birth defect. My federal health insurance plan refused to cover the abortion.
By Sarah E. Levin
July 3, 2019
When I was 20 weeks pregnant, I and my husband learned during a routine ultrasound that our baby had not developed a major portion of her brain and never would. The condition, anencephaly, a type of neural tube defect that also stunts the growth of the skull, is terminal. If carried to term, our baby would be very unlikely to survive for more than a few hours.
One in 1,000 fetuses have this condition. We had no warning signs. No indications. No idea this was coming. This was a baby we had planned for. Just three weeks earlier we had told our 5-year-old daughter that she would soon have a baby sister. We returned home from the hospital that day and had to tell her that her sister was not coming any more. It was the first time she saw me sobbing, unable to speak.
The Hidden Consequences of the New Abortion Laws
They will force women to carry pregnancies to term despite the detection of painful and deadly fetal anomalies.
By Jennifer Senior, Opinion columnist
May 29, 2019
Recent state-imposed limits on abortion — from Georgia to Missouri, from Ohio to Mississippi — are rightly seen as a broadside aimed at women’s reproductive freedoms. But it is also worth examining a more particular, and potentially agonizing, consequence of these new restrictions. It is a hard one to talk about. It is, to some extent, taboo. But it must be discussed.
Namely: These new laws, should they survive judicial scrutiny, would ensure that a generation of women would be forced to carry pregnancies to term despite the detection of fetal anomalies — some of them cruel, painful and fatal.
My second and third daughters exist because abortion was legal and safe
I would not have risked another child with severe fetal defects, as my beloved first daughter had.
By Jana von Stein
May 28, 2019
Many parents-to-be learn at their 20-week ultrasound whether it’s a boy or a girl. We learned that our baby had severe cardiac defects. As my pregnancy progressed, it became more evident that her disorder affected more than just her heart. It would require multiple operations and might be life-defining. In the 23 months she lived, my daughter Sophie endured seven surgeries, became addicted to morphine and Ativan, and suffered more than most people do in decades’-longer lifetimes. Her dad and I tried, along with heroic nurses and doctors in Michigan, Boston and Stanford, to save her life. We failed. We worked tirelessly to give her a good quality of life, but — particularly in the last few months — it was not one worth living.
The doctors weren’t sure whether Sophie’s defects were a result of random bad luck or something hereditary. Her DNA looked normal, but it was clear there was a programming error at some point early in the gestation.
Denied abortion after foetus found abnormal, woman says: I wish my baby dies after birth
A diagnostic test revealed that the foetus suffered from a birth anomaly called Arnold Chiari Type II syndrome — an underdeveloped brain and a distorted spine
Written by Tabassum Barnagarwala | Mumbai | Updated: March 29, 2017
“What’s the use of diagnostic facilities if we can’t find a solution after diagnosing a defect in the foetus?” asks Dr Nikhil Datar, gynaecologist who counselled the woman.
When she found out last September that she was pregnant, the 28-year-old Mumbai resident was excited, and she quit her job in a private company’s administration department to “solely focus” on her baby. For three years, her husband, a 31-year-old HR manager, had planned for this day.
“Now I wish my baby dies after birth,” she says, her eyes swollen with tears and lack of sleep.
Continued at source: Indian Express: http://indianexpress.com/article/india/denied-abortion-after-foetus-found-abnormal-woman-says-i-wish-my-baby-dies-after-birth-4590054/
Women’s Link sues the health department of the Region of Murcia, Spain, for violating the right to a dignified abortion
The organization is representing Ana, a woman who was denied information regarding her fetus’s condition by the health department, and so was prevented from accessing abortion services in a dignified manner.
On International Women's Day, March 8, Women’s Link is demanding access to a safe, legal and dignified abortion for all women in Spain
Country: Spain Date: 07/03/2017
Madrid, March 7, 2017 – Women’s Link is suing the health department of the Region of Murcia, Spain, for violating the rights of their client Ana (not her real name), a woman who was denied information on the serious condition affecting her fetus for almost six weeks. Due to this violation of her right to information, as well as the discrimination she faced in the Santa Lucía de Cartagena Public Hospital in Murcia, she was not able to access abortion services in a dignified way, and as a result suffered serious physical and psychological harm.
Continued at source: Women's Link Worldwide: http://www.womenslinkworldwide.org/en/news-and-publications/press-room/women-s-link-sues-the-health-department-of-the-region-of-murcia-spain-for-violating-the-right-to-a-dignified-abortion
by Jyoti Shelar
January 13, 2017, The Hindu
Mumbai: A panel of seven doctors from the civic-run KEM Hospital on Thursday examined the 22-year-old woman who has approached the Supreme Court seeking permission to terminate her 23-week-old pregnancy on grounds of fetal anomaly. The apex court on Wednesday had ordered that a KEM panel should reconfirm the diagnosis and submit a report based on which a ruling can be made.
Dr. Avinash Supe, dean, KEM Hospital, said the panel carried out an ultrasound, a clinical examination and a review of all her previous reports. “The panel also spoke to the woman at length. Based on all of this, a report has been drafted and sent to the SC by email, fax and courier,” said Dr. Supe. With KEM’s report, the SC may give a verdict in the case on Friday.
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Source: The Hindu