Yes, this is actually his concern, that fewer women will abort their Down Syndrome babies, as if that’s some national tragedy. But when you have socialized medicine which requires rationed medical care to the masses, any newborn with developmental delays and physical disabilities can cause problems for the collective. What an awful sentiment, that newborn babies with Down Syndrome are simply too much trouble to be born and their lives should be terminated, but that’s what he’s saying:
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.
Wider use of blood screening and amniocentesis during pregnancies can now accurately predict the presence of Down syndrome.
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.
What kind of nonsense is this? “Not all women are prepared to deal…could be detrimental and confusing to women.” How offensive. My God, this guy has a very low opinion of women. As far as I’m concerned he’s got no business being anywhere near women because he’s not really concerned about their health. Take at look at his main concern:
“The worry is that this will have an implication for abortion issues in Canada,” Lalonde tells the Globe and Mail.
Abortion issues. That’s what this is about. The fact that 90% of pregnant women who get a diagnosis of Down Syndrome abort their babies, leading to almost an entire group of people being wiped off the face of the earth is of no consequence to him.
This man is vile.
Update: Compare this doctor’s view that Down Syndrome babies are expendable to that of Michael Gerson, who writes about the gift of Trig’s birth and what the continued termination of babies like him will mean for our society:
In addition to Barack Obama making history as the first African-American to be nominated for president and Sarah Palin taking her shotgun to the glass ceiling, there was a third civil rights barrier broken at the political conventions this year.
Trig Paxson Van Palin — pronounced by his mother “beautiful” and “perfect” and applauded at center stage of the Republican convention — smashed the chromosomal barrier. And it was all the more moving for the innocence and indifference of this 4-month-old civil rights leader…
Trig’s moment in the spotlight is a milestone of that movement. But it comes at a paradoxical time. Unlike African-Americans and women, civil rights protections for people with Down syndrome have rapidly eroded over the last few decades. Of the cases of Down syndrome diagnosed by pre-natal testing each year, about 90 percent are eliminated by abortion. Last year the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommended universal, early testing for Down syndrome — not just for older pregnant women. Some expect this increased screening to reduce the number of Down syndrome births far lower than the 5,500 we see today, perhaps to less than 1,000.
The wrenching diagnosis of 47 chromosomes must seem to parents like the end of a dream instead of the beginning of a life. But children born with Down syndrome — who learn slowly but love deeply — are generally not experienced by their parents as a curse but as a complex blessing. And when allowed to survive, men and women with an extra chromosome experience themselves as people with abilities, limits and rights. Yet when Down syndrome is detected through testing, many parents report that genetic counselors and physicians emphasize the difficulties of raising a disabled child and urge abortion.
This is properly called eugenic abortion — the ending of “imperfect” lives to remove the social, economic and emotional costs of their existence. And this practice cannot be separated from the broader social treatment of the disabled. By eliminating less perfect humans, deformity and disability become more pronounced and less acceptable. Those who escape the net of screening are often viewed as mistakes or burdens. A tragic choice becomes a presumption — “Didn’t you get an amnio?” — and then a prejudice. And this feeds a social Darwinism in which the stronger are regarded as better, the dependant are viewed as less valuable, and the weak must occasionally be culled.
Please read all of Michael’s article because it is a beautiful tribute to special babies like Trig. Down Syndrome babies are not monsters. They are not inhuman. They are innocent human beings who can learn, love, grow, and have fulfilling lives just like the rest of us. What a terrible thing it says about us as a society that their lives are systematically eliminated simply because they are imperfect.