Post # 1
I have chosen to go anonymous for this post as I expect a bit of flack for it and would rather not be judged as it is my opinion and my decision. Although I am looking to the hive to see who is on board my boat and whos out to sea on this topic. This is not something currently happening to me simply something me and FI have come to a decision on what we would do put in this situation
You are 12 to 16 weeks pregnant, you go for an ultrasound only to find out that your baby has some sort of mental disability (ie. Spina bifida, down syndrome, cerebral palsy) something that means that should you carry this baby to term and deliver that even though at some point they may be the size of an adult they will forever have to be under your care as they have the mentality of a child. Faced with the decision as therapeutic abortion (in Canada at least) cuts off at 20 weeks what would you do?
Have the baby? Abort the baby? Unsure?
Our personal choice would be to abort, we unfortunately do not have the patience to raise a child with a mental disabilty, nor would I want to carry to term just to give for adoption. I understand that some people will think of this as selfish but that is my opinion… Everybodies got one and theyre not always pretty
Post # 3
I don’t really feel comfortable deciding if a person lives or dies. I would terminate if the baby’s entire life would be agony. Down syndrome? No.
Post # 4
Terminate. That is not a life I would want to live, nor a life that I want my child to live (and yes, DH and I have discussed this topic should we ever decide to procreate).
Post # 5
I would continue with the pregnancy, I’m fairly certain. I would take the child God gave me and do the best I could, regardless of circumstance.
Post # 6
I would never terminate a pregnancy. My friend’s parents were told their son would be born with Down Syndome and he does not have it. He was validictorian of his class and is exceptional at both school and sports. I could never live with myself for killing another person. This unborn child could be the one to find the cure for cancer, but would never be given the chance. I feel very strongly on every baby having the chance to live life to the fullest. Children with any mental illness can have expectionally fullfilling lives and change the lives of those around them. I see these children every day and they are the greatest gifts, as every child is, and are truly unbelievably people.
Post # 7
We chose not to have any genetic testing done. If we did find out that something was wrong with our baby, it would greatly depend on what the quality of life would be. If the baby had cerebral palsy or downs syndrome or a similar mental handicap, I would keep the baby. If they had physical probloems but were mentally aware I would probably chose to carry on as well, although it might depend on the specific problems and the medical costs. However, if the baby would forever live in a vegeattive state… I don’t think it would be fair to them, my husband and I, or any future children we have to continue the pregnancy. I couldn’t handle it emotionally or financially, and I would be unwilling to dedicate my life to the kind of care that they would need (espcially if there is a chance they live every day in pain, or aren’t aware of anything at all).
Post # 8
I think I would probably terminate but it’s impossible to say unless you’re actually in that position, IMO. I have a cousin with spina bifida and it’s a horrible, awful thing to live with. If I had a child with downs or similar, I feel like I would worry so much about what would happen to them once I was gone.
Post # 9
@anon_bee87: We would most likely terminate. I’m sure if this situation ever did occur (hopefully not!), it would be an incredibly difficult, hearth wrenching decision and not taken lightly. And maybe if the situation did happen to us, we could change our minds, but as of now (not pregnant or TTC) we feel that we wouldn’t want to knowingly bring a child into the world who will not be starting out on an even playing ground and have them set up for a difficult life.
Post # 10
I always said I would abort. But when they were running the actual panel and it was an actual possibility, I had no idea!
I honestly think I would have kept it!
Post # 11
Ive seen too many ppl suffer from severe disabilities working in the healthcare field. So I would terminate
Post # 12
@anon_bee87: I have told my FI a million times over that I would abort a baby if I discovered it had Down syndrome or anything else that would require my constant care. I love myself too much to live that way and I would never willingly choose to do so. If my DD were to become paralyzed or something of the sort, I would of course forever take care of her, but I would never willingly have a baby that I knew would have those issues.
I almost feel like its selfish to conciously have a baby that you know will have debilitating issues throughout life. Especially when the baby will need constant care forever, who’s going to end up talking care of your kid when you’re gone? Most likely, your other children because they feel they have to. I don’t want that sort of life for my kids.
Post # 13
@anon_bee87: I think this decision is largely based in the individuals stance on abortion as a whole. Obviosuly someone who is against abortion is more likely to keep the pregnancy. So I expect you will get a lot of responses like @Jess1483:.
You probably could have asked if you are pro-choice what would you do and gotten answers that might reflect the decision of whether to abort a fetus presenting with mental disabilities or not.
I am CBC so for me the decision would have been made as soon as I knew I was pregnant, disability or not I would choose to abort.
Post # 14
@anon_bee87: Andrew Solomon’s book Far From the Tree is super interesting. It is about children who are vastly different from their parents for whatever reason, organized into chapters. Deafness, Autism, children conceived from rape, Dwarfism, etc. It is a fascinating book and one of the best ones I’ve ever read.
Post # 15
In the examples that you gave, probably we would keep the baby. Spina bifida is not necessarily associated with mental disabilities (depending on severity); cerebral palsy is a huge range of conditions that has nothing to do with mental disabilities; Down syndrome therapies have shown a lot of potential for many individuals. All of those things may not necessarily impact quality of life all that much, in our opinion. (Plus you’re not going to know that your child has CP when they’re in the womb anyway, so that’s kind of a moot point.)
However, very severe deformations or developmental problems? Yes, we would terminate. No brain, organs outside the body, etc.
Post # 16
@Ninteenthchance: +1. My DH and I thankfully agree on this.