Friday, October 26, 2007

90% of Women Prenatally Diagnosed with T21 Abort

That seems to be the statistic we all know. I wonder where that statistic comes from - is there some sort of registry where everyone who aborts a baby with Trisomy 21 registers? Are doctors obligated to report this to a statistics office?

I heard a psychiatrist at our Children's Hospital speak a while back - he has a nearly grown-up daughter with Trisomy 21. He believes this statistic to be wrong and quite misleading. He thinks that the percentage of women who abort is actually lower, more like 60% than 90%, and that in the last 20 years or so it has steadily gone down.

He says that we, as a society, are becoming more educated, have more resources available to us, and are questioning science and all its predictions much more than our mothers before us would have.

I think this may be true. With all of the prenatal testing available now, we are faced with questions of morality that our parents were not. But facing those questions may challenge us to find the answers to them as well.

I don't blindly believe every word that comes out of every doctor's mouth as gospel. Like most women my age, "google" is my friend - and I research and read and learn and ask questions about things.

I know better, so I do better.

My mother would have never questioned the family doctor who delivered me. In fact, I can remember going to his office, which was part of his house, after dinner for an appointment as a child - I often had tonsillitis - and having him offer my mother a drink while they chatted! And always, always, she would stop for a smoke with him before we left with my prescription for penicillin.

He could have told her that her baby was delivered by a stork when she was asleep (as she was put asleep to deliver!) and she probably would have believed him.

I don't know if that 90% statistic is right or not. I'd prefer to believe the doctor who says it is not. I'd like to think we are evolving, and would not subscribe to chromosomal eugenics.

I'd like to believe that 90% of women prenatally diagnosed with Trisomy 21 would research, ask questions, and meet families living with T21 before they made any decision.

Here's another funny fact about statistics - they really don't mean much unless you are one of them.

10% or 40% - I'm glad I'm the statistic I am.

1 comment:

Nicole said...

Me too honey!

You've been Blooged! Happy Halloween.
Go get your graphic.