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Fetal Diagnoses Leading to Unnecessary Abortions
So much for "Don't like abortions? Don't Have One."
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Dateline: 3/2/01

The slogan, "Don't like abortions? Don't have one," doesn't hold water, especially when it comes to supposedly "medically indicated" abortions. The reality of legalization isn't making "needed" abortions safer and more accessible for sick women, or women carrying severely handicapped babies. The realty is women who ordinarily wouldn't resort to abortion being frightened into them by doctors who are giving them inaccurate information.

Researchers in England have found that parents have chosen abortion after being given grossly inadequate and misleading information about their unborn children. The study was published in the British Medical Journal.

The study found that some prenatal testing units were giving parents information over the phone after genetic testing, by midwives they've never met. Parents whose fetus had Klinefelter's Syndrome, in which the fetus has an extra sex chromosome, were told that their babies would be severely impaired. But the genetic anomoly itself isn't associated with mental retardation or even with any impairment at all except sterility, and sometimes unusual secondary sexual traits that are treatable, and don't appear until the child reaches puberty. In fact, many people with this anomoly don't discover that they have it until they seek treatment for infertility later in life. But based on the false information, parents were aborting these children.

This is not the first time patients have been found to be seeking abortions based on false or misleading information. Dr. Thomas Murphy Goodwin, a high-risk obstetrician, reflected on numerous cases in which patients were referred to him by concerned pastors, neighbors, and associates after they'd been told their only option was abortion, either because of fetal abnormalities or because of maternal health problems. Goodwin estimated that in the area served by his practice, there were one or two cases a year in which the mother faced a greater than 20% chance of death due to pregnancy. Yet there are approximately 300 abortions a year in that area for maternal or fetal indications. This is evidence of overkill in the ugliest, and truest, sense of the word.

By treating abortion as a "right," as a good thing that women want and "need," abortion advocates have created a world in which those around the pregnant woman are ready to recommend abortion -- and even give false information to promote abortion -- at the slightest sign of trouble with a pregnancy.

While this benefits the few women who refuse to love a baby who is less than "perfect," it does a grave disservice to the vast majority of women who love their babies regardless of what kind of health problems the babies might have.

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