Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Problem of Fetal Testing

I was reading an article, today, about a couple who went in for testing their baby before it was born and ended up aborting when they were told their baby would be born defected. After their baby was dead, they realized there had been a mix-up and they had killed their perfectly healthy baby. My heart aches for them, but at the same time, the whole thing irritates me.

First of all, it is morally inconsistent to demand you be compensated for aborting a healthy child (for that matter, I think it's as equally wrong to cry “wrongful birth” as “wrongful abortion”). Some of the strongest people in the world are ones who were born with defects and overcame them. There are babies who live for only a few hours. The parents of these people show significant strength, as well, knowing the possibility and realizing that the baby is still their baby, whether or not it is “perfect.”

We aren't even sure, yet, if children with autism are born that way. What about dyslexic children? Children who get cancer? Would the parents of these children rather have aborted them than spent the few hours, months, or years with them? I doubt you would find many who would say so.

I should say, here, that I believe abortion to be a sin, regardless of danger to the mother. I feel zero need to protect my position, here, because that isn't the point of this post. Suffice it to say, scripture supports life in every way, and so do I.

Back to the point: let's say that you aren't against abortion and you have testing done. Your baby is diagnosed with some genetic defect. You are fully capable of caring for the baby – or maybe you aren't – and you decide to abort. You are deciding this with the realization that testing is incorrect almost 50% of the time. Your results may look perfect but you have a child with some sort of defect. Your results may show problems but your baby is perfectly healthy.

Are you willing to take the risk of being wrong?

I didn't have any testing done when I was pregnant. If my baby's results had been abnormal in some way, I would have proceeded through the pregnancy. Sure, there are some ways you can prepare if you know about a problem in advance, but what if they said there would be something wrong, I prepared for it, and had a healthy baby? Would it be worth the anxiety?

For me, it wasn't worth knowing. I did have the 20 week ultrasound, because I think there are some problems that would put my pregnancy at higher risk, in which case I would have needed to birth in the hospital; however, that was the only reason I did so.

Why do some parents risk much for something unimportant? 

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