A study reports that since 1989, when prenatal testing for Downs Syndrome was introduced, 90 percent of women whose fetus tests positive decide to have an abortion. That means only 10 percent of children are brought to term after the mother learns of the condition.
The Daily Telegraph reports Friday that three children identified with Downs Syndrome are aborted in England and Wales per day.
Taking inspiration from the Occupy Wall Street protesters' "I am the 99%" statements, which has also resulted in "I am the 53%", this photograph began circulating around on Facebook. To date, it has been "liked" by thousands and shared upwards of 15,000 times since its posting on Sunday.
LifeSiteNews tracked down the father, Andy Reigstad, who said he decided to take this picture of his nearly 6-year-old son Boaz to show people "that though our son is not perfect (nor are any of us), he is happy and his life is worth living."
Up until recently, prenatal tests for Trisomy 21 -- the condition where a person has 47 chromosomes instead of 46 with the extra at the 21st chromosome -- were rather invasive for the mother and child. Earlier this month, a non-invasive blood test for Downs Syndrome was released, hailed by some for its increased safety and received with concern by others foreseeing increased testing and subsequent abortions. The New York Times has more:
“You will have dramatically fewer procedures,” said Dr. Stephen A. Brown, an associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Vermont[...]. “It’s a game-changer.”
“The number of American women who will have to grapple with this information prenatally will substantially increase,” said Dr. Brian G. Skotko of the Down syndrome program at Children’s Hospital Boston. His sister has Down syndrome, he said, and he pointed out that these tests could encourage more people to end their pregnancies, causing a decline in the numbers of people with the condition and leading to diminished support for them.
Although a high rate of abortions exist for women whose fetus tests positively for Downs Syndrome, a few years ago BBC reported a study of women in the United Kingdom and Europe revealed that births of children with the condition were on the rise.
Numbers of viewings for the photograph were updated in this story.