Women who have had abortions due to fetal anomalies often describe pressure from their doctors to abort and little time to make a decision. Many receive poor information — including outdated or overly negative information about their child’s condition, and little or no information on resources or about those have successfully parented children with the same condition. And many struggle with the experience afterward, often for many years.
One woman who described herself as pro-choice wrote in the London Guardian about being being immediately sent off to a consultant after being told her unborn child had Down Syndrome.
“He then told us what the prognosis would be for the child,” she wrote. “Life expectancy of 30 or 40. Never being able to look after himself. Likely to have a serious medical problem all his life. And also what the prognosis would mean for [our two-year-old son]. Now a very happy child, he would have a completely different childhood with such a sick sibling.”
She was shocked to find out that once they agreed to the abortion, she was expected to take a pill “then and there” to begin the process. And she also described later feelings of grief, guilt, doubt, hatred of pregnant women and anger at the rest of the world.
Another woman who had an abortion after learning her child had Down Syndrome described a similar experience.
“I was 26 weeks pregnant when I found out the baby had Down Syndrome. The doctor, my family and a so-called ‘Christian’ counselor thought it would be to my and the baby’s advantage if I had the abortion … The counselor was very pushy and told me I should have an abortion if I really loved my child …
“The abortion was cruel … No one ever told me about all the emotional baggage I would be required to carry for the rest of my life. It destroyed my life! My marriage suffered tremendously and my relationships with others were also affected because I no longer trusted anyone.”
The Need to Protect the Rights of Mothers and Babies
The Elliot Institute has called for legislation that would provide for legal liability for abortion businesses that fail to screen for coercion and other factors (including later abortion and abortion for negative fetal diagnosis) that are known to put women at risk for psychological problems after abortion. For more information on this legislation, visit www.stopforcedabortions.com