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Words from an Advocate: Mom of a Child with Down Syndrome

A 1999 European study stated that 90% of babies diagnosed with Down syndrome before birth are aborted. However, most of the U.S. does not track those statistics so that number cannot reliably be used here.

That being said, about a dozen states do keep track of and gather information around prenatal testing. In 2012, a study used a mathematical model to estimate that 67% of babies diagnosed with Down syndrome in the US are aborted.


  1. Ruth on October 11, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    I am a Registered Nurse. For many years I worked with an agency that cared for the disabled. During that time I became well acquainted with many people with Down Syndrome. Their skills, interests, abilities, and moods were varied, so were their hopes and dreams, much like the rest of us. Their desire for social integration, friendship, and love was much the same as my own. Every one of us has varied talents and abilities. What makes us think that we have the right to end an unborn babies life just because he or she may have a disability? Each baby is a lovely gift. As the mother of several children I can vouch for the fact that I love my adopted disabled child as much as my biological ‘normal’ children.

    • ORTL on October 11, 2017 at 2:45 pm

      Thank you so much for your comments, Ruth! Such a wonderful perspective you have.

    • Terri on October 11, 2017 at 4:58 pm

      I agree 100%!!! Thank you for sharing.

  2. Liz on October 11, 2017 at 10:46 pm

    My son with Down Syndrome is now 24 years old. In addition to his part time job, he works as a volunteer in the community, swims in the US Masters Swim program, and runs the children’s library at church. It has been a labor of love, heart, and soul for me and my husband to bring up our son to this point in his life, but we wouldn’t trade it for anything. The decision to deny life to a person with this disability is one based on misinformation and
    unfair stereotype. I would advise anyone who is faced with this kind of decision to first talk to parents who are years ahead on this journey, to find out what life is really like with Down Syndrome in the family. We are the ones who can truly speak from first-hand experience.(And it’s not so bad, contrary to what those who really don’t know might think!)

    • ORTL on October 12, 2017 at 8:13 am


  3. David Klaus on October 12, 2017 at 8:04 am

    As a bus driver for special needs students, I have had several Down Syndrome students on my bus, and I can attest that they are AMAZING kids! They amount of love these kids display moves me daily! It is a travesty that 67% of DS babies are killed through abortion before they even have a chance to share their amazing gift with the world around them!

    • ORTL on October 12, 2017 at 8:12 am

      Thank you for sharing!

  4. Liz's son on October 12, 2017 at 3:50 pm

    I am Liz’s son from the post above. Jesus has been giving me an abundant life. (John 10:10)

    • ORTL on October 12, 2017 at 7:11 pm

      Thank you for chiming in, Liz

  5. Doug Alvey on October 23, 2017 at 1:26 pm

    When I was @9months old, my mother was diagnosed with Tuberculosis and whisked away to the Salem Sanitarium. The County said my Dad couldn’t take care of the four of us and intended to split us up. Family friends (this was a logging community) took us in, until grand-parents could get in place. The family that took my youngest sister and me, decided they’d like a baby of their own and David was born a year later. There was no pre-natal testing in 1955 and David’s parents lived on a safe, isolated farm. His mother (a published School chef) was hired by the 1 through 8th grade local school, where David could be with her. His dad quit logging, when the Bus Driver job became available and he and David would do that every day. Then the STATE decided that they could do a better job raising David and sent him to multiple “Training Facilities” and “Homes”, well away from his family, in Salem. Eventually, the Coos Bay Schools got government “Special Education” money, and David was put into that. During the Special Ed. years, David lived in town with our family and went home on weekends and with his family (whom we visited often) in the Summer. Yes, David was different, but with that “Christ-like love” that the preachers always talk about. Even the mean Bull his dad was raising, let David come into the pen and pet him. I’ve talked with other Ds parents, and they’ve seen the same in their kids. David was only unhappy when the STATE got involved in his life. Even then, he loved everyone. As his playmates (and my parents), we all loved David. I think we need to investigate Down Syndrome as a Different Ability, rather than a Dis-abililty. Unfortunately, there are few adult Ds people. We lost David to leukemia, when he was 14.

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