Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Go Ahead, Get an Abortion... Just as Long as You're Happy

Canadian Ob/Gyn's Promote Genetic Screening

"Yes, it's going to lead to more termination, but it's going to be fair to these women who are 24 who say, 'How come I have to raise an infant with Down's syndrome, whereas my cousin who was 35 didn't have to?' " Dr. Lalonde said. "We have to be fair to give women a choice."

Such is the profound wisdom of Dr. Andre Lalonde, a clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Ottawa and the executive vice president of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada.

The National Post is reporting that amniocentesis, a test routinely performed on pregnant women over 35 to test for genetic defect, will be recommended by the SOGC for all pregnant women in Canada.

I strongly reject this suggestion.

I reject it first of all on medical grounds. Amniocentesis is an invasive procedure into the womb where
a small sample of the amniotic fluid surrounding the baby is removed then examined. There have been studies to suggest that the procedure can cause death to the child though miscarriage. The SOGC is suggesting that new studies refute this claim, however, this makes no difference in my mind.

The sole purpose of the test, as is clear from the quote above, is to determine if a baby is "worth giving birth to." I reject that such a question can be answered in the negative since worth is never determined by role or contribution to society - it is determined by man being made in the image of God. To terminate a pregnancy for suspected genetic defect is, in my opinion, pure selfishness on the part of the parent.

I reject this proposal for widespread testing on ethical grounds. These tests are not perfect and they place the parent in an impossible situation. To be told that your child has a certain percentage likelihood of a genetic defect is too much. Parents are at their most vulnerable at this time.

I reject this proposal from personal experience. Although we rejected amniocentesis as an option in our son's pregnancy (for the simple reason it might have killed him), we were given indicators through non-invasive testing that there might be a genetic problem. Readers of my blog will know that my son was born with a genetic defect labelled Williams Syndrome - a full-orbed physical and mental disability.

Is my son an accident? A faltering of the progressive cycle of evolution? A drain on society and its money? A thing not as valuable as a fully-functioning "normal" person?

My son is my flesh and blood and his worth is bound up in the fact he was made in the image and likeness of God, knit together in his mother's womb and held together by the grace and power of Jesus Christ right now. If he never moved a muscle, never spoke a word, never made my life happier at any point, he would be no less valuable to the One who made Him. And no less valuable to me.

Dr. Andre Lalonde disgraces the medical profession and ought to be ashamed of himself.