By Cassy Fiano
Indiana recently became the second state to ban abortions of babies with Down syndrome, as well as other fetal abnormalities. This was something that was sorely needed, as babies diagnosed with a disability are very frequently victims of abortion.
Down syndrome is one of the most commonly occurring birth defects, and up to 90 percent of babies diagnosed prenatally with Down syndrome end up as victims of abortion. Far from being horrified by that statistic, abortion advocates laud these abortions— even getting angry when a baby with Down syndrome is adopted instead of aborted. So naturally, pro-abortion activists are furious that babies with disabilities will be protected in Indiana.
The latest example comes from an actual abortionist. Katherine McHugh wrote an op-ed for the Chicago Tribune where she lamented that she wouldn’t be able to kill disabled babies anymore, claiming that it would make her patients “suffer.” According to McHugh, a physician has two responsibilities after they deliver a diagnosis of fetal abnormalities:
First, we must always be supportive of the mother or family who has suddenly been confronted with the loss of an imagined ideal pregnancy and child. And second, we help them understand that they have options, one of which is the termination of the pregnancy.
McHugh then gives multiple examples of disabilities and abnormalities where abortion is “ethical” and “appropriate.” Trisomy 13, she says, is terrible because babies could be born with only one eye and no nose, and typically do not live for longer than a year.
Next, she mentions spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), which is characterized by rapid neurologic degeneration and, according to McHugh, causes death within a year. Strangely, the Muscular Dystrophy Association is under the impression that babies born with Type 1 SMA (the kind McHugh was referring to) can live for a number of years, and specifically pointed out that in the past, children didn’t survive for more than two years — but now, they can. McHugh couldn’t possibly be fudging the data, could she?
Finally, she brings up Duchenne muscular dystrophy, which causes progressive muscular weakness and eventually causes the person who has it to need a wheelchair. Eventually, they will become paralyzed. McHugh says that men with Duchenne muscular dystrophy have a life expectancy of less than 25 years. (Yet again, the MDA disagrees.)
McHugh then boasts about the high rate of Down syndrome abortions, using it as a reason to defend the bill, and says that these abortions happen out of “love and compassion.” No, really:
Not all prenatally diagnosed disabilities are fatal, of course. Scientific advances can detect abnormalities with increasing accuracy, allowing families to decide whether having a child with a disability is right for them. Again, what is important is that they have the right to choose. That choice is not the radical outlier Indiana’s new law might suggest: Research suggests that women terminate between 60 and 90 percent of pregnancies diagnosed with Down syndrome. These decisions are made out of love and compassion, a seemingly obvious concept but one that bears emphasizing.
Funny… one would think that if these parents loved their babies so much, they wouldn’t force them to a violent death where they’re ripped apart limb from torso.
One of the worst things McHugh wrote, though, is that she and her colleagues are now considering ending prenatal screening, because if they can’t push their patients towards abortion, then what’s the point?
Preventing women with these fetal diagnoses from choosing abortion forces them to watch their children die a slow, painful, premature death. My colleagues and I are already asking one another whether we should even offer prenatal screening now that there’s no legal choice to end a pregnancy because of the results.
Maybe they could offer prenatal screening to do things like help the mother prepare for the birth of a child with a disability, or give the preborn baby the best medical care possible. Contrary to popular belief, prenatal testing isn’t just so that parents can abort their disabled babies. There are actual medical benefits to knowing about many disabilities, like Down syndrome, in advance. Maybe McHugh could try to act like a doctor instead of an executioner. How’s that for an idea?
Many, many women who have received a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome report having a negative experience with the doctor who delivered the diagnosis. One in four women say they are pressured to have an abortion; even more women are given inaccurate, outdated medical information, which, interestingly, McHugh herself seems to have done with the examples she gave of why abortion is “necessary.”
It would likely be a fair bet that McHugh is one of the abortionists who would deliver the diagnosis in a negative way, give outdated and inaccurate information, and pressure her patients to have abortions.
Far from showing that the Indiana law banning abortions based on disability, McHugh’s op-ed just proved why this law is so sorely needed.
Editor’s note. This appeared at liveactionnews.org and is reprinted with permission.