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Canadian Doctor Fears Palin's Decision to Have Trig Will Mean Fewer Abortions

Yes, this is actually his concern, that fewer women will abort their Down Syndrome babies, as if that's some national tragedy. But when you have socialized medicine which requires rationed medical care to the masses, any newborn with developmental delays and physical disabilities can cause problems for the collective. What an awful sentiment, that newborn babies with Down Syndrome are simply too much trouble to be born and their lives should be terminated, but that's what he's saying:

Dr. Andre Lalonde, executive vice president of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in Ottawa, worries that Palin's now renowned decision may cause abortions in Canada to decline as other women there and elsewhere opt to follow suit.

He says not every woman is prepared to deal with the consequences of Down babies, who have developmental delays, some physical difficulties and often a shortened lifespan.

Wider use of blood screening and amniocentesis during pregnancies can now accurately predict the presence of Down syndrome.

Lalonde says his primary concern is that women have the....

...choice of abortion and that greater public awareness of women making choices like Palin to complete a pregnancy and give birth to their genetically-abnormal baby could be detrimental and confusing to the women and their families.

What kind of nonsense is this? "Not all women are prepared to deal...could be detrimental and confusing to women." How offensive. My God, this guy has a very low opinion of women. As far as I'm concerned he's got no business being anywhere near women because he's not really concerned about their health. Take at look at his main concern:

"The worry is that this will have an implication for abortion issues in Canada," Lalonde tells the Globe and Mail.

Abortion issues. That's what this is about. The fact that 90% of pregnant women who get a diagnosis of Down Syndrome abort their babies, leading to almost an entire group of people being wiped off the face of the earth is of no consequence to him.

This man is vile.

Update: Compare this doctor's view that Down Syndrome babies are expendable to that of Michael Gerson, who writes about the gift of Trig's birth and what the continued termination of babies like him will mean for our society:

In addition to Barack Obama making history as the first African-American to be nominated for president and Sarah Palin taking her shotgun to the glass ceiling, there was a third civil rights barrier broken at the political conventions this year.

Trig Paxson Van Palin -- pronounced by his mother "beautiful" and "perfect" and applauded at center stage of the Republican convention -- smashed the chromosomal barrier. And it was all the more moving for the innocence and indifference of this 4-month-old civil rights leader...

Trig's moment in the spotlight is a milestone of that movement. But it comes at a paradoxical time. Unlike African-Americans and women, civil rights protections for people with Down syndrome have rapidly eroded over the last few decades. Of the cases of Down syndrome diagnosed by pre-natal testing each year, about 90 percent are eliminated by abortion. Last year the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommended universal, early testing for Down syndrome -- not just for older pregnant women. Some expect this increased screening to reduce the number of Down syndrome births far lower than the 5,500 we see today, perhaps to less than 1,000.

The wrenching diagnosis of 47 chromosomes must seem to parents like the end of a dream instead of the beginning of a life. But children born with Down syndrome -- who learn slowly but love deeply -- are generally not experienced by their parents as a curse but as a complex blessing. And when allowed to survive, men and women with an extra chromosome experience themselves as people with abilities, limits and rights. Yet when Down syndrome is detected through testing, many parents report that genetic counselors and physicians emphasize the difficulties of raising a disabled child and urge abortion.

This is properly called eugenic abortion -- the ending of "imperfect" lives to remove the social, economic and emotional costs of their existence. And this practice cannot be separated from the broader social treatment of the disabled. By eliminating less perfect humans, deformity and disability become more pronounced and less acceptable. Those who escape the net of screening are often viewed as mistakes or burdens. A tragic choice becomes a presumption -- "Didn't you get an amnio?" -- and then a prejudice. And this feeds a social Darwinism in which the stronger are regarded as better, the dependant are viewed as less valuable, and the weak must occasionally be culled.

Please read all of Michael's article because it is a beautiful tribute to special babies like Trig. Down Syndrome babies are not monsters. They are not inhuman. They are innocent human beings who can learn, love, grow, and have fulfilling lives just like the rest of us. What a terrible thing it says about us as a society that their lives are systematically eliminated simply because they are imperfect.


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Comments (20)

This man is vile. </... (Below threshold)

This man is vile.


This man is a sad product o... (Below threshold)

This man is a sad product of years of NewSpeak and hyperbolic socialism.

Given that we are actually ... (Below threshold)

Given that we are actually talking about Canada today, I am curious about the opinion (rare indeed) of our resident canuklehead.

At the risk of envoking God... (Below threshold)

At the risk of envoking Godwin's wrath I'll remind everyone that Hitler promoted his T-4 euthanasia program with sales pitches like, "60,000 Reichsmarks is what this person suffering from hereditary defects costs the People's community during his lifetime. Fellow German, that is your money too."

Naturally, fellow ghoul Margaret Sanger whole-heartedly supported this effort, even to the point of publishing articles from German doctors in her Birth Control Review.

Next time some lefty tries to tell you that only evil capitalists put a dollar value on human life, set them straight with the facts.

Thanks for posting this, Kim.

See, ladies, it is not diff... (Below threshold)
Fred Beloit:

See, ladies, it is not difficult. Just let Canadian Dr Strangelove decide whether you should have an abortion.

So it's not really about ch... (Below threshold)

So it's not really about choice at all. It's about you may be "influencing" others.

"Lalonde says giving women detailed information on the consequences of their decision is not actually encouraging them to seek abortions."

How about the detailed consequences of choosing abortion when the baby and mother are healthy? See, we shouldn't do that. THAT could be construed to be influencing them.

Omitting the repercussions of choosing to abort even when the mother and baby are perfectly healthy coupled with giving detailed repercussions of the choice to have a less than perfect baby is all about assuaging guilt.

These two approaches together is a testament to their support of abortion being okay under any circumstances. And Sarah Palin has upset that status simply because of her own personal decision. And now we have a prominent obstetrician bemoaning the fact that her decision "could" influence others who "may" not be prepared to rise to a challenge.

How long before the doctor runs a test and tells the mother, "Tests show that your child will develop diabetes by age ten and we all know the other, and sometimes detrimental, health problems associated with diabetes." Ending with, "I'm just sayin'"

Crap. Change "See, we s... (Below threshold)

Crap. Change "See, we should do that." to

"See, we shouldn't do that."

My twin sister is mentally ... (Below threshold)

My twin sister is mentally retarded with cerebral palsy. My parents were 22 yo and neither had a high school diploma. Thanks to mfg, we lived a middle class life. My sister now lives in a group home with other similarly situated ladies. My childhood was different to say the least, but i likely have a well of compassion that others don't share. There were certainly difficulties, but you don't know any different when you are living the situation.

Back in the late '80s, while in college, i looked at my college roommate's textbook for her "Intro to Special Ed" course. The first chapter had a section about pre-natal testing for downs syndrom and the "choice" of abortion. I thought that the textbook was telling these teachers-in-training that their students were mistakes that somehow fell thru the system. What a way to start! I explained my point to my roommate. She didn't get it. Unfortunately, the attitude is widely accepted.

Here's how this was suppose... (Below threshold)

Here's how this was supposed to go, but Palin (that stupid, hick, conservative) messed it up:

1. We get the Supreme Court to exclude a group from the category of "humanity" (namely, the unborn). Hey, this has worked before; consider Dred Scott. (They used the rights of slave owners; how about if we use the rights of women?)

2. We sell this as "a woman's right", and work it into society to the point that even the opponents of the Court ruling say it's too ingrained in our society to change it. (It worked with slavery and segregation.)

3. We plead the "greater good" of society. (Worked for slave owners and Hitler got a lot of mileage out of it.)

4. We expand our coverage. From fetuses with birth defects, we move to fetuses which "inconvenience" the mother.

5. From there, we move to the "very costly" infirm elderly. Once we have that ingrained, it will be easy to dispense with the overhead of retirees (man, paying for all those Boomers on retirement and producing nothing is a drag on our wealth!).

6. By that time we will have gotten most people used to the idea of the individual being worth only his earnings potential. Now we can start to apply that to the poor and uneducated. If we can clean out the slums and the barrios, we can cut taxes and still not have to cut the porkbarrel.

7. Those religious people are annoying. No matter how sincere our goals, they seem always to resist. Guess it's time to get the Supreme Court to rule that religion is a form, a dangerous form, of insanity. When we clear out the asylums and remove the homeless, we can take the religious people too.

8. Regardless of what we've said, we've never really been comfortable with homosexuals. That used to be classified as a sickness; we'll just make it so again.

9. All these immigrants, and that includes those "people" of different races, need to go.

10. Ah, that's better! Just you and me now. (What are you doing with that knife?)

#8: I've somehow h... (Below threshold)


I've somehow happened to know a lot of people over the years who had Cerebral Palsy. Several have been my friends. Some have had negligible visible evidence (I missed it totally in one guy until I happened to see that the bottom of his shoe was worn on the side) and some have been very severe/obvious (one guy drooled and one had to listen to him intently and not be afraid of asking him to repeat).

Almost all of the CP victims I have known were reasonably functional. Their intelligence ranged from below average to move-over-Einstein. Most were gainfully employed or headed that way through school.

All of them had the right to a fruitful, enjoyable, life, thanks to the fact they were born before Roe v. Wade.

I think you can see my point here.

I know a middle-aged man wh... (Below threshold)

I know a middle-aged man who is the proud father of 4 above-average children--one who just began college on a full scholarship due to his being valedictorian. This man has CP. He is above-average in his intelligence though. His only tip off is that he walks strangely and he occasionally stutters.

I know of two grown, Down Syndrome men who now, due to the death of both of their parents, live alone and were taught to do so by their late parents. They weren't treated any differently from anyone else growing up and both managed to graduate high school. They can cook their own meals, drive themselves, make change, and hold down jobs. They're happy, loving people who are active in their communities. Back when they were born it was commonplace to put such children in an institution for life. I'll go one further. I'll give you their actual first names.

Mark, Billy and Jeff are wonderful assets to my hometown and I'm proud their parents didn't give up on them.

I think Palin's choice</... (Below threshold)

I think Palin's choice to keep her baby will have zero effect on abortion policy in my country, so I'm not sure what this guy is worried about.

It's bizarre that the condition is still referred to as "Down's Syndrome", considering Dr. Down believed it to be attributable to "Mongolism" (based on then-current theory of ethnicity). Trisomy-21 is the politically correct way of referring to the condition, as it bears no relation to the notion that people so afflicted are "Mongoloids". (Dr. Down's excuse was that he was born in the 19th century; educated people in the 21st century, however, have no such excuse. You should stop using the term; Sarah Palin would be a good spokesperson for such a terminological paradigm shift, non?)

The disability rights movement has a problem with Trisomy-21 babies being aborted, for obvious reasons. I have little respect for someone who decides to eliminate their fetus based on its prospects of being "normal" (whatever the hell that means). It's their choice, though. The reasons why abortion is and ought to be permissable still stand regardless of the mental capacity of the fetus.

They are innocent human ... (Below threshold)

They are innocent human beings who can learn, love, grow, and have fulfilling lives just like the rest of us.

Why do you qualify "human beings" with "innocent"? Isn't being human enough to make the life of a Down's Syndrome child, or any child, or any human being, valuable?

It's a helpful distinction,... (Below threshold)

It's a helpful distinction, Kathy, for those who (e.g.) support the death penalty or think lethal warfare is sometimes acceptable.

I have two neighbors. ... (Below threshold)
Brian The Adequate:

I have two neighbors.

Neighbor A: Is living off the government on full disability.
Neighbor B: Has been known to walk 3 miles to work, because that is the only way he could get there.

Neighbor A: Is a surly SOB
Neighbor B: Is always cheerful, pleasant and is raising 2 wonderful little boys who clearly adore him.

Neighbor A: Does not appear to have anything remotely physically wrong with him. And whatever his "disability" may be it does not stop him from doing anything fun.
Neighbor B: Has CP so bad that he can't walk without 2 canes.

If ever a reliable in-utero test for CP comes along, will that same jackass doctor complain that it was not available to weed out the imperfection of my neighbor B?

What the ***k? 3 negative v... (Below threshold)

What the ***k? 3 negative votes, for explaining how the term "innocent" is helpful in delineating cases when it's acceptable to end a human life? That's cute: if you don't understand what I'm talking about, vote my comments down. Morons...

B.t.A.: yes, he probably would make such a complaint, and disability rights activists would still likely consider him to be a piece of shit.

This doctor's objection rai... (Below threshold)

This doctor's objection raises an interesting issue: I hadn't thought of it before, but his sort of attitude is one element in the danger of socialized medicine.

When the government gains control of healthcare and funds it from tax money, and imposes bureaucratic cost containment measures, abortion and euthenasia must pretty necessarily follow.

Bureaucratically controlled medical services are scary enough, but this?!

#17: no, they don't. See: W... (Below threshold)

#17: no, they don't. See: Western Europe; Scandinavia; Japan; Canada; South Korea...

I have Asperger's Syndrome,... (Below threshold)

I have Asperger's Syndrome, a "mild" form of autism. At this moment, I am VERY glad we do not yet know the genetic markers for autism.

In researching this post, I... (Below threshold)

In researching this post, I found a site with a picture of an aborted baby.

We should all pray for the women who do this, and later suffer the agony of a truly broken heart.

Jesus, my Father in heaven, I pray that our eyes are soon opened. Oh Lord, help us to see what we are doing before we destroy Your gift, even one more time. We need You now more than ever, amen.






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