Human Rights

Pressured to abort her baby, one mother fights for an end to discrimination

Down syndrome, Denmark
Rachel Mullen (via The Federalist)

Rachel Mullen (via The Federalist)

Rachel Mullen is fighting hard for the right to life for children diagnosed prenatally with Down syndrome. She knows firsthand how preborn babies with the condition are discriminated against, targeted for death simply for existing. Mullen lives in Ohio, where a proposed bill to ban abortion in cases of Down syndrome is on the line, along with countless lives.

90% of children diagnosed prenatally with Down syndrome are aborted. Mullen learned why this number is so high after she received a phone call telling her that her own preborn child likely had Down syndrome. In an article for The Federalist she wrote:

I was sent to a high-risk obstetrician seemingly immediately. The first thing I said to this doctor was that I would never abort my child, and I didn’t want her to even suggest this. She either found this to be a challenge she wanted to win or she just didn’t care about what I said.

The doctor had nothing positive to say about my child. In strong-armed fashion, she told me if I really loved my child I would have an abortion, because it was a caring decision that put the child first.

Mullen realized that this doctor didn’t care about her or her child, choosing to deny the humanity of her baby as well as all children and people living with Down syndrome, whether born or preborn. This doctor felt that someone with Down syndrome was better off being killed than living his or her life.

Already in her second trimester, Mullen was told she didn’t have any time to lose, and should make plans to abort. Mullen refused, but she did agree to a second blood test to confirm the diagnosis of Down syndrome. She would use the information to find a suitable pediatrician for her child.

Angry that the doctor had not only no respect for her desire to keep her baby, and zero respect for her baby’s life, Mullen was also shocked about the doctor’s ignorance regarding Down syndrome. The doctor incorrectly told Mullen that babies with the condition die before turning one. In reality, the life expectancy is age 60.

“My mind kept returning to women in this position who are less educated than I am and how this doctor would have easily influenced them,” explained Mullen. “I could imagine them being swayed by the doctor’s scare tactics and immediately making an appointment at an abortion clinic. That so many of these children are aborted is evidence that my case is certainly not an exception, but is the norm.”

The second blood test showed that the baby did not have Down syndrome. After that, the doctor stopped using the term fetus and used baby instead. Suddenly, it seemed the doctor could see the baby as a human being.

This experience with discrimination has motivated Mullen to stand up for the rights of the preborn and push for pro-life legislation like the proposed bill.

“If this bill was a law at the time of my pregnancy, my doctor would have been committing a felony, and she would have faced the revocation of her license for discriminating against my child and pressuring me to have an abortion because of an incorrect blood test,” said Mullen.

“Anyone on the Left who clings to protecting those with disabilities will only expose his or her own hypocrisy by opposing this legislation. Otherwise, he or she is embracing protection on one side of the womb and eugenics on the other.”

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