Human Rights

Quote of the day: Woman recalls aborting boy with Down syndrome at Planned Parenthood

I am told the genetic test shows positive for Down Syndrome. I am told to come to the office on Monday, a doc would be available to talk to me in the afternoon….

It seems like everyone has figured out the next step – it is a given. The pregnancy has become unwanted…. Only much later do I resent the one-sidedness of it all. Only much later do I regret not having made a real choice.

On Monday, at Kaiser, we meet with the doc and the genetic counsellor. The path is self-evident. The right thing to do is to terminate the pregnancy. I am told that since I am not that far along in order to go through induced labor, the procedure that is called for – D&E – cannot be done at Kaiser. This procedure is outsourced to Planned Parenthood….

The building looks industrial and dreary. The atmosphere inside is cold and silent. The ‘patients’ are separated from their chaperones by a locked secure door. There are 10-15 women, and the process is like a conveyor belt, each of us taking her turn one after the other at each stage of process. There is hardly any talk among us. I sit enwrapped in my grief, and feel alone in it – no one shares it. I see none of it reflected in other faces of other women or of the staff….

There is no follow up by Kaiser or by Planned Parenthood. No support, no counseling, no discussion, no processing….

I felt betrayed by Kaiser, having sent me to a place where there was such a discrepancy between what I felt and the surrounding atmosphere…. The baby, both physically and spiritually was just tossed away. I regret that. I regret not having followed through with a few ideas I had of commemorating the boy, which I even had a name for.

The one thing I did several months later was ask for a meeting with the genetic counsellor, to tell her that I wish there was more than one voice in the decision process – that someone would have talked to me of the option of delivering the child and raising it.

~ Rose, who aborted her baby boy with Down Syndrome, as quoted by Tami Jackson at, February 10

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