During breakfast this morning, I read this article in the Wall Street Journal about prenatal screenings. I assume that the tests/screenings the article is talking about is the sequential screening that we were offered at 13 weeks to test for Down’s Syndrome and a few other genetic disorders. We opted not to do the sequential screening, mostly because our insurance didn’t cover it, but also because we wouldn’t terminate the pregnancy regardless of the result. We did do the quad screen test at 17 weeks, because the doctor said it would influence treatments later in pregnancy if anything was found.
Anyway, I thought the article was interesting. I was aware that the tests were fairly new, but didn’t fully realize the big shift that it was making in prenatal care. Or that some people use these tests as the end-all, be-all diagnosis for their embryo. When our doctors talked to Travis and I about the sequential screening, they did say that false-positives were possible and that they would confirm any positive with additional testing, like an amniocentesis. So when I read in this article that a healthy embryo had been terminated based on a false-positive from a sequential screening test, I started crying.
I’ve always been against abortions, but the experience of pregnancy has made it so much more tangible that the bundle of cells in my uterus is a person. From the day of conception. A little baby who, God willing, will grow into a child, a teenager, an adult that has a personality completely unique to them. Who am I to decide that their life is worth or not worth keeping? Who am I to decide that this one should be given life, while this one shouldn’t?
I know this a touchy subject so I’ll stop there. But I will urge any pregnant woman, if you get genetic testing done, at least make sure the results are conclusive before you make a decision.
And even then, remember that miracles do happen.