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Wednesday, 17 June 2015

"The Older, Deeper, Wiser Instincts of the Heart"

Image result for fifties housewife comic book curtains
I ordered drapes, but when they came, we opened the box and there was a big slub, a flaw in the fabric, so we didn't even take them out of the box, so we'll just keep the ones we have, for now....
Oh, wait, did I say "drapes"? No, not drapes. I meant to say "a baby".

I mean, that is what is done, right?
Aren't we entitled to perfection, especially when we've waited all this time, and sometimes padi good money?
Thankfully, not always.

But the goddess of Medicine  may have found a new way to keep the little woman from making "mistakes."
(Laudata si, Angitia! )

What kind of mistakes, you ask?
the baby has spina bifida. Knowing that this is one of the conditions easily detected during pregnancy, I asked if the couple had known about it. “Oh yes,” he said. And of course they were immediately offered a termination. They refused. I should add that the young couple referred to have no religious beliefs. But this was their first baby and they were instinctively determined to hold on to her. The latest news is that she was operated on almost straight after her birth to close the gap in her spine, and she is now “kicking vigorously” – a hopeful sign for the future.
Events like this happen all the time. An amniocentesis or other test is administered during pregnancy, a serious (or occasionally not so serious, like a cleft lip or club foot) condition is picked up and then the couple is offered the “solution” – a quick termination; problem solved. Some parents reject it, not necessarily for religious reasons, but because they listen to the older, deeper, wiser instincts of the heart: this is our baby; we will love him/her, whatever the future holds. Others, less confident, more vulnerable to all the medical and emotional pressure put on them, believing the propaganda of a bleak future for them and their baby, succumb to what is seen as a routine medical procedure.
I mention all this because of the recent headline in the Telegraph: “Blood test for Down’s babies may save lives.” My heart always sinks when I read this kind of news – an odd response really, given the brilliant medical breakthroughs of the last 50 years which have saved countless lives. But I have a daughter with Down’s syndrome and I know that this new blood test is never intended to save the lives of babies like her; indeed it will probably prove to be a more efficient way of weeding out such babies earlier in pregnancy. The babies who will be “saved” are all those who die by misadventure from miscarriage due to the nature of the tests. Apparently there are 300 such babies lost every year in this country. According to Professor Lyn Chitty from the UCL Institute of Child Health and Great Ormond Street Hospital: “There will be significant savings resulting from a decrease in invasive testing while increasing the detection of affected babies. [It] also means there will be a reduction in miscarriages and loss of unaffected babies which is much better for parents.”
Phillips goes onto speak of the trauma and depression mothers who abort for such reason are subject to, and the push to prevent relevant stats from being bruited about.
Even when studies  that note ill effects of abortion on women, or absence of ill effects on women who don't have abortions are publicized, I find the denial astounding.
The NYTimes had a ludicrous piece where they noted that while, yes, women who sought abortions and were denied them later report being happy with how things turned out, they simply MUST have been hiding their true feelings, trying to put a good face on things, pretending they were okay when they weren't!
(Whereas women who have abortions, and later declare themselves happy? can you imagine the outcry if the author had suggested that THAT group was hiding their true feelings, trying to put a good face on things, and pretending they were okay when they weren't?)

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