I’ve seen many polls that conclude that America is a “pro-life” nation. And that the number of self-identified pro-lifers is growing. I’ve even felt myself growing hopeful about the immediate future because of those poll numbers.
But after reading a story today I’m not sure I believe it.
The number of babies with Down syndrome carried to term in the United States has declined to single digit percentages, officials say.
Approximately 92 percent of American women with prenatal diagnoses of Down syndrome babies chose abortion, Children’s Hospital Boston pediatric geneticist Dr. Brian Skotko said.
Skotko is concerned whether myths or facts drive the decisions, ABC News reports. “I am concerned about mothers making that informed decision. Are they making it on facts and up-to-date information? Research suggests not, and that mothers get inaccurate, incomplete and sometimes offensive information,” Skotko said.
Firstly, 92% is a heartbreaking number. Staggering.
Now, you can’t argue reasonably that mothers with babies diagnosed in-utero with Down Syndrome is a completely random sample because mothers of Down Syndrome children tend to be over 30 and usually closer to 40 or older. But even allowing that it’s just a slice of the population, it’s still awful. In fact, awful doesn’t begin to describe it.
But there’s no reason to think that younger mothers would do better in that younger women tend to get more abortions than older women. So how do we reconcile polling which indicates that 50% of the country self identifies as pro-life while only 8% of babies diagnosed with Down Syndrome are allowed to be born?
Now, you could have a number of people who know that aborting their child is wrong but the threat of a Down child is too much to bear and they have an abortion even though they know it’s wrong and still believe it should be illegal. But that’s almost worse than just thinking abortion is a morally neutral act. No matter what, it’s certainly not indicative of a pro-life nation.
I think sometimes when it comes to abortion I become very focused on changing the laws. But I think we have a lot of hearts to change in this country or changing the laws won’t really matter all that much.