Ross Douthat, Bristol Palin and countless others are certainly right when they decry the number of babies with Down syndrome who are aborted every year as a result of prenatal testing. And Douthat offers a good and important analysis of the grave problems with human hubris in thinking that we should try to engineer human beings according to our ideals of achievement, mastery, and success. But the data demonstrates that many families are still choosing life for babies with Down syndrome. Providing accurate numbers when women with a prenatal diagnosis face the decision about whether to terminate might just save some lives.
A number of scientific studies have shown an abortion rate from 80 percent to 90 percent -- close to what Santorum said -- but all have been localized. Since there’s evidence that the decision to abort can vary by region, we think it’s an overstatement for Santorum to say that after prenatal diagnosis, "90 percent of Down syndrome children in America are aborted." There are no standardized, national numbers, so his use of the term "in America" is problematic. On balance, we rate his statement Half True.
I made it a goal early on that no matter how stern I might have to be, I would make sure that my kids know with no ambiguity that they are loved and that we would take care of them.
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