Welcome to Illinois

Selective thinking

Posted in Scientific research, Screening, Statistics, Termination by Matt at WelcometoIllinois on July 7, 2008

There’s an excellent article on Newsday.com that discusses the rights and wrongs of prenatal testing in the context of abortion rates.

The article makes the interesting point that while “92 percent of unborn children diagnosed with Down syndrome are currently aborted”… “The prevalence of children born with Down syndrome has not actually seen a dramatic decrease in the United States” which I was not aware of. Of course as screening rates begin to increase beyond 70% that situation may change.

The article also points to the recent discovery of a region on chromosome 16 that is apparently linked to autism, and the inevitable debate that sparked about selective abortions, which I missed thanks to my pre-Down’s ignorance of such things.

I have to admit to being in two minds as to the links between chromosome 16 and autism. On the one hand I have previously voiced my unease regarding encouragement for more testing. On the other hand, the more screening tests are created, the wider and louder the debate is likely to be.

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2 Responses

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  1. Rickismon said, on July 7, 2008 at 7:33 pm

    What makes me most at un-at-ease about testing is when the rates go low enough that the government will start saying: You chose to keep–you pay! (Similar to the situation of second children in china…)

    If you are interested, I have a blog mostly about live with a teen who has Down S. :
    http://beneaththewings.blogspot.com/

  2. welcometoillinois said, on July 8, 2008 at 11:05 am

    Thanks again for the comments Rickismom. I’m just starting out and getting to know the Down’s related blogoshere. It’s nice to get some feedback.


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