Sunday, July 29, 2012

Journalist admits she would seriously consider aborting an IVF baby with Down syndrome

from Daily Mail by Toni Jones:
41-year-old Samantha Brick is desperate for a child.
Having tried to conceive naturally without success for four years her and her husband embarked on their first round of IVF treatment earlier this year.
The gruelling process has a very small chance of working for women over the age of 40.
Yet today the journalist told This Morning that if she does manage to conceive and then learns that the baby has Down's Syndrome she would seriously consider aborting it.
Despite spending thousands of pounds on trying to conceive many women are deciding to abort babies after learning that they will be born with the genetic condition, leading some anti-abortion campaigners to claim that they are treating babies like designer goods.
Is it right to choose the option of a termination after under-going such an emotional and physical treatment?
Samantha believes that it is totally justifiable.
She said:
'My husband and I have been trying for a baby for four years. It is not easy, all around me friends are conceiving and building up their families.

'Every month you hope for the miracle baby, and when that doesn't happen you just keep going and keep going.
'My firs attempt at IVF failed and my husband I have discussed in depth and at length whether we could keep a baby diagnosed with Down's Syndrome.
'I live in France,I know that people there don't have the same support, I would have to send my baby to a centre on Monday morning and then welcome them back on Friday night.
'I already have a large family including ageing in laws with their own problems and so it's not just myself that I have to think about it's everyone else in the  family and what that imapct would have on them.'
Samantha also raisd the issue of being an older parent to a Down's Syndrome child.
She says: 'I'm 41 now. What will happen to that child with Down's Syndrome if anything happens to me?
'I'm not just having a glass of wine and deciding to terminate a baby.
It's a huge decision and one I wouldn't take lightly at all.
'I actually think it would be selfish to HAVE that baby because of the impact on the local health services, the cost of raising that chlid and the support it would need.'
Also on the sofa was weather girl Claire Nasir, 42, who was told after conceiving through IVF that the chance of her having a Down's Syndrome baby was 1 in 20, but decided to go ahead with her pregnancy and has since had a healthy baby without the condition.
Claire said: 'When the doctors told us that there's a very high risk of Down's Syndrome - one in 20 - I was absolutely shocked.
'My reality changed, I went from the joy of being pregnant after so many years to having to have a tricky conversation with my husband about what we should do. 
'But I had produced this beautiful little feotus and was going to love the baby whatever.
'I went in to having IVF and getting pregnant with my eyes open to any consequences I would have to face.
'I don't think I have any right as a human being to choose that - I'm just lucky to have a miracle in the first place.'
As a journalist, Samantha has spent four years researching the risks while she has been trying to get pregnant, she says: ''50-70 per cent of couples who have a child with a disability end up spitting up.
'I want to have a child with my husband because I love him, I'm really happily married and I can't forget him as a factor
'I would love to have a child but he has a right in this argument too.
'I would hate to end up as that statistic.'
Talking exclusively to the MailOnline after the interview Samantha said: 'I absolutely stand by my comments and the position I took today. Far from being selfish, I believe I'm being selfless in putting the needs and wishes of those around me above my desire to be a mum.
'Its important to honestly debate such a difficult issues especial as 9 in 10 women will terminate such a pregnancy.
'My family and I have between us worked with hundreds of people with Downs Syndrome. Let's stop 'Disneyfying' this genetic condition and ensure families, and potential parents, can debate and discuss and have the full unbiased facts of exactly what they're getting into.'

Video: Samantha and Claire debate the issue on This Morning. Watch the full interview here.

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