It is estimated that 67% of prenatally diagnosed children with Down Syndrome are aborted.* Approximately 1 in 700 babies are born in the U.S. with Down Syndrome each year. Approximately 1 in every 9 children in the U.S. are born premature (about 450,000/year). Preterm births are the leading cause of long-term neurological disabilities in children.** Whichever statistic means more to you or catches you most by surprise, reality is that about a half a million babies are born each year with one of these two medical issues (this does not even account for heart defects and other congenital genetic defects). Along with those ~500,000 babies are the families of those babies who must learn about the needs of their new baby as well as adjusting to life not only with a newborn but also with a newborn that may require substantial medical or developmental support.
Today's technology and prenatal diagnosis complicate our response to precious bundles with special needs because it has allowed society to choose whether that life should be lived. Abortions have decreased the Down Syndrome community living in the U.S. by 30%.*** As a mom of a special needs kiddo, both medically, behaviorally, and developmentally, I know these children can be life-changers. However, I also know my life is not worth any more than his is, and his has made mine much more meaningful!
Do you think your life, or anyone else's, in any way, might be trivial? It isn't - God traded His life for each one of ours. We are all individually created...fearfully and wonderfully made!
*Jaime L Natoli, et al. (2012), Prenatal Diagnosis of Down Syndrome: A Systematic Review of Termination Rates (1995–2011). Prenat. Diagn., 32: 142–153. doi: 10.1002/pd.2910
Stay tuned...next week a couple of funny moments will bring a smile to your face. Happy Halloween from the home of this happy little witch and her three little monsters!