During their pregnancy, many women decide to have genetic testing, this testing is usually comprised of two different tests, a less invasive test, and a more invasive one. The purpose of this is to find out whether their baby might be born with a disability or disorder. While most of these prenatal tests come back showing a normal, healthy baby, other women are often given not-so-good news. Those women are given a choice, as USA today explains.
“Women who sign up for a simple blood test could, a few weeks later, find themselves considering whether to terminate their pregnancy”— a scenario which happens often when there’s a Down syndrome diagnosis.
Although a Down syndrome diagnosis can bring great fear and a lot of anxiety for expecting parents, Matt and Jodie, the parents of two twin girls with Down syndrome, have gone a different route. They have shared their story with BBC Three. With hopes to show that life with a Down-syndrome child is a life that is definitely worth living. Genetic disorders are like entering a drawing, you never know what you’re gonna get. The most important thing is to get the facts straight and prepare.
Jodie and Matt’s twin girls Abigail and Isobel were diagnosed at the time of their birth. Jodie tells what happened, going into detail from the fact that the girls were premature and had to be hospitalized for 4 weeks. This all took place before coming home. During the hospitalization, the doctor pulled the mother aside and told her what was going on.
According to BBC Three’s video, over 40,000 people in the UK have Down syndrome. However, the chances of giving birth to twins with Down syndrome are about one in a million. There are new, non-invasive, prenatal tests that claim to identify Down syndrome with an accuracy of 99%, according to USA Today. These tests have a low chance of error. The critics do however claim that they bring on a cast of other ethical concerns. The most common is an increased number in abortions when the babies have Down syndrome.
According to USA Today, between 60% to 90% of women who get the news of a Down syndrome diagnosis end up aborting the baby. As far as Jodie and Matt are concerned, Down syndrome is not something that should be feared. They say: “Life is just a bit more different. Everything just takes a little bit longer.” The parents are willing to put in the time. How are the twin girls doing right now?