More than one choice

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As the uncle of a beautiful young woman with Down Syndrome, I strongly urge Pennsylvania residents to support the Down Syndrome Prenatal and Postnatal Education Act (HB 2111/​SB 1339).

For many expectant parents, the prospect of raising a child with Down Syndrome can be overwhelming. Fear, stereotypes, misinformation, political agendas and lack of answers can quickly eclipse the inherent dignity, humanity and blessings that these incredible children bring to families and communities.

Down Syndrome occurs in approximately one out of every 700 births in the United States. More than 90 percent of children diagnosed prenatally with Down Syndrome are aborted.

The Down Syndrome Prenatal and Postnatal Education Act would require doctors to provide expectant parents with up-to-date information including physical, developmental, educational and psychosocial outcomes; life expectancy; clinical course; intellectual and functional development; treatment options; and contact information for supportive services and other parental resources.

In a society that places a high value on “choice,” this law would ensure that parents understand that they have more than one choice when it comes to their child’s diagnosis.

Swisshelm Park

The writer is an ordained deacon in the Roman Catholic Church.

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