This is a feminist community. We won’t be hosting arguments about forcing women to give birth. Those debates are against Ovarit’s sitewide rules. We don’t permit arguments on when women should be forced to carry pregnancies against their will.


It's not fucking "eugenics" to say no I don't want to continue this pregnancy, women's bodies are not a community resource and nobody has a "right" to force a woman to create them.

On demand, without apology. Anything less is forced birth, torture of women, and infringement on women's sovereignty over our reproductive labor.

I actually think it's selfish, cruel, and unethical to create a child when you know they will suffer greatly, especially when you have a debilitating/painful condition that is likely to be inherited and you're willingly giving it to someone rather than just getting over your ego about biological offspring and not doing that, maybe adopting. But it's still always a woman's individual choice and never the state's to force her to abort or force her to give birth. That is when it becomes eugenics.

I agree with you about people selfishly having kids. I have a family member with an inheritable deadly genetic syndrome who chose to have 4 kids (two inherited the syndrome) and I will never for the life of me understand why. I feel guilty even considering having a girl child because of my endometriosis and hereditary mental illnesses. Or did. I’m sterile now.

These kinds of efforts are designed to erode abortion rights altogether, full stop. The useful idiots who speak from a disability rights standpoint should be pitied, but never trusted. Either you believe abortion is murder or it's not. Actual feminists believe that it's not, and they understand the complicated nuances of that position. As soon as you get into the territory of "but some pregnancies must be continued because of reasons" you are stepping over the line into the camp of "women should not be the ones to decide whether or not to become mothers."

A good friend of mine has a child with down syndrome, she is fully against aborting babies just because they have down syndrome. She finds the thought of it to be completely morally bankrupt and abhorrent. I would 100% abort a baby with down syndrome *because * of her child. She thinks they're wonderful but they're a complete hellion and thinks being a hellion is the funnest shit ever. I love lots and lots of kids, but the only thing I ever felt towards them was resentment because they were always misbehaving and enjoying every second of it. And I don't mean minor misbehaviour. As if having a kid isn't exhausting enough without having to be on your toes 24/7/365 because they might come along and stick their finger up their butt and try and shove it in your mouth or something of the like.

I will never judge anyone who doesn't want to spend their life taking care of a special needs kid, and I don't believe they should be forced to carry one to term if they don't want to. These babies are life long commitments.

My mother had a cousin with Down syndrome, and she told me that she would not have hesitated to abort because of her experiences with the cousin. Her cousin was very low functioning and difficult to control, and the lives of the parents and the siblings were difficult as a result. After the parents died, the cousin spent the remainder of her life in a group home because none of the siblings were willing or able to take her in.

My mother was very opposed to abortion (not to ban it for others, just in a “I could never have done that, I would have made it work” type of way) so it was very surprising to hear her very strong feelings on the matter.

People who are against abortion in these cases (usually all others as well) point to high-functioning people with Down's, but they don't represent all Down's. I don't know the percentages, but some number of people with Down's are extremely low functioning and will never have a good quality of life.

A distant relative of mine knew she was giving birth to a baby with Down's and continued the pregnancy. Her daughter is now in her early 30s and not only can't walk, but also can't hold her head up. I've never heard her speak a word, and, last time I saw her, she seemed nearly catatonic. I wonder if my relative would have made a different choice had she known that was a potential outcome.

Yes, it was the late 90’s at the time and we were watching TV, and whatever show we had on was doing a piece on Corky from Life Goes On. They said something about how doctors told his parents to put him in a home, and they refused and now he’s a TV star. I guess this insulted my mother on behalf of her aunt, uncle, and the remaining cousins: “I’m glad he’s doing so well but they need to be honest that not everyone is like him.” And then it all came out about the violent cousin, which I knew nothing about until that moment.

[–] LunarMoose 20 points Edited

I've worked with many children and adults with downs syndrome over the years. I also have a friend who adopted one (very sweet teenaged girl).

There are very definite medical issues that make things hard - especially in the first few years. Some of the people I've worked with had difficult behaviors, as they grew up - others did not. There is a range. Some of my clients grew up in terrible circumstances and that also impacted their behavior -

Not discounting your experience at all! Just putting out there that I've observed a range - and some are really sweet and easy going. Others, things are more complicated.

For sure! I’ve known quite a few people with DS throughout my life and many of them were wonderful people. I just think for myself and many other people it’s a matter of whether or not you can cope with having a child with health problems and behavioral issues, and whether you can manage the life long commitment.

I know there’s all kinds of arguments for the idea that any child can have issues like that, and while that’s true, those children don’t give you an indication while in the womb so you don’t have a choice. I don’t believe people should be vilified for choosing to avoid having a baby with health or behavioral issues which can be severe.

Could you expand on that? What do you think made them behave this badly? Is that they have never been forced to consequences of their actions? Are they more horrible than normal misbehaved children? Have any other women got experiences like this explain why might it be?

I truly honestly don’t know, perhaps they had other disorders too? They weren’t an only child and their siblings didn’t have the same sort of issues. You couldn’t give the kid consequences, it didn’t matter what you did. I couldn’t do anything but watch them while I was alone with them. If I turned my back for one second they were off to do something bad. One day they stripped down naked and went and smeared shit all over the inside of my car. This is at an age where they would know better. Or climbed on the roof. Or the bum thing. Or trying to climb out a second story window and when I grabbed them to pull them inside they grabbed a 2L bottle of Coke off the table, shook it and took the lid off and sprayed it everywhere while laughing and laughing. I put a latch at the top of the front door to stop them getting out and running naked down the street - which almost got us evicted - and they would grab a chair to get to the latch and if I grabbed them to get them down they would bite and punch me.

You've never met a "normal" kid who was also a hellion?

You can be pro-choice without making sweeping, negative generalizations about all people with a particular disability. Just sayin'

I don’t believe all children with DS behave the same way as this child, my only sweeping generalization is that I would about a fetus if i knew it had DS because of my experiences with this child. Many people with DS are much higher functioning, I just wouldn’t want to take that risk and end up with one who wasn’t and that I personally couldn’t cope with.

No, I’ve never met another child that was that determined to be as difficult as humanly possible. You have no idea what level of “hellion” I am talking about. I literally spent almost 15 years trying to get pregnant without success, and would abort a baby with Down syndrome in a heart beat because I could not manage a child like that myself. That could be interpreted as my short comings as a person also, and I’m 100% perfectly fine admitting that I could not cope with having a kid with those many behavioral issues.

I don’t know why you’re getting downvoted for this.

I don’t know why you’re getting downvoted for this.

Because abelism is a VERY real thing even in otherwise liberal/progressive spaces.

And before anyone says anything, I am not sugar coating how difficult it is to care for severely disabled person. And I wouldn't judge a pregnant woman for having an abortion because she doesn't think she could financially/emotionally handle a child with a disability. It just bothers me to see someone go unchallenged after saying something as blatantly false as "I know ONE down syndrome kid who is a hellion. Therefore, all kids with down syndrome are unmanageable little shits". As if behavior problems are exclusive to a particular disability

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It's nice for her that she can do political activism despite having Down's - and I am sure if that outcome was guaranteed, not many women would abort pregnancies because of Down's syndrome.

But the fact remains that one can't know how severe it will be, and what I have read about the conditions in which girls and women who need lifelong care have to live ...

Let's just say, I wouldn't want to have to send my daughter to an institution where she's put on hormonal contraception because they cannot guarantee she won't be raped by a male.

Rich women who can pay for at-home care can make other choices, of course.

I'm rather baffled that a woman would want to outlaw abortion for some vague feeling that she might have been aborted - that's something we usually get from men. From a woman, I would expect empathy for other women. And ... she clearly didn't get aborted despite her mother presumably having had the option!

(Besides, I don't get the whole "Not wanting anyone to be disabled is discriminatory against disabled people" thing. Apparently you aren't allowed to create fantasy worlds where they found a cure for common disabilities because that's ableistic or something? Like, dude, I walk by posters every day where some Christian organisation asks for donations so they can operate children with cataracts in third world countries ... is that a bad thing according to woke SJWs? After all, it turns blind children into children who can see. How terrible? Perhaps it is because I somewhat believe in souls, but I don't have strong feelings about the theoretical possibility of screening for the minor ailments I have before birth - I kinda figure that if I had been aborted, I'd just have been born in a different body? And from an atheistic point of view, well, I wouldn't have noticed if I had never existed?)

As for late-term abortions, I don't think many women have them, except in cases where it is clear the baby would not survive. It's important to have clear legislation there, we can observe in the US what happens if there isn't ... women being told their baby is gonna die, and they'll probably die too, from sepsis, if nothing is done, but the doctors can't do anything before the baby is dead.

[–] vulvapeople 2 points Edited

Apparently you aren't allowed to create fantasy worlds where they found a cure for common disabilities because that's ableistic or something?

I'm sure many/most anti-choicers who call abortion of fetuses with Down's "eugenics" would have no problem with CRISPR fixing trisomy 21 in utero.

I'm sure some still would be against it. Many religious people object to those kinds of treatments and scientific advancements, but they're as fringe as Catholics who are against IVF.

Its absolutely disgusting that forced birthers are prepared to use a disabled women to front this campaign. I don't know how anyone with a conscience can support this.

Let's not forget that every woman who decides to get pregnant and who decides to continue a pregnancy makes decisions about what type of kid to have. Some factors and many outcomes are out of a woman's hands, because every pregnancy is a roll of the genetic dice, but I would argue that even in making a selection of who to marry or just sleep with, there's a type of choice going on. Very few women will choose a future father (or future sperm donor) whom they consider to be ugly or stupid or who is known to have an inheritable genetic illness or whatever perceived or actual flaw you care to name. All this hand-wringing by the woman who is the face of this campaign, saying women's right to abort a pregnancy where DS is known to affect the foetus amounts to an attempt to make people with DS "extinct" is paranoia. Understandable paranoia, due to the amount of crap that all people with disabilities tend to be subjected to, but still.

Every woman with a choice about getting pregnant makes choices that select/affect the kind of baby she eventually has. Choosing to abort a pregnancy affected by DS is simply a really clear example of this. I think any woman choosing to not continue a pregnancy affected by any disability is in most cases aiming to have a child who has the best possible start in life, and I say that as a person with disabilities.

This is what anti abortion activists will latch onto to prove their point.

And the most accurate ways to tell for Down Syndrome is the blood tests done around first trimester, CVS (also around the same time), or amniocentesis. I did none of these (and was not worried about DS) and my MFM told me at 33w that most of the DS cases were never found by ultrasound, they’re seen at birth. So this is essentially useless ruling - I would advocate for better early detection and choice before 24 weeks, which would also be easier on the mother!! No one wants to be pregnant for 8 months to then have an abortion!!

I may be totally wrong, but my understanding was that it's usually that additional issues, such as heart defects which are common with DS, have been detected at a later ultrasound. While they can detect it early on they still don't have the full picture of the physical impact until later on.

My friend knew because there was excess fluid at the back of the skull?? Something like that, or a gap was bigger than it should have been. She declined further testing because of the chance of miscarriage testing the fluid.

Usual signs are the neck folds, nose bridge (or lack) and heart defects. However it is totally possible to visually be ok on all these and still have DS.

Yes; there are more than that too. But in her specific case the tell had to do with a gap at the back of the skull and was detected at an early ultrasound. There’s also the spacing of the big toes, which is part of how they confirm ds at birth.

How often is that invoked?

They can test for Down’s syndrome quite early so I have to assume it’s very rare that an abortion is occurring late in the pregnancy for that reason but I would also like to see the numbers.

I would question the idea of aborting a near-term baby, most of those babies can and will survive out of the womb without medical intervention. I doubt it happens often if at all, but I wonder what they do in those situations?

I was offered the possibility of an abortion at around 35 weeks. My understanding was that they would kill the baby (I'm sorry, I honestly don't want to use emotive language but at 35 weeks I can't really think of another term) before labour would be induced. In the case of DS I imagine that further information about related hearts defects or some such would be the main reason to abort so late. Aborting so late comes with a whole world of extra complications to consider but I'm thankful it's a choice to the women making this painful choice.

It’s essentially useless based on what my MFM told me. You’d need to legalize infanticide honestly for it to make a difference.

I had another response deleted because it was seen as a personal attack, I saw it as more of a personal response to a poster who attacked the disabled, and their parents but anyway…

1) We should not malign disabled people, especially disabled children because we don’t like their behaviour, nor attribute all that behaviour to their condition.

2) We should remember that when we malign these children we malign their mothers for bringing such a “burden” to society.

3) Abortion rights are for the mothers to have control over their bodies and lives. The minute we start maligning them for making a choice we ourselves wouldn’t make, we are telling them what to do with their bodies and lives, or face societal consequences.

That is not radical feminism. Eugenics is not radical feminism.

I personally feel right at birth abortion for something like DS, when there are tests to detect it way earlier, is extremely ethically blurry because the fetus can now survive outside the mother’s body and likely would, it’s not a case of some other late term abortions where there is no expected length of life at that point.

I’m not looking to outright ban late term abortion because most of the time late term abortions are done in particularly bad circumstances.

I do advocate for better early prenatal care and detection. If a mother feels she can’t care for a disabled child and doesn’t want to carry to term, that should be at her sole discretion.

Ah it was you who responded to me. I was replying to you.

1) I have no issue with a mother loving her child and in no way attacked her for doing so, I don’t believe she feels the same way about their challenging behavior as others do. She is aware of it, but unbothered by it it would seem. And she outright will attack anyone who talks about aborting babies with DS, but had an abortion because she didn’t like the child’s father earlier in life. Sort of a hard pill to swallow. That was my point, that she thinks because she loves her child everyone else should have to give birth to children with DS whether they like it or not. In no way did i imply anything else.

2) you accused her of bad parenting, which isn’t the case. Her child has well documented issues and is given as much assistance as is possible in our country. If it was bad parenting surely the other children would have as many issues as they do.

3) I never once spoke about the child being a burden to anyone else, much less society. You accused me of being annoyed by the child, when in fact I was not annoyed by them, I was brought to the edge of a mental breakdown by a child’s terrible behavior and the unceasing constant nature of that behavior. If you think being bitten, punched, kicked, property destroyed, almost being evicted, and other dangerous, antisocial, gross behavior is just me being unable to handle “annoyance” then maybe you need to consider what a person less patient than myself might have done to a child with this many behavioral issues that also wasn’t capable of verbalizing that they are being abused. I’m not talking about a kid who occasionally misbehaved in minor ways that were like they colored on the wall in crayons. You’ve made a lot of assumptions.

3) I am disabled and have no problem with other disabled people. If other people choose to have children they know will be born with an intellectual disability more power to them.

4) my personal choice to say I couldn’t handle a child like that myself is not eugenics, if anything it’s a short coming on my part. I also don’t believe it would be right for me to give birth to a baby I didn’t want knowing they were going to be disabled and put them into the care system where they are rarely adopted.

5) I am calling this child they/them because I am protecting my own personal information as much as possible as their mother runs in terf circles. I can’t remember what reason you implied but there’s my answer.

Since my previous response was deleted, I cannot properly reply to this without seemingly making it personal again.

Perhaps you could reread your comment and decide if a parent of a child with disabilities would feel a little attacked by what you wrote.

Had it just been a remark saying “parenting a child with disabilities is extremely difficult and I don’t think any mother should be forced to carry a pregnancy and go through with it” - I don’t think many parents, even those with disabled children, would have taken issue.

As for other items you brought up in this response, I can’t address them in neutral terms because I reject some of your claims and assumptions.

Not every parent with a child with disabilities will have the extensive behavioral issues that I am talking about, and if they do they may even agree with me. And I think I should be able to explain my own reasoning for why I would abort a DS baby with personal anecdotes without being called someone who supports eugenics, or that I hate the disabled, which isn’t the case. I worked in nursing for several years and know what it means to take care of disabled people at all stages of life and am intimately aware of how terrible having a disabled child can be for the other people in their lives. I’m not coming from a place of ignorance or hatred, I’m coming from a place that is well educated and have extensive experience caring for the disabled.

I find it a bit questionable that you would call her a bad parent over considering that her child is incapable of behaving well because of their disability, which is entirely plausible and more likely whether it sounds nice or not.

Thank you. Its really sad that so many people cannot discuss this issue without making cruel generalizations about ALL disabled people.

I agree that the ethics are blurry. But its also a misdirection because, like you said, most women don't want to have an abortion in the third trimester. So banning it will primarily harm women & fetuses who developed life threatening complications

[–] FemmeEtal 15 points Edited

Have you considered the possibility that you are also making broad generalizations about people with disabilities and their caregivers, perhaps overwhelmingly positive? I don’t see any cruelty in this thread, harshness if anything but mostly staunch realism. If you have never been a parent or caregiver to an adult who is severely physically and/or mentally disabled, it’s easy to feel good about your argument. In reality, the issue is far more complex and the conditions included are potentially life shattering for families.

Exactly this, plenty of people believe people with Down syndrome are angels and always happy. Which isn’t right to put on them either, as if they’re no good if they’re not these happy people expect them to be.

I never said that caring for a disabled person is all sunshine and roses. Why is it that we can only discuss this issue from the polar opposite positions of "all disabled children are perfect gifts from god" or "they're all little monsters who will forever ruin the lives of their parents"?

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