We, parents, family members, friends, teachers, medical professionals and therapists of children and adults with Down syndrome are appalled and offended by the discrimination that the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has shown in recommending invasive diagnostic testing for all pregnant women, regardless of age for Down syndrome.
It is very well known that Down syndrome cannot be corrected in utero, and preparation emotionally could be a very valid reason for the prenatal testing of all women. But evidenced by the hundreds of testimonials by signers of this petition, it is clear that the purpose of first trimester screening is not to provide time for parents to prepare for the birth of a child with Down syndrome, but to enable and encourage parents to terminate a pregnancy once a diagnosis of Down syndrome is obtained. Research has shown that ACOG has provided no education to the physicians on how to deliver a prenatal diagnosis, and has provided NO information on the life realities of raising a child with Down syndrome, and, as a result, the majority of expectant parents are being put in the position of having to make decisions regarding their unborn child based on inaccurate and unnecessarily negative information. This leads to the astronomical statistic of 90% of the babies being aborted! This is, quite simply, unacceptable.
The true purpose of ACOG's recommendation is to prejudicially eliminate babies with Down syndrome.
This petition also supports the pending vote for the Kennedy Brownback Prenatally Diagnosed Conditions Awareness Act. HR 3112/S 1810).
We believe it is sad that legislation must be enacted in order to provide accurate, timely, unbiased information to assist parents in making a decision on the future of their pregnancy.
We implore ACOG and the manufacturers of diagnostic testing to work in conjunction with the National Down Syndrome Congress and the National Down Syndrome Society to create easily accessible education programs for their members and patients, and fund the marketing of these programs to their customers and membership.