The US Congress is studying a US$25 million bill to provide information and referrals to support groups for those wondering whether they should abort a Down syndrome child. The bill has the support of one of the Senate’s most conservative Republicans, Sam Brownback of Kansas, and one of its most liberal Democrats, Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts.
The author of an article in the last issue of the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology about negative depictions of Down Syndrome amongst doctors and nurses, Harvard Medical School student Brian Skotko, was invited to help introduce the bill. He had surveyed nearly 3000 parents of children with Downs. Most reported that the obstetricians who diagnosed the illness focused on the hardships ahead and ignored “the positive potential of people with Down syndrome”.
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