Issues

Parents walk out of abortion, choose life for their son with Down syndrome

(Photo credit: Carla Alves)

At 15 weeks pregnant, Claire Martin and her husband Benjamin were expecting to have a routine ultrasound of their baby boy. Instead, the doctor shocked them with the news that their son has Down syndrome.

“My doctor was wonderful. He was very factual, he left emotion out of it and said, ‘Your baby does have Down syndrome’ and my husband and I were both crying,” Martin told the Daily Mail.

The doctor advised that they go home and discuss the diagnosis with their family and friends and decide whether or not they would abort the baby.

“I found that the people that gave me the most grief, although not intentionally, were sometimes those closest,” said Martin. “I told all my family I was pregnant with a baby with Down syndrome and they would say, ‘I’m so sorry’ and would cry and then hug me. I even had one person say, ‘If this was a dog what would you do?’”

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The negativity, discrimination, and fear of the unknown is what ultimately led the couple to decide to abort their son, and they scheduled the appointment. However, after they arrived for that appointment, one show of support changed everything.

“[W]e were sitting there [for the abortion] but then my husband dragged me outside,” Martin told Daily Mail. “He said, ‘What are we doing? Let’s go home, we can’t kill this baby’.”

“I was relieved, I needed someone to say they were on my side.”

Baby Xavier was born in April, and the parents have no regrets with their decision to keep and love their son.

“I just remember feeling nothing but love,” said Martin. “It was almost like everything that we’d been through over the past nine months didn’t matter because we had a perfect little baby.”

Unfortunately, the same negativity that plagued the Martin family is also common among strangers. People have called their baby hideous and have been rude on more than one occasion. However, there are also strangers who fuss over Xavier.

“I have no regrets at all. I have no idea what I was so scared of, but I was absolutely terrified and I do not know what to expect,” said Martin. “I hate the word ‘normal’, but he’s the same as any normal baby. I’m going to love him no matter what – I’m completely over the moon to be his mum.”

Babies with Down syndrome are targeted for abortion at an alarming rate, with up to 67% of those who receive a diagnosis of Down syndrome becoming victims of abortion. North Dakota and Indiana have both moved to ban abortion based on a prenatal diagnosis such as Down syndrome, but that hasn’t stopped pro-abortion groups and businesses such as Planned Parenthood from fighting to ensure that these laws are not passed.

All children, including those with Down syndrome like Xavier, should be allowed to live their own lives. When we offer only sympathy to parents facing such a diagnosis, we are telling them that their child is somehow not a child worth celebrating. But each child is a blessing, and deserves to be loved and cared for no matter what. Sometimes all it takes is one person stepping up and telling a scared parent that their child is worthy, and beautiful, and loved. For Martin, that person was her husband, and his decision to stop the abortion changed their lives for the better.

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