A mother in Singapore has shared her “unspeakable joy” after rejecting her doctor’s advice to abort her son because he has Down’s syndrome.
In an open letter to The Straits Times, Koh Sui Tin recalled how she was told there was a “very high chance of my baby having a chromosomal abnormality”.
The doctor advised she abort because of “all the challenges that my child would potentially have”, but Sui Tin refused and said her son Daniel – now three – is “thriving”.
Sui Tin added: “Daniel is slow in learning but he is smart in his own way, and I do not see him any differently from other children, who all have unique learning paths.”
The mother highlighted the influence doctors have in a mother’s decision whether to have an abortion.
She said: “I shudder to think of how many babies like Daniel were aborted because of the unbalanced information on Down syndrome that doctors often relay to parents”.
She advocated for parents to be put in contact with families “who really understand what it means to raise a child with Down syndrome”.
I shudder to think of how many babies like Daniel were aborted because of the unbalanced information on Down syndrome that doctors often relay to parents.
In the UK last year, top professional medical bodies told doctors and nurses that they should not put pressure on pregnant women into having an abortion if their unborn child is diagnosed with a possible disability.
In a joint statement, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, the Royal College of Midwives, and the Society and College of Radiographers said: “Some parents whose babies have been identified as having a higher chance of Down’s syndrome, Edwards’ syndrome or Patau’s syndrome, and who have decided to continue with the pregnancy, have reported being asked repeatedly if they want further diagnostic tests or an abortion.
“They report having their decisions challenged and being pressured into changing their minds. This should not happen.”
In England, around 85 per cent of babies diagnosed with Down’s syndrome in the womb are aborted every year.