Later in the story:
In the months before their daughter was born in 2007, Deborah and Ariel Levy worried the baby might have Down syndrome.
They say a doctor at the Legacy Center for Maternal-Fetal Medicine assured them that a sample of tissue taken from the placenta early in the pregnancy ruled out the developmental disability, despite the results of later testing that showed the fetus might have it.
But within days of the birth of their daughter, the Southwest Portland couple learned the baby did have Down syndrome. Had they known, they say, they would have terminated the pregnancy. Now they're suing in Multnomah County Circuit Court, seeking more than $14 million to cover the costs of raising her and providing education, medical care, and speech and physical therapy for their daughter, who turned 2 this month. The suit also seeks money to cover her life-long living expenses.
...Increasing numbers of pregnancies are being screened for Down syndrome. Doctors formerly reserved the test largely for women age 35 and older, but in 2007, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommended that all pregnant women be offered the screenings. Several studies show 90 percent or more of women who discover they'll give birth to a baby with Down syndrome choose to have an abortion... Whole StoryIn response, I note that one of the most powerful books I have ever read was Another Season: A Coach's Story of Raising an Exceptional Son by football coach Gene Stallings. In the book he tells the story of his life as the father of a son with Down's Syndrome.
When his only son Johnny (he also had four daughters) was born in 1962, Stallings and his wife were encouraged to institutionalize their son. They refused. Stallings passionately writes that what initially seemed like a family tragedy ended up as the greatest blessing of his life. This from a man who reached the pinnacle of coaching success, winning the National Championship as the head coach at the University of Alabama. His incredible love for his son permeates the pages of the book.
Reading Another Season completely changed my view disabilities. Before I simply viewed a disability as something to be overcome. It never occurred to me that having a disability or a child with disabilities, despite all the accompanying difficulties, could in the end be a blessing. This lesson is what Stallings' story taught me and is a lesson I have never forgotten.