I have been watching a discussion on a public forum where a woman is talking about her decision to terminate her pregnancy after a positive Down’s Syndrome result. It is interesting that even any gentle suggestions that she take time to think, look at positive DS stories, or fully consider her options is being touted as ‘unsupportive’ and not ‘prochoice’.
A couple of responders have dared to share positive DS stories, and they are invariably reprimanded and silenced. This reprimander says:
“I'm quite sure the OP is well aware of how much joy her child would bring her and her family PP You know, it's her child after all so I'm pretty sure that she gets that. I really don't think that needs to be pointed out to her.”
I’m wondering how the person knows that the original poster knows these things. The woman shared that even her GP a suggested that she “take more time to decide, consider community support and group homes for the baby and though it's 'admirable ' to think of my son and the long term effects on his life.”
The woman was not happy with this stating that ‘I thought doctors were supposed to be prochoice!”
Others jumped on the bandwagon painting the doctor has unsupportive and the enemy of choice, when in actual fact, surely choice relies on having access to all the information and a GP would have a responsibility to ensure this.
One of the commenters defines ‘Supportive Comments’ as only being ones that are “supporting the OP's feelings as she makes her decision. Not actually trying to influence her decision.”
This appears to mean that no alternatives are to be raised, however gently and non judgementally they are approached. This is part of the problem with the concept of reproductive ‘choice’. There is this tendency to isolate a woman from any thought not consistent with abortion, remove from her any information that might ‘influence’ her in a direction she may not be considering… or have considered.
Yet the very foundation of choice requires that a woman is informed, that she is actually choosing something, not defaulting to a position because everyone around her is silenced.
It would appear that she went ahead with her termination. One can only hope that she isn’t one of the many women who look back with both regret and deep grief, wondering why someone didn’t insist she take her time, and offer her more support for the other choice… to love and raise her child..