Editor’s Letter; Things We Love; Megan Nicol Reed
Last year, it was reported that Iceland was very close to “eradicating” Down syndrome. Since prenatal testing was introduced there in the early 2000s, almost 100 per cent of women who received a positive test for the syndrome terminated their pregnancy.
In New Zealand, exact figures are a little harder to come by, because figures aren’t kept specifically for termination upon diagnosis of Down syndrome, but the New Zealand rate is thought to be similar to the United States’ estimated termination rate of 67 per cent.
Interestingly, recent research has found that people with Down syndrome are generally very happy, with high life satisfaction and their family members rank highly in levels of personal fulfilment.
Women choose not to go ahead with a pregnancy for many reasons, of course, and what is right for one family is not for another. Emily Winstanley spoke to three families in our story this week about how they handled the news of a Down syndrome diagnosis, and how they came to the right decision for them.