Many think eugenics is a thing of the past. It was not left to die when the Nazi party fell or when the autism DNA project had clapback. It is especially evident when the genetic test for Down’s syndrome was made widely available. Now there is a test to see if your fetus has Down’s syndrome and then the doctor will give you a choice to abort for that reason only. This is how it starts. This is why genetic projects for autism are so dangerous. Here is my story about my brush with eugenics and what I did in response.
So it is no secret that I had fertility problems due to polycystic ovarian syndrome. It took three years to get pregnant with Roo. This was due to the fact that I was not ovulating so my doctor gave me an ovulation inducer called Clomid. After the right dose was found, I was pregnant. Because of my bad track record of holding onto a pregnancy, I was sent to a high risk specialist to keep an extra eye on the pregnancy. They do Down syndrome testing with that extra monitoring. I did not think anything of it at first because the information would be used to line up whatever specialists he needed. The test was negative with no hard or soft markers. This perinatologist was very respectful and nothing of note happened with Roo’s pregnancy.
A few months after Roo was born, Nick and I said we wanted another baby. Since it took 3 years to have the last one, we figured if we started to try then, we would have some time. I called up the doctor and he called in the Clomid prescription. We did just what we did last time and then went into the doctor’s office for an ultrasound to see if the medication worked. It did. A few weeks later, I took a home pregnancy test and it was positive. I then went back into the doctor to confirm the pregnancy and saw Bug’s heartbeat on the screen.
I was then sent to the same perinatologist I saw the last time. I anticipated the same type of experience. We went in for the 12 week scans. It seemed normal until I saw the expression on the ultrasound tech’s face. She would not tell me what was going on. After I wiped off the ultrasound gel off, we were called to go into the doctor’s office. He then said that the baby had a soft marker for Down’s syndrome. He asked for consent for an amniocentesis. I said no because there is an increased risk of miscarriage. I had three failed pregnancies prior and I WAS NOT taking any chances.
He then paused for a moment. Then he said something I will never forget. “We cannot abort after 20 weeks.” I was stunned by what I heard. This doctor’s job was to ensure a healthy pregnancy. One thing about me at the time was that I was a direct care worker for a group home that had residents with dual diagnosis of Downs syndrome and Alzheimers disease. I was the last person to suggest an abortion to.
I stammered,”This baby was conceived on fertility drugs and I will not be aborting. I will not be coming back.” Nick went completely silent and hit his desk. Be proud we did not punch the doctor.
I immediately called my OB/GYN and told him what happened. He sent us to a different perinatologist. I made an appointment to go see him.
Before this appointment I did a lot of research on what type of specialists he may need if he did have Downs syndrome. My mother kept on saying that I secretly wished he had Down syndrome. It would not matter to me either way but I wanted to be prepared. Even before my autism diagnosis, I always liked to be prepared for anything that might happen. I just attributed it to being a scout before I suspected autism in myself.
He did confirm that his neck was a little thick but saw no reason to suggest such a horrendous thing. The pregnancy continued to be uneventful. He was born right on his birthday. He wound up not having Downs syndrome and it would not matter one bit if he did.
Every time I think of this, it is extremely painful. The doctor wanted to kill a baby who was wanted just because of his own ableism. If he did this to me, think about how many people he did this to. Also think of ho many doctors did this to patients around the world. Imagine if I just believed him that Bug needed to be aborted. The was 12 years ago. Bug will be 12 this month.
What sparked this?