This is a troubling piece; the America Council of OB-GYNs is recommending universal first-trimester screening for Down syndrome.
The main reason: Tests far less invasive than the long-used amniocentesis are now widely available, some that can tell in the first trimester the risk of a fetus having Down syndrome or other chromosomal defects.
It's a change that promises to decrease unnecessary amnios -- giving mothers-to-be peace of mind without the ordeal -- while also detecting Down syndrome in moms who otherwise would have gone unchecked.
It's not just a question of whether to continue the pregnancy. Prenatal diagnosis also is important for those who wouldn't consider abortion, because babies with Down syndrome can need specialized care at delivery that affects hospital selection, he added.
I'm not quite sure about that last paragraph; what universal screening will do is pressure many women to abort a Down baby. That pressure will mount if coupled by a shunning of Down families from utilitarian folks who look upon the child as a negative net present value project. Many women don't want such screening so that they don't get pressure to abort, accepting whatever God sent their way.
Universal screening will make having a Down baby a choice of the mother rather than just a bad roll of the genetic dice. An expensive choice at that, since such kids will be more expensive to treat.
A more utilitarian culture might deny health insurance coverage to Down babies and make their parents or charity pick up the tab; they could treat Down's as a preexisting condition of sorts and deny coverage. Public schools might deny special-ed to Down's kids-"His parents knew what they were getting in to, it wouldn't be fair for the rest of us to finance the bad choices of those [fill in anti-Christian pejorative]."
Even if culture doesn't put financial roadblocks in front of Down families, they could give the cold shoulder to the families. Genetic defects would now be a choice, but a choice that less-loving and less-life-affirming parts of society would look down upon as a drain upon societal resources.
That's why campaigning for a "culture of life" that transcends just abortion is important. Looking beyond the future earning capacity or health care costs of a person to their inherent value as a child of God is important, especially when some look upon the enfeebled as having lives not worth living.