Mom Pressured To Abort Baby With Down Syndrome: My Daughter Was ‘completely Dehumanized’

Cassy Fiano-Chesser
liveaction.org
2020-08-01

A mom of a little girl with Down syndrome is speaking out about the repeated pressure she faced to have an abortion after receiving her daughter’s prenatal diagnosis. Rachel Mewes previously opened up about her harrowing experience on social media, with hateful, offensive, and disturbing comments about people with disabilities allowed to remain on Twitter. Now, she’s coming forward about her diagnosis experience.

Writing for The Mighty, Mewes explained how the end of July is always an emotional time for her. “I wish I could say I have nothing but happy memories, that I had the wonderful birth, congratulations and was surrounded by joy,” she said. “That’s what I deserved. That’s what Betsy deserved. Unfortunately, the whole experience was overshadowed and tainted by NHS staff who displayed the most vile prejudice and bias towards my baby.” Unfortunately, Mewes said she was denied the happy experience she deserved, simply because her daughter has Down syndrome.

At 28 weeks pregnant, Mewes underwent an amniocentesis to find out if her daughter, named Betsy, had a chromosomal abnormality. Mewes now says the drugs she was on prevented her from fully consenting. “I was under the influence of the massive doses of steroids I was given to mature Betsy’s lungs in order to prepare for an emergency C-section. I wasn’t thinking straight,” she wrote, adding, “I felt like having the amnio was the recommended pathway. I now know there isn’t an NHS pathway for women like me — women who are carrying a baby with Down syndrome. In fact, the ‘care’ pathway for women like me and unborn babies like Betsy is embedded in a document designed to direct women down the route of termination.”

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