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03/19/2012 at 12:00 PM ET

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Erika on

I am pro-choice, but I find it disgusting that parents are suing because they did not receive a prenatal diagnosis of down syndrome. If someone feels that they are unable to raise a child for whatever reason they should have the right to an abortion. However this child was already born- wishing they had aborted her isn’t going to do anything. If they truly did not want that child, they should have given her up for adoption to a family who would be happy to parent her, rather than wishing she hadn’t been born.

A very high percentage of people who receive a prenatal diagnosis go on to abort the pregnancy, which may be due to outdated information or misconceptions, I’m not sure. I think that many people see these kids as incapable, however they have such high potential and a lot of people don’t realize that. This little girl will grow up thinking that her parents didn’t want her, and that she is inferior to her brothers which is far from the truth.

During my school years I had many peers with special needs, including kids with down syndrome, and I am planning a career in working with people with special needs. The kids with down syndrome that I knew were very capable, and many were planning on going to college and developing careers, not at all a burden to their family or society. I would think that parents would work on making the world a more tolerant place for their daughter rather than saying she is a burden and they didn’t want her.

Jen DC on


You are misunderstanding the fundamental issue of the case which is they would have aborted had they been fully apprised of her disability. HuffPo, of course, is muddying the waters by naming the child herself “wrongful” which, while it isn’t much better than the term “wrongful life” is, does not properly describe the claim by the parents.

Further, the author of this opinion piece is putting words into the Levys mouths. As far as I have read, the Levys never claimed that their child’s life was not worth living; instead they have only claimed that they were denied sufficient information that would have led to a different outcome, and that in/action on the part of these other parties has financial consequences.

Tee on

I don’t have any problems with paddling remaining in schools. In fact, I think it’s a good thing. I do, however, think that it is wrong to paddle a child against their parent’s wishes. If the parent signed the form stating no, that child should not have been touched. That’s what my Mom did for me and my sister. She said she was the only person that would spank her children and if we did something to warrant a spanking, the school was to call her and she would leave work to come and do it herself.

mel on

Erika, not all kids with Downs are high functioning. Have you ever sat in a classroom full of students with varying special needs that include tracheotomies, feeding tubes, catheters who physically can’t move without massive help from another person? Or a person who is blind, deaf and has upward of 300 seizures a day?

And do you actually know the medical costs associated with children with extreme special needs? Perhaps this family is unable to cope with the added stress of having a child like this.

I suggest you do some research before you start your career on what those genetic tests show. It may open your eyes.

Jillian on

I would never send my children to a school that allowed paddling, otherwise known as hitting children! So, when Johnny hits mikey, let the teacher paddle him as a punishment?! That is the dumbest thing I have ever heard of and can’t believe any parent would support this. I can’t believe parents hit their children either, when there are SO many other effective ways of discipline. I have not laid a hand on one child of mine and they are great students and respectful and well behaved. Hitting can causes all kinds of other issues.


Jillian on

YOur mom would leave work to come to your school and paddle/hit you? Why not punish you when you get home? That is silly and extreme. I don’t work now that I have children but if I did, I would never leave to go hit them?!? Oh my god! I am so stunned and feel for you. I really do. When I show up aty kids school, it’s for lunch mom duty or reading stories or volunteering, etc. That breaks my heart 😦


Erika on

Jen DC- I understand what they are saying and I realize that they are probably doing it in order to give her the best access to medical care possible. However, I just think that it is wrong to sue based on not getting a prenatal diagnosis.  There is no medical test that is 100% accurate and like I sad, they didn’t have to raise this child if they didn’t want to (which clearly they didn’t, because they would have aborted her) and they could have chosen adoption. I’m not saying that I don’t feel for them- surely it is hard to get a child that isn’t what you were expecting. I just don’t think it is worthy of a lawsuit.

Mel- I am very aware that not all kids with down syndrome are as high functioning as the ones I know. However, how high functioning someone is does not determine their value to society. I’m aware that having a kid with severe medical needs is extremely costly, and I really feel for the families that have to pay so much to keep their kids alive, I just don’t think it is right to sue because you didn’t get a diagnosis. I think it is sad when someone aborts a child with a condition if they are misinformed, but I have seen kids with various other needs that are severe (including those who are unable to walk or talk and some who have seizures) and I know it is very costly  and difficult for the parents to care for them. But most of their parents (at least the ones that I know) love their kids the way they are and wouldn’t have changed anything if they had the choice. 

Jen DC on

If you paid for a service and service was rendered badly, causing you untold amounts of financial and emotional damage… why *wouldn’t* you sue? The fact that they love her and care for her but would have aborted her or could have allowed her to be adopted is irrelevant to the court case. The facts are they paid to be apprised of the dangers of pregnancy and the doctor and/or the manufacturer of the test failed to provide the promised for answers.

It’s much more than “not getting the child you wanted.” It’s being responsible for an outcome you hedged against and asking those involved in the failure to provide the correct information – on which you were relying to make your decision – share in those consequences.

JM on

yeah i love to beat my children (they are less than half my size and nowhere near as strong as me, plus i always tell them that violence is wrong, there is no excuse for using it except in very rare cases of self-defense, but my other name is hypocrite, so it’s ok)

so yeah, i love to beat my children…sorry did i say beat? i mean paddle my children. those are two totally and completely different things excuse me now, i must stick my head back in the sand.

Courtney on

Oh there is no way in hell I would allow anyone to spank my child, and if i found out someone did when i specifically said NO, then god help them, because there would be no place on earth they could hide from me. If you couldn’t tell I do not believe in spanking a child ever!!!!! The only thing spankings do is teach a child to fear, and that hitting is okay. Spankings are humiliating and demoralizing, and can cause psychological harm. There are many other ways that you can teach children not to do something!

Josie on

I’ve read they might reduce autism births the same way they’ve cut the numbers of downs births. If that’s true, then expect more of these cases in the future once a prenatal test can eliminate the problem ahead of time and some doctors make mistakes and parents are forced to birth these children. It’ll become rather common which I worry will add the rising costs of OB/GYN care.