The Times' Amy Harmon takes a long, involved look at the new, difficult choices that parents-to-be sometimes face because of prenatal tests like the triple screen.
Earlier, more accurate fetal testing can spot potential birth defects and disabilities sooner, giving parents more time to prepare, or --and this is the focus of most of the article--to terminate the pregnancy rather than deal with the challenges and trials of raising a disabled child. Concerns over quality of life--both parents' and the future kid's--also loom large throughout the piece.
Obviously, the questions that arise around a triple screen and similar tests are among the most difficult expecting parents face, and they have to be able to make them for themselves, in harmony with their own consciences. But ultimately, the article doesn't tell me everything I'd want to know before deciding whether to go ahead and have a child I thought would be physically or mentally disabled.
What's missing: information on the tests' accuracy, for starters, including the false positive rates. More importantly, I want to know what life is actually like for families with, say a Down Syndrome kid, or one with cystic fibrosis. Such a life might indeed be hard, but it could have some transformative, ultimately positive aspects, too. Because it'd be inconvenient or beyond what I thought I was getting myself into isn't enough to justify ending a pregnancy, at least for me, anyway. [Okay, class dismissed.]