Amniocentesis is a prenatal diagnosis of chromosomal abnormalities and fetal infections as well as for sex determination. It is a biological test by which a scientist tries to see if an unborn baby has a disease or other health problem or disabilities
In this procedure, a small amount of amniotic fluid, which contains fetal tissues, is sampled from the amniotic sac surrounding a developing fetus. The test checks for fetal abnormalities (birth defects) such as Down syndrome, cystic fibrosis or spina bifida.
The problem is that after such test is carried out, some feotus are aborted due to the fact that they are carriers of defective genes rather than leaving them to reach full pregnancy term.
This is where different school of thought comes in. The pro-choice and the pro life group.
The pro choice claims that the woman carrying the pregnancy has a right to choose to terminate the fetus while the pro-life claims that abortion can only be allowed if the mother’s life is threatened. It is also said by the pro-choice that life begins at birth while the pro-life holds that life begins at the moment of conception.
I am Mrs Williams a 56year old woman. I’ve been married for 30 years and I just conceived after 30 years of marriage. I was advised by my doctor to carryout amniocentesis due to my age which is not really healthy for pregnancy. I went through with it with the concent of my husband. When the results were out it was diagnosed that I was carrying a fetus with chromosomal abnormalities particularly down syndrome. I was shattered.
I cried home to my husband. “I really want this child. I want a child I can call mine” I cried in a loud voice. I was consoled by him that everything is going to be alright.
Few weeks later I noticed some strange behaviors from my husband towards me. He was unnecessarily being cold and avoided me at every slight opportunity. I knew something was wrong. I went up to him and asked ” Do we have a problem?” “No we don’t” he answered. I have a problem with that ‘thing’ you’re carrying in your womb. Just because we don’t have a child doesn’t mean I am willing to accept an abnormal child. I can’t be a father to an abnormal child!
That was when it dawned on me that my marriage was in trouble. I love my husband but I can’t abort my child. I was in the state of confusion. I’ve prayed for a child for 30years, now my prayer is answered but on the other hand left with the option of abortion if I want to remain happy in my marriage.
Was it a good idea that I went through with amniocentesis ? If I didn’t, I wouldn’t have been faced with this. I wouldn’t have been faced with an option of abortion. But now that I know the state of this unborn child, is it selfish of me to bring him to the world where he might be stigmatized all his life just because I want to have a child?
I was in a total state of dilemma…….
“Amniocentesis and abortion” Does it’s advantage outweigh the disadvantage? What would you do if you were in her shoes?
Elemue Tuvie, Delta State University, Abraka, NIGERIA