NBC reporter calls columnist who defends women aborting children with Down syndrome ‘courageous’

DCNFJoe Simonson, DCNF

NBC News’ Ken Dilanian took a break from covering North Korea’s nuclear program or the Syrian civil war to let his Twitter followers know that he found a woman demanding for the ability to abort children with disabilities “courageous.”

The Washington Post deputy editorial page editor Ruth Marcus authored the March 9 column, “I would’ve aborted a fetus with Down syndrome. Women need that right,” which argues against a new effort by pro-life groups to ban certain selective abortion practices.

In a show of solidarity, Dilanian shared the column in a tweet — prompting outrage in his replies from a number of parents of children with Down syndrome.

“I have had two children; I was old enough, when I became pregnant, that it made sense to do the testing for Down syndrome. Back then, it was amniocentesis, performed after 15 weeks; now, chorionic villus sampling can provide a conclusive determination as early as nine weeks. I can say without hesitation that, tragic as it would have felt and ghastly as a second-trimester abortion would have been, I would have terminated those pregnancies had the testing come back positive. I would have grieved the loss and moved on,” the column reads.

Marcus goes on to cite the statistic that “more than two-thirds of American women choose abortion in such circumstances,” and claims that this is the “point … of prenatal testing.”

Pro-life advocates don’t dispute this number and try to inform individuals through advertising campaigns and activism that many individuals with Down syndrome end up living pleasant and fulfilling lives.

Much of Marcus’s argument revolves around the fact that a disabled child “was not the child I wanted,” and offers studies showing the average IQs of individuals with Down syndrome as a justification.

“But in the end, the Constitution mandates — and a proper understanding of the rights of the individual against those of the state underscores — that these excruciating choices be left to individual women, not to government officials who believe they know best,” concludes the column.

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