Concerned Women for America (CWA) of New York has launched an international project aimed at reducing the 90 percent abortion rate for babies diagnosed with Down syndrome. This new project, developed in consultation with the major Down syndrome groups in America, makes available a free informational brochure titled, “When you’ve learned that your baby may have Down syndrome … There is help and hope!” The brochure offers reassurance to families facing a prenatal diagnosis and provides them with a list of resources and support groups to help them learn more about their baby’s opportunities. At the companion website, DownSyndromeBrochure.comÂ¸ the brochure is available in English and Spanish for free download or for ordering of printed copies at a nominal charge. Eventually, CWA of New York intends to offer the brochure in many different languages and with country-specific versions, such as a French version listing agencies and resources in France.
The brochure is timely because of a December 2007 practice bulletin issued by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) which states, “After the diagnosis of a chromosomal abnormality, the patient should receive detailed information, if known, about the natural history of individuals with the specific chromosomal finding. In many cases, it may be very helpful to refer the patient to a genetic counselor or clinical geneticist and national groups such as The National Down Syndrome Society (www.ndss.org) or National Down Syndrome Congress (www.ndsccenter.org) to help the patient make an informed decision.” The brochure will allow busy OB/GYN doctors and others to provide expectant mothers with easy-to-read information.
The brochure features the photographs of children and young adults with Down syndrome and their family members. Anne F. Downey, Esq., State Director for CWA of New York, says, “The brochure features the faces of a number of children and adults with Down syndrome. Each of the persons featured in the brochure came to me in a special way and has his or her own wonderful story to tell. In the photos you can see the joy that these young people and their family members have. Just looking at them, you can see that there truly is help and hope.”
Medical professionals, disability groups and others wishing to obtain the brochure in large quantities may contact State Director Downey for special arrangements.