From The New York Times,
A new test was introduced Monday that can determine if a fetus has Down syndrome using a sample of the mother’s blood. […]
…most women who find they are carrying a fetus with Down syndrome, which causes mild to moderate mental retardation, terminate the pregnancy. […]
“Will we slowly start to see babies born with Down syndrome disappear?’’ asked Dr. Skotko, who has a sister with the condition.
He and some colleagues recently published the results of a survey in which nearly 99 percent of people with Down syndrome said they were happy with their lives.
Parents of such children also said they were happy. About 79 percent of parents said their outlook on life was more positive because of their child.
There is also an upsurge in efforts to develop drugs to improve the learning ability of those with Down syndrome. One of the drug researchers, Alberto Costa, who has a daughter with the condition, told The New York Times Magazine:
“It’s like we’re in a race against the people who are promoting those early screening methods. These tests are going to be quite accessible. At that point, one would expect a precipitous drop in the rate of birth of children with Down syndrome. If we’re not quick enough to offer alternatives, this field might collapse.’’