November 1st 2003

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY: France and Italy address fertility crisis

EDITORIAL: Bushfires: why the nightmare will be repeated

CANBERRA OBSERVED : Reforming the Senate?

MEDIA: Packer's media-gambling alliance

HEALTH: Abortion-Breast Cancer cover-up continues

FAMILY: Preserving marriage in Australia

AGRICULTURE: Mandate ethanol or sugar industry faces collapse

LETTERS: Time for farmers to wake up (letter)

LETTERS: New TV code of practice (letter)

LETTERS: Special needs, special treasures (letter)

LETTERS: New use for sugar cane trash (letter)

LETTERS: Nuclear menace (letter)

HEALTH WATCH: The 'morning after' pill: coming soon to a school near you?

WATER: Federals distance themselves from 'The Living Murray'

STRAWS IN THE WIND: Jim Cairns remembered

COMMENT: SBS programming questioned by Vietnamese community

ASIA: Siberia - China's 'great game' to reshape Asian region

COMMENT: Don't forget the threat from North Korea

Hong Kong: next elections a test for Beijing

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Special needs, special treasures (letter)

by Frank Bellet

News Weekly, November 1, 2003

Recently I was pleasantly surprised with an interview on the ABC's 7:30 Report.

A young Australian scientist has discovered a procedure, whereby an unborn child can be tested for Down's Syndrome at any time in the pregnancy, without damaging the child in the womb.

Although the scientist put a positive spin on the documentary, claiming this would shield the mother from the "traumatic shock" when told of the situation after the birth, the nagging question remained that this would surely result in an increase in abortions, backed up by the figure of 98% attributed to a survey of women, who discovered during a pregnancy that their child had Down Syndrome and elected to terminate its life.

The interviewer spoke with a young woman in raptures over her little girl, who had Down Syndrome.

The woman revealed how much joy the child brought into her life.

She added that this attitude was in deep contrast to the despair she felt just after the child was born.

Asked what she would have done if she had known in advance of her child's condition, she replied, "I would have had a termination".

Much later in the segment the interviewer put it to her that this newly discovered scientific procedure would surely result in more abortions in relation to Down Syndrome children.

This same mother was horrified at the suggestion. She said there is no way she would part with her "beautiful little girl".

Frank Bellet
Petrie, Qld

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