Dear Today Show and MaterniT-21Plus

Actually neither the Today Show OR MaterniT-21 Plus Testing is very dear.  It’s been  a couple of days since I’ve felt calm  enough to write this post in any sort of a coherent way that didn’t involve a lot of not so nice words.  And to think I used to really like Matt Lauer.

A few days ago Matt Lauer of the Today show hosted a segment with a couple expecting a child.  This couple agreed to read their MaterniT-21 Plus Testing, a product of  Sequenom. results live on the air.

The Sequenom company chose to name their early testing product MaterniT-21Plus.   Does anything about that remind you of what Parker was born with?  T21.  Yup, this test is to give an early, very early warning as to whether the child you are carrying has Down syndrome.  The Plus refers to the fact that this also tests for Trisomy 18 and Trisomy 13.

But they chose to highlight the Trisomy 21, Down syndrome.  I recently read that Down syndrome is the NUMBER ONE fear of any woman planning a pregnancy.

Yes, the NUMBER ONE fear of any woman contemplating a pregnancy is that they might have a child like Parker.  And here’s MaterniT-21Plus first in line to capitalize on that fear.  (Coincidence?  I think not.)


Even better the Today Show, and Matt Lauer just added major fuel to this fear.

The couple highlighted on the Today Show, received their testing results on live television.  Now, I totally understand wanting to know if you are carrying a child with one of the above listed Trisomies.  I understand the desires to have extra prenatal care in case you are carrying a beautiful little one with Down syndrome.  I didn’t have any prenatal testing simply because in my heart, I knew, Parker had Down syndrome.  Yeah, it sounds weird, but it is the absolute truth.

As the couple received the testing results, Matt Lauer states:  “Let’s get right to the good news.”  THE GOOD NEWS.  And guess what the GOOD NEWS is?

The Mom to be beams as she says; “We’re safe.  The baby does not have Down syndrome.”

This is where I sat there and had to wonder if I had actually heard this right.  Did Matt Lauer just tell the world that it was good news not to be pregnant with a child who has Down syndrome?  And did this Mom just tell the world how thrilled she was to be safe from Down syndrome?   Safe from what?

A little boy with Down syndrome in the snow.


A little boy with Down syndrome signing 'cold!'

Parker is signing ‘COLD!’

A little boy with Down syndrome smiling as he swings.

Safe from the intense love that I have for Parker?

Safe from the joy my son has brought to our entire family?

Safe from the beauty I never would have been privy to without a child with Down syndrome?

Sage from the opportunity to become a much better and stronger person who finally after over 40 years understands what is truly important in this world?

Safe from the miracles I’ve witnessed, the prayers I’ve felt, the indomitable spirit contained within the mere 40 pounds of Parker’s mortal body?

Safe from what?

Oh.  Safe from having a child like mine.  Took me a minute there.  (insert eye roll)

I’d like to ask Matt and the Today Show producers if they plan on offering up a segment showing the joy and vast potential a child with Down syndrome brings into the world with them.

I’ll never know I guess, because there’s no way in hell I could ever stomach sitting through one more Today Show episode.  In one short segment the Today Show and Mr. Lauer   set Down syndrome advocacy back on it’s ear about 100 years.  They just presented their views that having a child with Down syndrome is something to fear. 

I wonder how much MaterniT-21Plus paid the Today show for this segment.  And I wonder if the Today Show producers are bright enough to realize that more often than not, it’s the FEAR that leads to the abortion of a child with Down syndrome.

Chances are they really don’t care.

Either way,  there’s gonna be blood on your hands, Mr. Lauer.  How’s THAT for good news?



  1. Courtney Feb 1, 13
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