Mother says doctors pressured her to terminate Down syndrome son

Mother of twins claims doctors tried to ‘scare her’ into terminating one of her sons after discovering he would likely have Down syndrome – and was told she’d ‘still end up with one baby’

  • Lizeth Breaux, 37, from California, US, was 12 weeks pregnant before diagnosis 
  • Says doctors pressured her into terminating one of her babies and not the other 
  • Now both her sons are doing better than ever, Lizeth has ‘no regrets’ over choice

A mother of twin boys claims doctors tried to ‘scare her’ into a termination after discovering that one of her sons would likely have Down syndrome during her pregnancy. 

Lizeth Breaux, 37, from California, US, was 12 weeks pregnant with twins when doctors determined that one of them was probably going to be born with the genetic condition. 

She claims that throughout her pregnancy doctors put pressure on her to terminate the baby with Down syndrome, assuring her that she would ‘still end up with a baby’ – and that she was constantly being made to feel her son would be ‘broken’. 

But defiant Lizeth gave birth to her boys, Andre and August, in January this year, and is relieved she did not succumb to the pressure. 

Lizeth Breaux, 37, from California, US, pictured with her husband, claims doctors tried to ‘scare her’ into a termination after discovering that one of her sons would likely have Down syndrome during her pregnancy (pictured with the newborn twins)


Lizeth was 12 weeks pregnant with twins when doctors determined that one of them was probably going to be born with the genetic condition

August (pictured) does not have any heart problems, but has had a few breathing problems – which means he’s had his tonsils and adenoids removed – but other than that he is healthy and progressing well

Defiant Lizeth gave birth to her boys, Andre and August, in January this year, and is relieved she did not succumb to the pressure

‘It was really surreal when we got the news that our one baby had Down syndrome, she said. ‘My head was all over the place. 

‘I was up and down with how I felt, some days I was okay and had accepted it, and other days I was sick with worry about what his future would hold. I was terrified.

‘Then the offers for terminating the pregnancy came flooding in. It was extremely hard to hear those words. especially as numerous doctors were advising me to do this.

‘All of our hospital appointments were focused on what August would not be able to do and how his and our life will be so difficult due to his condition.

Proud mother Lizeth claims that throughout her pregnancy doctors put pressure on her to terminate August (pictured), assuring her that she would ‘still end up with a baby’ – and that she was constantly being made to feel her son would be ‘broken’


Now the twin boys are doing better than ever, and Lizeth says she has ‘no regrets’ about having both her baby sons

Lizeth said she hopes her story can normalize the feelings you experience when you are told your child will be most likely born with Down syndrome

The mother insisted she was never planning to terminate the pregnancy, but that doctors constantly reminding her of health complications was making her doubt her decision.  

What is Down syndrome?

Down syndrome is a genetic condition that typically causes some degree of learning disability and certain physical characteristics.

Symptoms include:

  • Floppiness at birth
  • Eyes that slant down and out
  • A small mouth
  • A flat back of head

Screening tests can uncover Down syndrome during pregnancy but are not completely accurate.

It is caused by an extra chromosome in a baby’s cell due to a genetic change in the sperm or egg.

The chance of this increases according to the age of the mother.

A 20-year-old woman has around a one in 1,500 chance of having a baby with Down syndrome.

Women in their 40s have a one in 100 chance.

There is no evidence women can reduce their chances of having a child with Down syndrome.

Down syndrome does not have a cure.

Treatment focuses on supporting the patient’s development. 

People with Down syndrome have more chance of health complications such as heart disorders, hearing problems, thyroid issues and recurrent infections.

Source: NHS Choices 

‘I always knew I was never going to terminate the pregnancy, but they had me second-guessing whether I was making the right choice and if I would be able to deal with this,’ she explained.

‘They kept saying to me, “You can keep his twin, you will still end up with a baby” but I knew I wanted them both.

‘They made me think that when he was born he was going to be broken, but he is just a normal child with some complications.

‘The doctors kept pushing these conditions on me and really trying to use them to scare me and put my off my decision to keep August.’

Later on in Lizeth’s pregnancy, there was a point where August had stopped growing. She said doctors insisted he was not going to make it, but Lizeth insists she never lost faith.

‘Each time the doctors kept repeating that he was not going to make it, and each time we went back for another appointment he was still alive,’ she recalled.

‘It was like they were trying to give me another reason to terminate.

‘In the end, I had to tell them that until I cannot hear his heart beating anymore, I do not want to hear about how he is not going to make it. I told them to stop speaking negatively about him and to stop going on about a termination.’ 

August does not have any heart problems, but has had a few breathing problems – which means he’s had his tonsils and adenoids removed – but other than that he is healthy and progressing well.

Now the twin boys are doing better than ever, and Lizeth says she has ‘no regrets’ about having both her baby sons.  

She said: ‘I know our journey is not done and there is a long hard road ahead of us with many struggles to face, but I have absolutely no regrets. I love them both so much.

‘I hope my story can normalize the feelings you experience when you are told your child will be most likely born with Down syndrome.

‘It is okay to be terrified and to feel like it is not going to be okay. We are made for whatever child we are given and we are strong enough for anything. You do not have to be forced into anything’. 

Lizeth documents moments in her life and share advice on her Instagram page @breauxtherlylove 


Lizeth documents moments in her life and share advice on her Instagram page @breauxtherlylove. Pictured: little August after birth and now

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