The Ottawa Citizen has a front-page picture and a two-page spread on the implications of widespread genetic testing for pregnant women that would, well, limit the number of children born with Down Syndrome.
Andrea adds: I don’t think Canadians realize how the system is biased toward abortion. To highlight:
We would like to see information given to women in a fair and balanced and value-neutral way,” said Krista Flint, executive director of the Down syndrome society. “We don’t think that’s the case currently — we know that’s not the case. Families involved with (the society) tell us regularly that that hasn’t been their experience. The central message they receive is ‘Don’t have this baby, it could ruin your life.’
Rebecca adds: The central message they receive is ‘Don’t have this baby, it could ruin your life.’ Flint is talking about women whose fetuses test positive for Down’s Syndrome, but really, this is what the rationale is for most abortion, when you boil it down. And as long as we privilege (heh, I’ve been spending too much time talking to academics if I can use that as a transitive verb) the quality of life of adults over the life of their child, an awful lot of people are going to abort an awful lot of babies because they think it’s what’s best for them (the parents).
And another provocative quote from the same article:
But we don’t tell parents, ‘Oh, we’ve identified your fetus as a female. She’s more likely to be predisposed to breast cancer, she’s more likely to be sexually assaulted and she’s more likely to have a lower paying job.’ Yet when the single chromosome is for Down syndrome the medical profession chooses to give a litany of what can go wrong when there’s so much that can go right.
I remain perplexed by those who are pro-choice for economic, educational, or aesthetic reasons while believe abortion is wrong if it’s made because of the sex of the fetus, its health, or its predisposition. Is it really more frivolous to abort a Down’s Syndrome baby than it is to abort a healthy baby who was conceived before the mother finished school? Is it worse to abort a girl because you wanted a boy, than it is to abort two of your in utero triplets because you don’t want to shop at Costco, as in that infamous New York case?
They [the two sisters of an 8 year-old boy with Down syndrome] have developed and learned things I didn’t need to teach them, just by contact. They’ll see a person with a handicap at the shopping mall and they’ll say, ‘Oh my gosh this person is cute.’ They see the beauty of the person behind the handicap. We don’t have to talk about that, they live it.
Reminded me of a question my daughter asked me about her cleft-affected sister: “Is she special because she has a cleft lip or does she have a cleft lip because she’s special?”