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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Creating a Perfect People

Diogenes, over at Catholic World Report, offers this link and commentary on a blog posted by Amy Welborn regarding babies born with Downs Syndrome and the pressure their parents receive from the medical establishment to abort them.

I had read something about this same topic, not to long ago, but in a round about way. The article (from where I forget now) mentioned in an off-hand way the fact the special ed in schools around the country were being downsized due to a lack of special needs students (Downs Syndrome in particular.)

What is missed is that so much of the prenatal screening that mothers endure before the birth of (and sometimes at the risk of) their child is directed at this: pressure to abort the imperfect child. I mentioned this a while ago in a blog, but I say it again. When Hitler tried to create a race of "supermen", we called him a monster. When we do it in the name of "compassion" somehow we manage to claim for ourselves some sort of moral high road.

It was evil then, it is evil now, and no amount of smiling doctors, nurses, and social workers pushing 'perfection through abortion' in the name of compassion will change that. Quality of life is not determined by the number of minutes, days or years a person lives. Quality of life is not determined by fewest number of hardships. Quality of life is not determined by the number of blond haired, blue eyed, perfect people a society can produce. Quality of life is determined by how much one is loved, and how much love one can give. When we think that all people were loved so much by God that He sent His only Son to shoulder the penalty for their sins so that they might share in Paradise, we can see how much each of us is individually loved, if not by our fellow man, then by God. And anyone who has ever had the gift of knowing a person with Downs Syndrome has no difficulty knowing how much love they can give.

God love you.


Posted by: Diogenes - Jan. 22, 2007 12:26 PM ET USA

From the Chicago Tribune (via Amy), a surprisingly fine article on Down Syndrome babies and the concerted medical pressure on mothers to ... evacuate the uterus.

Two years ago, Anita Krach of Streamwood learned that her fetus had Down
syndrome through a phone call from a perinatologist she had just met during the

Later that day, the same doctor and a genetic counselor outlined the health problems associated with the condition at every stage of life for Krach and her husband, Michael.

"There was no positive thing that was said," Krach said. "Not one."

As Krach, then 18-weeks' pregnant, left the emotional session, the genetic counselor warned her not to call a Down syndrome support group because, she said, "they'll paint a rosy picture."

Read that last sentence again. And again.

First off, the very fact that we're talking about a support group shows the persons involved can't be unaware of the hardship. But more to the point, since when does first-hand experience of a complex human situation disqualify the opinion of those who have it?


Katie said...

Good blog. I feel the same way. (Here's my conservative streak coming out!)

Early in our relationship (years before we even considered marriage), my husband and I worked on a short film starring a deaf girl. It was such an amazing experience to be around the girl and her family and to realize that a child who isn't "perfect" is still an active child and a small person -- challenging, hilarious, and just exactly as she was meant to be.

It was life-changing.

I dislike the idea of defining what we will "accept" from the children we want and create.

Adoro Te Devote said...

I have worked with Down's Syndrome children and adults, and found thm to be among the most joyful people I've ever met. They have this amazing humility one cannot find in a "normal" person.

I think the best measure of any society is to take a look at how that society treats those who are "disadvantaged" in some way, and how they are valued.

Our society isn't holding up very well to this test. And it's very telling that in this culture of "tolerance" how anything which inconveniences "me" or gets into "my" way of personal belief or feelings or goals, then it must be destroyed as quickly as possible.

And when we're destroying children who are not "perfect", then we're missing the fact that the lives of others are not about "us"; they are about God. Every single one.

While I hated my job with the developmentally disabled and TBI (traumatic brain injury), I LOVED the people - they taught me so much, and one cannot help but love them. I remember hugging a man who could not move his arms to hug me back, and who was watching with extreme joy, the first words of another young woman who hadn't spoken in weeks. He was so focused on others that he didn't care that attention had been taken from him. And when I saw his obvious rejoicing for her on his face, and the hugs she was recieving for her big step, I asked him if he wanted a hug, too. "Yeah..." He didn't want to ask, and wouldn't have, but I have to say, even though he couldn't return the hug, I've never felt more love emanating from any other human being.

I would not hesitate to have an "imperfect" child. Both of my parents were born with imperfections... spina biffeda and one without a hand.

My Mom was told that "people like you" shouldn't have children, and this was in 1973.

I'm sorry...I could just go on and on about this....

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