Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Ever Wonder Why You Don't See Kids With Down's Syndrome Very Often Anymore?

I just got back from a run in our neighborhood.  On the way I passed a woman with Down's Syndrome.  These days whenever I see a person with this syndrome it always sobers me, saddens me, and angers me.  Why would that be?

Because today 90% of women who are given the news that their baby in the womb has Down's, elect to have that child terminated through abortion murdered.  I know that language sounds quite harsh and potentially inflammatory.  But shouldn't we call it what it is?  If we can agree that it is a human person in the womb, (we don't need a Bible to prove this, just a 10th grade science class) shouldn't we call it what it is?  If it is a human person in the womb, should we be shocked when we hear the word "murder"?  Shouldn't that shock lead us to stop the practice of it instead of softening language so that people's feelings don't get hurt by the word "murder"?

Technology is taking us to very a dark place.   We should see it coming.  The days are looming upon us when we'll be able to know everything about the baby in the womb.  Things beyond characteristics such as hair color, eye color and potential height to tendencies towards certain personality distinctions or even certain diseases.

Could we be inadvertently creating a "master race" of people through abortion?  Should this not cause us to shutter? (See Eugenics) Can you imagine a culture where people are constantly wondering, "Wow, how did they guy make it out?  He is a freak!  I wish he had been terminated."  If it is acceptable to terminated a child simply because they have Down's Syndrome and a parent doesn't want to deal with this challenge, what other types of kids should we add to the list?  The scope of technology in the future is going to allow our list to be extremely long.

Just to be clear, I am no fanboy of Republican politics.  I know there are as many crooked politicians on the right as the left (maybe even more!).  I don't have a FoxNews bummer stick on my truck and I actually think Bill O'Reilly is quite the buffoon.  But if you think you can align yourself with a president who believes that it should be a fundamental right to pursue the option of killing a child with Down's Syndrome just because it happens to resides inside the mother, you are sadly mistaken.  Tragically mistaken.

Yes, I know there are no perfect politicians and as I said above, I am not disillusioned enough to think that "we just need to get a Republican in office and then all our problems will be solved".  But politicians CAN do things to change laws.  How do you think we got abortion legalized in the first place?  Because of politicians and supreme court justices who are appointed by politicians.  If politicians can enact the freedom to abort they can also take it away.

Did Bush do a lot of horrible things in his tenure as president?  One could certainly make that case as many have.  Some believe that the war in Iraq was Bush's main crime against humanity and would cite this as evidence for why we should keep Obama in office.  But there is no moral equivalency between a war in Iraq and the systematic killing of children in the womb. In order for there to be moral equivalence we would have to kill 1.2 million people every year in Iraq and Afghanistan.   We are nowhere near that.  That is not to say that a war in Afghanistan may be unjust it's simply to say that you can't make the case that "pro-life politicians have really bad policies too, (like an unjust war), so let's just be ambivalent on the abortion issue."

Can you think of anything worse than the legalized, silent, and sterile murder of 1.2 million children every year?  Should not abortion be a trump card issue for Christians and all thinking people for that matter?

But if you are a Christian, we can't just place our hope solely in the legal system to change laws (as needed as that is).  Are there any women in your sphere of influence who you think might consider abortion if they got pregnant?  Does your life come into contact with unbelievers who typically see this as no big deal?  What are you doing to make the alternative of adoption be a compelling first response for women?  In this upcoming election season there will be ample opportunities to engage people with this issue.  Do you have the courage to engage them and do so in a way that is winsome and doesn't fit the stereo-type of the FoxNews freak?

Try to think of the last time you saw someone with Down's Syndrome.  If you are over thirty, you probably have memories of seeing them around quite a bit more.  That's no longer the case and this should cause us to weep, peacefully act, and pray.

(For more reading along these lines please pick up a copy of this book.)


Anonymous said...

Amen, amen and amen!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this.

Jessica Kramasz said...

Being a little older than what doctors prefer new moms to be, my OB nearly required me to test for Downs. I refused, and when I explained that it would make absolutely no difference to me if the baby had Downs, she looked at me like I had 4 heads.
I also have a friend who did have the test and was told her baby had Downs. She carried the baby to term and had a completely healthy, normal baby girl. I hope that was a real eye-opener to the OB who recommended she murder her baby.

Jeremy Larson said...

"cause us to shudder"

Anonymous said...

I lived in darkness before becoming a Christian twenty some years ago. I had a part to play in an abortion when i was teen-ager. After becoming a Christian I had a totally different view of ethics and have been pro-life ever since… At different times in my life the guilt of what I did crops up and it is only through the forgiveness of sins found in Jesus Christ (Acts 10:43 Eph. 1:7) that can take away the guilt. Every time I think of my sins I remind myself of Christ who bore my guilt and punishment.
By the way, I will always make abortion an issue when it comes to voting.

Chris Poblete said...

Well said. Thank you for sharing and for galvanizing us. I want to read that book.

Peggie said...

I so agree! And when I read Jessica's comment about her friend I thought of one I knew that the same thing happened to. While I do not agree with the murdering of babies under any circumstance, it makes you wonder how many murdered "down syndrome" children were really healthy.

M&M in Japan said...

Unfortunately without a Biblical worldview the definition of murder really does change. Without moral absolutes people can decide what is right and wrong as a society. That is what is happening in every society not founded on the Biblical morality. That is why I believe our main task must be to help people see the world from a Biblical worldview. As you so eloquently put it, Z, the Republican party does not give us much to hope for. (Nor does Fox News!)

Julie said...

So very well written.
So very thought-provoking.
Such tragic realization.

Neverland said...

As the parent of a child with Down Syndrome, I "see them around" quite a bit. I think you need to realize that it goes beyond a parent's desire to "face the challenges" of raising a special needs child.

While you argue for this cause please also argue for medical support of women who choose to follow through with their pregnancy after a DS diagnosis (currently there is not much support from doctors or pediatricians, leaving parents going against medical advice and without medical support if they choose to give birth).

And then please also argue for the funding for decades of occupational therapy, speech therapy, special education, and funding for medical operations to treat the physiological issues that arise (often in infancy, but throughout the life) of people with DS, life plans for DS children who outlive their caregivers... you see you will have a lot of work to do and much government funding necessary once these special children are allowed to draw breath. I'm sure you're prepared to contribute your own funds - I'll contact you with the appropriate mechanisms to start your donations.

I'm all for outreach and education, but it would help if the entire picture were presented rather than some emotionally labile language and the inevitable comparisons to 'master races'.

Anonymous said...

I have a Down Syndrome Grand Daughter and we just Did the National Down Syndrome Buddy Walk In Seattle.
And the number of young parents with these wonderful kids was astonishing,
I was so proud to be a part of these wonderful kids life, they are given to us for a reason. My Grand Daughter is the most sweetest, politest most amazing little girl, I wouldn't want her to be anything more then she is, She is my girl...

Noah's Dad said...

We have a son born with down syndrome and we are having a great time! We are creating an online narrative of his life by posting a one minute video of his day, every day. In order. Thus telling his story, and giving the world a window into what life is like raising a child born with down syndrome. It's a ton of fun!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the thoughtful and well-articulated comment, Neverland. Also, I appreciate that you recognize the name of the syndrome is 'Down' and not
'Down's' as the author of this blog ignorantly wrote. I'm a pediatrician who supports your well-informed stance on the issue.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, but Neverland has a point. Why would I want to bring a child into the world if I knew that there was every chance that they would not be able to care for themselves after I'm gone? I shudder to think. :(


anna said...

I am from England and have no religious beliefs. I agree with many comments. I am against abortion because I believe it is murder. All life deserves a chance. I am capable of being a good person without the need for religion. I have developed my own ethical code for living. I respect all life. I am vegetarian because in my heart I feel it is wrong to murder animals for food. My respect for life extends to everything including insects and I would never kill anything. I have relatives and friends who are Christian and many have dubious morals. I resent any implication that indicates religion is the foundation for a pure, moralistic society. I was schooled in a Christian convent and taught by nuns until I was 18. Some of them were quite nasty individuals. I have seen religion destroy people. I know many Christians who are arrogant, selfish, cruel and prejudiced. I also know many good Christians. Religion causes much suffering, war and discrimination. Being good and having good morals comes from within.

Unknown said...

Im speechless...neverland hit the spot...but my 2 month old down syndrome baby makes me want to be a.better person each time i look at her...im the proud mother of 3 children and natalie is my only planned child.we hope and pray our children grow up and never leave us..or get in trouble...or be disrespectful or do drugs...we got it..natalie isnt going to break our hearts amd we need her as much as she needs us. I wouldnt even take a normal baby over my down syndrome baby even if God himself promised me a greener grass. We got lucky she only had a few common complications with her birth. I cant say i didnt question God the day i gave birth..and i saw my husband shake his fists at God for the first time ever...i saw the heartache in all our family's eyes..there was no hiding it. As the doctor said the sentence " were a lil concerned that she may have down syndrome"...at that same moment i sat still and the world in my peripheral vision kept spinning... my world went silent and all i heard were echoes like a scene in a movie. And now when i look in Natalie's eyes... i cant deny the look of down syndrome..but i also cant deny the love that festers in my heart and soul. I see my 13 year old picking out bows and outfits for the whole week when she couldnt be bothered to get up for dishes. She even takes natalie to the truck and puts her in the car seat. Our 3 year old kisses her every hour and loves his baby sissy. Our pets cant wait to lick her. Im ready to tackle the challenge and teach the world about her one by one stating face with a warm heart whether they understand or not. I got an unexpected surprise....but i do love surprises.

Anonymous said...

Neverland's comments prove the sad truth that some people believe if a fetus has expensive medical problems then the parents shouldn't be bothered.

According to that line of thinking, we should pass a law that if your child gets sick later in life, you can legally choose to drown them in the bathtub and throw the body out with the trash. Everyone would understand. Nobody should be expected to spend extra time and money on a child with "special needs".

Seriously, neverland....if that isn't "master race" thinking ....what is?

Anonymous said...

I respect that you have your opinion on this, but what is it to you if people terminate their pregnancies?
Do you know the social stigma that comes along with having Down Syndrome? Do you know the difficulties this child is gonna face because of their syndrome?
You have to think for you child's future, and there's a very slim chance that a Down Syndrome baby will have a good future.
Stop shaming mothers who terminated their pregnancies, because their choice does not affect you personally.
Sometimes you have to leave things you don't like for people who want or need them.
You don't have to abort a baby if it has Down Syndrome, but don't make it impossible for those who want to.
How come you're not preaching anything else from your bible? Abortion are not the problem here,its people like you who impose themselves on the rights of others that are.

Anonymous said...