Maybe you saw this article already: Hundreds call to adopt Down syndrome baby, save it from abortion. Like many good headlines, it pretty much says it all. Then there’s the backlash, we’ll say. I ran across this one here: Church Saves Fetus With Downs, Everyone Lives Happily Ever After This is from the website Jezebal great title, feminist website. It’s a good website, btw, and has many well written and thought provoking articles.
However, this particular article by Katie JM Baker upset me. But not until the last paragraph: “So many mistreated babies and kids with Downs live terrible lives. Instead of throwing resources at a nonviable fetus, why can’t the church help children with Down syndrome that are already alive? Because anti-abortion folks care more about fetuses with fairytale narratives than actual babies.”
I had to stare at it awhile and then, dare I respond?
OK. I did –
Did you really just say that Down syndrome makes a person “Nonviable?” I was buying your overall argument, agreeing with you that some previously reported facts were forced and misused, and coercion is bad – but maybe information is good? I didn’t hear that from this article, but I’m going to infer it.
But then you chose to isolate an entire group of human beings as being “nonviable.” Wow.
I took the time to read your source and several of the articles included about disability and child abuse. It wasn’t easy reading. I did not find under any of the prevention information, anything eluding to the concept that children with a disability are nonviable. Maybe I missed that from the studies?
I am in agreement with you that abortion needs to be legal and, again the inferred suggestion, that better education and use of resources can prevent women and girls from finding themselves having to make this decision to begin with.
I am not in agreement with you that any person, fetus, or infant with Down syndrome should be labeled as nonviable. That goes beyond offensive or poor taste. There are many women in this country today who know prenatally she is carrying a child with DS, and she chooses to carry that child, love her daughter or son for who he/she is and who would appreciate it if you don’t perpetuate language that makes her child less of a person than any other.
Full disclosure of information about having a child with Down syndrome includes the fact that many people will adopt, care for and love a child with Down syndrome. And that it’s not such a hard thing to do. In my house, loving a person with Down syndrome is as easy as breathing.
As a writer, I’m sure you appreciate that words matter. These words hurt me and my family and many others, and I don’t think you had to do that to make a good point. Instead, you made an entirely different point, which I have to tell you, is wrong.