Once again, a fellow blogger has posted a subject that I think about, talk about and write about all the time with people. Please see this post for a most amazing look at the topic of prenatal testing- question of life or death. Malakai's mom takes the words right out of my mouth. I was in tears after reading it.
Just the other day I got an email from a friend who wanted to know more about the startling statistic that I've written about in the past....that 90-91% of pregnancies are terminated when a diagnosis of DS is given after an amnio. This friend of mine asked if the statistic is slightly skewed by the fact that most people who get an amnio are more likely to terminate anyway, hence the reason they are having the amnio. It's a good question and makes some sense but it's still horrifying. I believe this is one of the biggest areas of discrimination still remaining in our society. Life or death decisions are being made based upon a diagnosis that is hugely misunderstood. Please look at my Joaquin. He is the child being aborted.
I also have friends that have brought up the fact that maybe not every parent is equipped to handle a diagnosis of DS therefore it is in the best interests of the child that he be aborted rather than have parents that are afraid or incapable or just plain don't want a child with a disability. I really don't know what to say to that. Like Malakai's mom mentions in her post, what if your child is born "perfect" but suffers a trauma at birth that leads to brain damage? What if your child is hit by a car and will never walk or talk or is now mentally disabled? Are these parents that would have otherwise terminated a child with DS going to fail as parents now? Probably not. I would hope they would rise to the occasion and do what was needed for their hurt child because it is their child. Right?
What if they develop a prenatal screen that tests for autism? for depression? for ADHD? for bipolar disorder? for leukemia? for diabetes? for obesity? for breast cancer? the list can go on and on. Would it be ok to abort based on this information? Where are we going as a society with this kind of testing? I cringe to think of where we are headed.
I am passionate about this topic. I feel moved in ways I cannot explain to reach out to the world and make a change. I don't know how I will do this but I know that I have to. Joaquin is the most amazing child and has every right to be here. Please tell me, what human being is perfect? who would want to live in that world anyway.
My sister in law, Jennifer, just emailed me this creed and I think it explains it all....
I believe that diversity is a part of the natural order of things—as natural as the trillion shapes and shades of the flowers of spring or the leaves of autumn. I believe that diversity brings new solutions to an ever-changing environment, and that sameness is not only uninteresting but limiting.
To deny diversity is to deny life—with all its richness and manifold opportunities. Thus, I affirm my citizenship in a world of diversity, and with it the responsibility to….
Be tolerant. Live and let live. Understand that those who cause no harm should not be feared, ridiculed, or harmed—even if they are different. Look for the best in others. Be just in my dealings with poor and rich, weak and strong, and whenever possible to defend the young, the old, the frail, the defenseless. Avoid needless conflicts and diversions, but be always willing to change for the better that which can be changed. Seek knowledge in order to know what can be changed, as well as what cannot be changed. Forge alliances with others who love liberty and justice. Be kind, remembering how fragile the human spirit is. Live the examined life, subjecting my motives and actions to the scrutiny of mind and heart so to rise above prejudice and hatred. Care. Be generous in thought, word, and purse.
Joaquin on his Baptism on December 21st and with his Godmother Virginia.