Down's Syndrome and Abortion: Some People Just Don't Get it

Over the weekend I wrote about a couple who gave birth to a girl with Down's Syndrome, after a CVS test failed to show signs of the chromosomal abnormality. They sued the health center for botching the test and declared that they would have aborted their daughter had the test picked up the signs of Down's. This immediately sparked public outrage and the couple have gotten plenty of threats and hate mail. Well, so have I -- simply because I agree that a woman should have the right to seek an abortion if a CVS exam detects the signs of Down's Syndrome. 

It's tiring defending my opinion repeatedly, over and over. And I still can't wrap my head around why some parents are expressing themselves the way some of them are. Some of the people commenting to me and sending me personal emails via this blog are downright behaving irrationally and it's unnecessary. It isn't like I'm not expressing an opinion that's commonly shared. 
While the people who aren't in disagreement with me are quiet (and why wouldn't they be?) the most aggressive of comments I've gotten recently have been from those who take issue with the way I expressed myself in a recent article. It seems that many of them took issue with the following sentence:

"The fact of the matter is that this child will never grow into an adult to enjoy the fullest potential that she can, and the parents are well within their rights to have made the decision not to bring her into this world."
Apparently reading this sentence (which referred to the child the article was about) immediately caused several posters to take personal offense simply because they have children with Down's Syndrome, and somehow saying this about the girl in the article somehow equated to saying it about their own children. I must clarify once and for all that the sentence is referring to the child the article was about, which was declared incapable of living on her own and needing full-time care. This is a child who will probably live to 50-years of age but will forever be a child at heart and in mind. That's not an insult to everyone else's children and it's certainly not an insult if it's simply repeating the so-called diagnosis of the aforementioned child.

That's the least of the issues I've run into over the past two or three days. In fact, maniacal can best describe some of the remarks I've received simply because I support the rights of Ariel and Deborah Levy to express that they would have sought an abortion had their CVS exam detected the chromosomal anomalies that indicate Down's Syndrome.

I've been called "prejudiced" against people with Down's, and I've been treated like I condone murder of a culture of people. I've even been accused of supporting "eugenics" -- all because I support a woman's right to choose what's best for her body, her mind and her family. Someone even enlisted an online "lynch mob" of sorts against me all because I wouldn't share her stance on what's morally right and what's morally wrong. Another person even told me that because I have a wide reader-base/audience, that I shouldn't express the opinion that she disagreed with for reasons that it could influence people to abort fetuses with chromosomal abnormalities. 


I only want to have to address this once but chances are, I will continue to get messages accusing me of being a heartless supporter of the murders of special children -- meanwhile not a word about the fact that I support a woman's right to any abortion in general. I never get hate mail about that.

I've created an easy-to-read list of my points and why I am no longer entertaining debates and attacks against my right to share these opinions. I've included example comments/questions and my answers as well. Hopefully this will at least convey the point that I am about choice for mothers on either side of this so-called argument that I in no way intended to "start" (by simply having an opinion!)

  • "Stop calling it a defect"  - - It is a birth defect. Down's Syndrome is one of the most common birth defects. I don't know what else I am supposed to call it to make sure every single person is not offended. But I can stick to the medically-correct terms, can't I? 
  • "My child has Down's Syndrome and he is smarter than most normal people I know. Shame on you for supporting the murder of babies with Down's Syndrome!" -- First, not every person with Down's is the same. This abnormality has varying levels of effects meaning some children born with it are only mildly affected while others moderately and some more severely. Simply because one person has a child that is only mildly afflicted with this defect doesn't mean that someone else's child will be as well. So it's rather pointless to even begin arguing a point with this kind of comment because it completely negates the people who are most certainly worse off than this example kid who is smarter than so-called "normal" people.  Furthermore, I don't support the murder of any living human being. That's ridiculous. And I will not turn this around into a debate on how abortion is murder because it is not, and I'm not interested in participating in circular arguments. 
  • "You don't even know anyone with Down's Syndrome and you have no right to voice your opinions on the matter." -- First, wow. I have every right to express my concern about anything I want, but secondly, I do know people with Down's. I love the people I've met with this defect. They're not below people without Down's in any way, but they are most certainly not "normal," by biological terms. My stance on abortion in this matter has nothing to do with them or any other living, sentient human being. Nor do I "wish" that people had been aborted. That's also ridiculous. I've been painted as some sort of bigot when really as I've stated before is that I support a woman's right to choose regardless of the situation -- and I happen to think that chromosomal abnormalities are medical reasons for seeking an abortion. I'm not alone in that thought. 
Otherwise, I truly have nothing more to say on the matter. Yes, I understand that my opinion is unpopular with a group of people who have rabid tendencies to attack instead of just accepting that an opinion is what it is. You certainly cannot help in changing an opinion by making attacks and direct insults to one's intelligence -- when the person is taking a purely scientific standpoint in the matter in the first place. But try to understand -- everyone should simply have the choice. That has nothing to do with wanting babies murdered and it certainly has nothing to do with eugenics. It has nothing to do with any one individual person who happens to randomly read this that I don't even know. It just is what it is.

I know that I will continue to get hate mail and shitty comments about this basically because I'm pro choice all the way and not just objectively. I am washing my hands of this entire thing and won't address anyone's questions or comments on the matter because I've learned that with certain "interest groups" you just can't win, even with the facts. 

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1 comment:

Amanda said...

You did nothing wrong Chels <3