In the late ’90′s, a co-worker of mine, Lisa, became pregnant and told me one day that she was having tests done to determine if there were any abnormalities with the baby. If there were, she would abort it. What struck me at the time was the casual and matter-of-fact tone in which she said it, almost as if she were deciding on a different color blouse. I had never heard anyone announce such a thing with such apparent ease, and it left me overwhelmed.
I’m sure there have been many people who have voluntarily killed their children due to down’s syndrome or other physical or mental abnormalities. In my humble opinion, they should be forced to read and re-read George Will’s recent column about his son Jon, who has down’s syndrome. You can find it here; it is well worth your time to read.
I also think of my friend David, who grew up down the street from me as a child. He has what we all used to call mental retardation, a term that has since become politically incorrect. I would assume David’s parents had a similar experience when he was born as George Will describes in his column, and David would have fallen into the same category that my co-worker would have killed in the ’90s. I still see David on occasion, and send notes to him fairly regularly on Facebook. All these decades later, it turns out he has lived a rather normal life.
Can we really look these people in the eye and tell them they do not have the right to live?