Editor’s note: Today is World Down Syndrome Day, and Jess’ blog is a reminder of the beauty of and value of all people.
You might have followed the story of the couple who sued and won a “wrongful birth” lawsuit for a child with Down syndrome. They say they would have aborted their daughter, had they known her condition prior to birth.
I try to be merciful to other special-needs parents, because it’s a hard road. But really?
Did I miss the memo that said we get a perfect life, and if we don’t get it we can throw tantrums and destroy human beings because they’re complicating things? Did somebody forget to tell me only chromosomally perfect people have a right to live? Can I kill off my children because they have freckles, or straight hair instead of curly? I don’t get it.
According to many statistics, 90% of children with Downs Syndrome are aborted. They are brutally murdered in what should be the safest place in the world, because they’re not perfect. So we, the “normal” get to decide, get to say who’s worthy of living or dying. Don’t kid yourself. Hitler started with the disabled. You, with the glasses? Watch your back.
My small kids have grown up with a severely disabled sibling. It has given them a compassion and a grace that many kids are lacking. They understand that beyond his sometimes vacant stare, or his drooling, that their brother is alive and funny and ours. And they love him and he loves them. As a culture, loving the disabled and serving and learning from them keeps us one step away from our total self-obsessed hedonism. There is more to life than YOU and your quest for comfort.
Maybe it’s time for us to grow up a little as a civilization and start realizing that it’s the imperfections that make art beautiful, and that laying on the ground kicking and screaming because you have a challenge only makes you look like an idiot. In the meantime, there’s a beautiful little girl with Down syndrome who is happy to be alive. Somebody give her a vote.