Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Big discusion on prenatal testing and Down syndrome at New York Times

Amy Julia Becker, author of the blog Thin Places has managed to post something pro-life over at Motherlode, the parenting blog of the New York Times. She asks for our support, in the comment box, so she can do it again. She has decided NOT to test for Down syndrome in her third pregnancy despite the fact that her daughter Penny has Down syndrome, giving her an increased chance (notice I didn't say "risk") of having another child with designer genes. She, like many of us who realize how lucky we are to have children with Down syndrome say to those who utter threats, SO WHAT! We would welcome another child with the sensitivity, the charm, the gentleness, the sense of humor that my child has. Many people within our culture, and particularly those within the medical establishment, think that Down syndrome is a burden. Even pro-life advocates talk about those who “suffer” from Down syndrome. With language of suffering and lists of problems, it is no wonder that women abort when faced with the news that their child has an extra 21st chromosome. And yet this automatic assumption that Down syndrome brings with it only tragedy belies the studies that demonstrate the positive impact children with Down syndrome have within their families, the ever-increasing potential for learning and participation in community life, and the testimonies of adults with Down syndrome that theirs is a life worth living.
I love what she says here about the culture:
Many people within our culture, and particularly those within the medical establishment, think that Down syndrome is a burden. Even pro-life advocates talk about those who “suffer” from Down syndrome. With language of suffering and lists of problems, it is no wonder that women abort when faced with the news that their child has an extra 21st chromosome. And yet this automatic assumption that Down syndrome brings with it only tragedy belies the studies that demonstrate the positive impact children with Down syndrome have within their families, the ever-increasing potential for learning and participation in community life, and the testimonies of adults with Down syndrome that theirs is a life worth living.

Go on over there and chime in, the vast majority of the comments are positive, but those who rate are negative.
UPDATE Sept 16: Gabbi's essay, which I reposted as a comment on this site, was highlighted by the blog administrators! That means they find it uniquely interesting!! What good taste they have!
That beautiful essay keeps touching hearts, five years after it was written. Go over there, login and give my girl a thumbs up!
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1 comment:

Lloyd said...

I have really enjoyed reading the posts on your blog. I would like to invite you to come on over to my blot and check it out. God's blessings. Lloyd