Supporting Down Syndrome parents from conception right through birth

The fallout from my post Should we lament the disappearance of Down Syndrome? continues to percolate through the blogosphere. What is striking to me is how the reaction seems to be taken directly from the anti-choice agenda.

The whole notion that parents who elect to terminate a DS pregnancy need to be “educated” bears a more than passing resemblance to the approach of pregnancy “crisis” centers that attempt to talk women out of their decision to abort. The idea that women facing a DS pregnancy don’t understand their options (as if they don’t already know that they could bear the child or give it up for adoption) makes about as much sense as the idea that women seeking abortion don’t understand their options.

The idea that women facing a DS pregnancy can only be “educated” by those who have elected to continue the pregnancy is offensive. The claim that women who have not solicited the advice of strangers should be given the contact information for strangers with an agenda is grossly inappropriate. Those parents are in no more need of the advice of strangers than a woman contemplating an abortion is in need of the advice of strangers.

Although those who support “educating” DS parents claim that they are not anti-choice, the resemblance in inescapable. For me, the most telling behavior is the way that parents who have DS children treat those parents who are overwhelmed by DS children. Only a few such women posted among the more than 400 comments, but the response was alarming and illuminating. Those women who vilified in the most crude and cruel fashion.

If parents of DS children were truly interested in supporting the decision to raise a DS child, they would provide the most support to the people in the most need: people struggling to raise a DS child, and faltering under the burden. I did not detect the least bit of compassion for these women; there was only harsh condemnation.

Inadvertantly, through their reaction, parents of DS children revealed their true agenda. It is not to support those who are raising DS children. It is to vilify those who terminate, bully those who might terminate, and cruelly turn away from anyone who won’t pretend that raising a DS child is “enriching.”

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