Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Should Down syndrome babies be aborted?

Since John McCain picked Sarah Palin to be his running-mate, there has been an ugly conversation going on among some people in this country. The conversation is about Trig, the Palin's baby who has Down syndrome. There is a segment of people who think the Palins should have aborted this baby because of his condition. I think Christians need to be aware that this thinking is out there, even if it's just a small section of the population.

This writer, who also writes columns for the Washington Times and The Atlanta Journal Constitution, makes the argument that aborting Down syndrome kids is the right thing to do because they are a drain and burden on society. He goes so far as to say, " is crucial to reaffirm the morality of aborting a fetus diagnosed with Down syndrome (or by extension, any unborn fetus)..." (emphasis mine).

The danger in believing that aborting Down syndrome kids, or any kids with birth defects, should be obvious. It makes an assumption, mainly that some people have value, and some don't. Clearly, to the writer of this post, people with disabilities are a burden. And it's OK to eliminate people who are burdens.

There is an underlying assumption also, that people don't have worth just because they are people. Their worth has to be granted by someone else. But who grants worth? The government? We've tried that, in Germany and other places. It didn't work out so well.

In fact, there is only one objective for giving equal value or worth to every human being: each of us is God's special creation. That gives us worth that can't be taken away by any government, or any self-important writer.

As Christians, we should be on the forefront of the fight to see that each person is treated as valuable and worthwhile. This applies to people with special needs, of course. But it applies equally to anybody who is considered "less than" or worthless.

We can't look to political leaders to protect the rights of these people. We do have one presidential candidate who pays lip service to helping the "least of these." But I'm afraid that doesn't apply to everyone, especially the unborn. It's up to those of us who really see human life as valuable to do all we can to see to it that no one is left out when we say that "all men are created equal..."


Heidi W said...

I definitely am prolife, for Down Syndrome babies. Incidentally, I have a friend who wants to adopt a down's baby. She is paper ready, with an updated homestudy... that's how serious she is about it. Of course, she is a really awesome person. :)

Emmychka said...

Well then people with the fat gene should be aborted. Maybe we have too many men and male babies should be aborted. Hm, black babies aren't any good, lets abort them too. Too many Brunette's not enough blondes, lets abort them too. Ooh, no legs, a birth defect, definately not cool, abort abort abort!

/crazy rant because I can't say anything nicer in my current state of mind.

Richard J said...

Heidi--Deciding to adopt a special needs kid is a tough decision. Our son was diagnosed as being "severely developmentally delayed" before we met him.

But we fell in love with him, and jumped into the adoption process. In his case, his diagnosis was completely wrong. He's not delayed at all. In fact, he's almost too smart!

We really feel like God used that mis-diagnosis so that he would be available when we were ready. But so many foster kids do have special needs, and that scares away potential adoptive parents...

Richard J said...

Em--You know this is a rant-all-you-want zone. So have at it! Besides, some things are so outrageous and wrong that anger is the only proper response...

Heidi W said...

Richard, that is an amazing story about your son. My friend I was mentioning has a special needs boy from China, two adopted children from Ethiopia, and is pursuing the Down's Syndrome adoption right now.

I'm adopted... domestic infant adoption. And my daughter is adopted from Ethiopia (she is 9, and has been here 2 years now).

Adoption is an amazing thing, and I wouldn't be here without it. :)

Richard J said...

Adoption is an amazing thing. I wish more Christians would consider it. There are a lot of kids that need a family to love them...

Anonymous said...

I believe we should abort down syndrome babies.

Realistically they are unable to function in today's society. Is it moral?

No. BUT with the over population of this world, we should choose more wisely.

Let me put it this way, as judging from previous comments, I will get flamed for this. If you had to choose a doctor to give you a heart transplant, would you choose a normal doctor, or one with down syndrome?

If you say that's unfair and there would be no doctor with down syndrome, then you are tarnishing your own arguement by calling them inferior.

Even if it comes to something as simple as ordering a meal from a resturant. I want people who can actually function to serve me.

Richard said...

Anon--Just a few quick things. One, the only person who gets flamed here is me, and I usually deserve it. People may disagree with you, but that's OK.

Two, your thinking has a fundamental flaw. You equate human worth with function. Human beings are worthwhile because they are human beings, not because they can serve me a sandwich. (Although a sandwich is always nice.)

That means no one is superior or inferior from the standpoint of intrinsic worth. (Except maybe members of Congress. And sports writers.) Some people may contribute more to society; that doesn't make them more worthwhile.

Third, do you always leave anonymous posts? You can be brave here. Come out and show us who you are...

(Oh, and I was just kidding about the sports writer thing. Cap, you know I kid, because I care...)