31 Days of Parenting Kiddos with Special Needs: Choosing Life (I)

31 Days of Parenting Kiddos with Special Needs

This is a really controversial subject and I want to make it clear that I’m not judging anyone for the decision they did or didn’t make.

So…

I hate that I’m having to bring this up but… we have a problem in our society and it’s that we shy away from anything that inconveniences us. This manifests itself very prominently when it comes to our inability to accept any physical/mental defect in our children. The abortion rate for diagnosed spina bifida cases is 64%, for example, and I’ve heard people say that the rate of abortions of babies with Down Syndrome is around 90%. That last one doesn’t surprise me because I know they jumped me forward in line for a 3-D ultrasound with Daniel because there was a chance that he had Down Syndrome and they needed to know if they needed to do amniocentesis to get a diagnosis because the test result came back at ~20 weeks gestation and the deadline to terminate the pregnancy was 24 weeks. (For those who haven’t heard the story, my response was that I’d be happy to get the ultrasound but I was not getting amniocentesis nor was I going to abort my kid. It was a big step in my pro-life conversion.) Neither condition is actually “incompatible with life” as many doctors say they are and I think that this is a result of all the lawsuits brought for “birth injuries” because the kid did not come out of the womb in perfect condition.

And yes, the one thing I *WILL* judge are wrongful birth lawsuits. Those things make me vomit because you’re telling your kid that you would have aborted them if you had the chance. (Case in point.) In the case of this mother in Montana, she did not exercise her due diligence and participate in genetic counseling, which is apparently the fault of her doctors, right? (By the way, her daughter is doing fine.) It’s not like there are people who have it and are doing fine or anything…

What I really wish would happen is that doctors working with pregnant women would be required to spend some time interacting with people who *DO* have Down Syndrome or spina bifida because, as I said earlier, neither one is incompatible with life though they can and do make life inconvenient. Two of the daughters of the pastors in the bigger town where we lived in Montana have Down Syndrome and one of them lives on her own, has a job at a daycare, and is able to function on her own with a little bit of help. (The other daughter was quite young when we lived there but I do believe she is moving in the same direction.) I know several young men in their 20’s who are the sons of former colleagues of Jon’s and were born with spina bifida. Both are in college and self-sufficient. I can’t imagine the world without any of these four people.

I’ll probably re-visit this topic tomorrow. In the meantime, I have an Accounting test tomorrow and need to get some sleep!