Friday, March 16, 2018

Response to "I would have aborted a fetus with Down syndrome"

The heart.  It’s most intricately tied to the soul and helps us navigate the 
waters of morality, choose compassion over complacency, and anchors us to love 
unconditionally in the most trying of circumstances.  
The heartbeat has the last say of life over death or death over life.  We spend 
millions each year trying to keep our hearts beating as long as possible with 
new diets, more advanced science, and gym memberships. 
The human heart begins beating at three and a half weeks inside the womb.  
Typically before a mother discovers she’s pregnant, her baby’s heartbeat can be 
I’ve read the article by Ruth Marcus, (“I would’ve aborted a fetus with Down 
syndrome. Women need that right,” March 9) and it’s the heart that relentlessly 
haunts me.  So many heartbeats that have been stopped on the gesture of giving 
the mother a future she deserves.  So many heartbeats stopped. 
Then death. 
I am a mother who was bullied to abort my daughter - whom I cherished when she 
was just a prayer - based solely on her diagnosis of Down syndrome.  And I take 
Ms. Marcus’s words personally.  Many agree with Ms. Marcus, but I would like to 
pose questions and offer a different perspective. 
Ms. Marcus stated that “as tragic as it would have felt and ghastly as a 
second-trimester abortion would have been” she would have aborted her two 
children given a Ds diagnosis. 
I question, if this is a termination of a fetus, a clump of cells, what is so 
ghastly about an abortion? The truth is that it’s ghastly because it’s a formed 
human body with arms and legs, fingers and toes, head and heart, all of which 
are horrifically and brutally destroyed. 
She went on to say “-that these excruciating choices be left to individual 
Why are these choices excruciating? 
“The state can hijack your body” 
What is it called when our laws declare that we can’t commit suicide, sell our 
body parts, or ingest drugs that will harm or kill us?  Don’t we have the right 
to choose what we do with our bodies?  And what if there’s another body 
involved?  Because the truth is that a fetus is only a fetus when the mother 
doesn’t want it. It’s a baby when she does. 
“I would have grieved the loss and moved on” 
If you are to grieve the loss of something, there had to be something there to 
“this is not the child I would have wanted” 
The fact is that women who abort will never know if that’s a true statement.  I 
didn’t believe I wanted a child with Down syndrome until I had a child with Down 
syndrome.  And I can say without a shred of doubt or deceit that Emmy IS the 
child I wanted. 
“I respect – I admire – families that knowingly welcome a baby with Down 
syndrome into their lives.” 
I don’t believe I deserve respect or admiration for not killing my child because 
I knew she had Ds in the womb.  I’m just a mother.  Loving my child. 
“But accepting that essential truth is different than compelling a woman to give 
birth to a child whose intellectual capacity will be impaired, whose life 
choices will be limited, whose health may be compromised.” 
The essential truth is if women knew the Truth, they would be compelled to give 
birth to a child with Down syndrome.  The truth is that nearly 100% of people 
with Ds are happy with their lives, love who they are, and find life fulfilling.  
Nearly 100% of siblings say their brother or sister with Ds has made them a 
better person.  And I personally don’t know one, out of thousands and thousands 
of women in my tribe, who would say that their child with Ds hasn’t increased 
their quality of life, grew the width and breadth of their love for others, and 
made them stronger mothers. 
I have a sacred duty to speak on behalf of my fellow Rockin mamas, and every 
perfect and priceless baby in the womb, out of the womb, child, and adult with 
Ds.  The truth is that if every woman knew what life would be like with a child 
with Ds, every diagnosis would be celebrated.  Doctors would come in with 
balloons and streamers, not a box of tissues and a pamphlet on abortion.  
The truth is that choosing life for a baby with Down syndrome must be an issue 
of the heart. We, as a society, need to see that people with Ds don’t take away 
from us, but only give to us.  They can start companies, model, act, drive cars, 
work, become beauty queens, live independently.  They give us smiles, laughter, 
hugs, and joy beyond comprehension.  The truth is that our world needs more 
people with Down syndrome, not less. 
Because they have the biggest, purest, and gentlest of all hearts.  
And we’re a world that is quickly losing its own. 

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