Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The Morality of "Choice"

So long as the Left waves the banner of abortion-on-demand, they will continue to lose the middle of the electorate.

This column today by Patricia Bauer in the Washington Post really hits it home. Yes - it is one woman's experience. And, yes - it is clearly a more privileged experience than the norm.

However, that does not invalidate the simple truths of her argument.

In a nutshell, she is the mother of an 18 year old girl with Down syndrome. Pre-natal testing told her of her child's disability. She chose not to terminate an "imperfect" child. And, in those 18 years, she has felt society's general disapproval of her choice.

Her point is that abortion has turned into a tool of convenience, a "choice" to avoid the difficulties of an imperfect life, the "freedom" to place one's own comfort above the chance for life of another. Money example:
This view is probably particularly pronounced here in
blue-state California, but I keep finding it everywhere, from academia on down.
At a dinner party not long ago, I was seated next to the director of an Ivy
League ethics program. In answer to another guest's question, he said he
believes that prospective parents have a moral obligation to undergo prenatal
testing and to terminate their pregnancy to avoid bringing forth a child with a
disability, because it was immoral to subject a child to the kind of suffering
he or she would have to endure. (When I started to pipe up about our family's
experience, he smiled politely and turned to the lady on his left.)

I have had experience working with kids with Down, through Special Olympics. They are among the most joyous, effervescence, and appreciative kids I've ever seen. That fact that any would look upon a Down baby as an "avoidable tragic mistake" is simply the worst kind of immorality and selfishness.

If you've read a little about me and my political beliefs, you know that - although I am left leaning - there's something about the whole pro-choice movement that doesn't feel quite right to me. And this is a great illustration of why.

Yes - a perfect child is what we all desire. Yes - a diagnosis of Down (or spina bifida, or CF) would be heartwrenching. Yes - it takes more of everything (money, time, patience) to raise a child with disabilities. But is this where we want our society to be? Are these the values we strive to engender?

Until the Democratic Party can unleash itself from these questionable moorings, from being lockstep with NOW and Planned Parenthood and all the rest, they will continue to serve as a minority party.


Blogger prismwarden said...

I read that article earlier today and found it heart-breaking.

We're becoming a Gattacan society, and we've now begun to separate the "weak" children from the "normal."

Without much of a debate, either.

It doesn't get more depressing.

11:06 PM  
Blogger Call Me Jack said...

As the author comments, this seems to be a debate no one wants to have - which I don't quite understand.

Frankly, how different is this from the eugenics programs of Nazi Germany?

7:25 AM  
Blogger prismwarden said...

In Nazi Germany, it was a program of government.

In America, it's now a method of the people.

Which is even less comforting.

9:34 AM  

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