Sarah Defies Gravity

what one little chromosome taught me about love, life, and defying gravity.

A valuable life

As many people know, I am pro choice, and staunchly so. 

I believe that women should be wholly and singularly responsible for the choices pertaining to their body, including making decisions about whether to continue a pregnancy. And that includes making choices pertaining to prenatal diagnoses of special needs like Down Syndrome.

But I’m also the parent of a child with special needs, so on an emotional level, i perhaps feel a little different than I do on a logical level.

I support the legality of abortion. I believe that women are intelligent human beings capable of making decisions for themselves.

But I also think that people with Down Syndrome have a life worth living; a valuable life.

I don’t wish that abortion for Down Syndrome were illegal. I don’t wish that people who have abortions for Down Syndrome were punished.

What I wish for is that people would stop thinking they knew what Down Syndrome was like when they really have no idea. 

What I wish for is that people would stop talking about Down Syndrome like it’s the end of the world. Like it’s painful. Like it’s fatal.

Down Syndrome is not fatal. Down Syndrome is not painful. Down Syndrome does not mean that you cannot learn, that you will not get married, that you will not have a career or go to college or play sports.

People with Down Syndrome are, first and foremost, people. They have human desires, human thoughts and interests and feelings. They go to college. They are prom queens and kings. They play sports. They get married. They have careers. They drive cars. They are actors and actresses, writers, musicians, and artists. They live happy, full, healthy lives.

The people who know or are related to people with Down Syndrome consider them to be some of the best people in the world. While they may not be always happy, as the stereotype goes, they have a special kind of love, a special kind of vibe, that is unlike anyone else. 

That 47th chromosome contains extras of all of the good stuff that humanity has to offer: extra joy, extra love, extra enthusiasm, extra determination, extra rhythm, extra boogie. It’s not something less, it’s something more. People with Down Syndrome don’t lead emptier lives, they lead fuller ones…and make the lives of everyone around them fuller, too.

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3 thoughts on “A valuable life

  1. Ya know what? I probably disagree with you on a lot (I’m pretty much against abortion) but I absolutely LOVE this post. Because the reality is that abortion IS legal and there’s sooo much misinformation about our kids.

    Thank you for writing this. I always appreciate your posts.

  2. I didn’t get a chance to comment on your Spread the Word post (you know… only 1 free hand…) but wanted to comment now on this post and that. Very well said. Very thought provoking. What a great message, and I think, more powerful since it comes from a pro-choice perspective.

    Welcome back, Chris. Been thinking of you and your family and wishing you a smooth transition back home.

  3. It is an honor to read your blog. Your little girl is very lucky to have such a special father.

    I am pro-choice politically but am pro-life in my personal beliefs and my faith, and I find myself leaning more pro-life now that I have 2 children and feel my soul connected to them in a way that I couldn’t have understood before they were here.

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