People with Down syndrome have been making headlines a great deal in the last year thanks to newer genetic tests that can determine if an unborn child has Trisomy 21 earlier. Currently, up to 90% of all unborn children with Down syndrome are killed in the womb – punished to death for not being the child their parents had envisioned. Groups like the International Down Syndrome Coalition for Life know that with earlier diagnosis and inaccurate information from doctors, more women will abort their babies. People like Chelsea Hoffman are happy about that and show it by offending the Palin family, women who abort their children, and those with Down syndrome themselves.
Sarah Palin Is Better than the Rest of Us
In between hurling insults at either Bristol (she “can kind of string together a grammatically correct sentence”) or Sarah Palin (“and whatever ‘help’ she pays to do her mothering for her”), Hoffman recently made the claim that women who abort their children with Down Syndrome are weak and therefore should absolutely be able to abort their once-wanted baby. Hoffman says that unlike Sarah Palin, “many women simply do not have that ‘courage’ or whatever it is you want to call it” to bring a baby with Down syndrome into the world.
Hoffman believes what many doctors believe, which is that children with Down syndrome are a burden on society and on families. But Hoffman is right about one thing: it takes courage to raise a child with Down syndrome or any disability. There will be many battles, but there will also be many joys and triumphs. Doctors fail parents when they tell them it takes courage to kill their baby out of compassion, and when they share outdated information on Down syndrome with parents. They, and Hoffman, sell parents short. Anyone – not just the Palins – who is willing, is therefore able to successfully care for and raise a beautiful, smart, kind, and thriving person with Down syndrome.
Fear Should Equal Death for a “Broken” Child
Despite research indicating that 79% of parents of children with Down Syndrome say they have a more positive outlook on life, Hoffman believes that many people simply can’t handle raising a child with Down Syndrome due to fears of any dependencies the child may have. These, she thinks, are the perfect excuses for parents to kill their child. She says that these parents simply don’t know if their child’s severity of Down syndrome will be low or high, and they shouldn’t be forced to make that gamble. She writes, “To those women who do like to gamble against the odds: good for you. Just don’t expect every single parent on Earth to subscribe to the idea that broken DNA is a good thing.”
In other words, people with Down syndrome are broken, and their parents are cowardly. Therefore, parents should have the right to take their child’s life rather than give him up for adoption at birth. Hoffman, and the rest of the eugenics supporters, would rather a baby with Down syndrome never be born than be given life with a loving adoptive family.
When so many people flood our world with negative views on Down syndrome, they are discriminating not only against people with disabilities, but against those people’s parents, too. Even if birth parents don’t feel they are able to give their child with Down syndrome the best life possible, they can find adoptive parents who can. And that child will then have two sets of parents who made the brave and loving act of giving life.