How the Biden State of the Union mocked the legacy of a pro-life disability rights hero

The irony wasn’t lost on the advocates of preborn children with disabilities. At Thursday’s State of the Union address, Kate Cox, the mother who sued Texas for the right to kill her disabled preborn child, was sitting next to Maria Shriver, the daughter of a woman who dedicated her life to fighting for equality for people with disabilities. Both women were guests of First Lady Jill Biden.

Legacies: Disabled rights vs. the ‘right’ to kill certain disabled human beings

Shriver was there as founder of the Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement and an advocate of increased research into women’s health. Cox was there as a symbol of America’s desire to throw away people who are different, and the false notion that “women’s health” includes the ‘need’ to kill their own children.

Shriver’s mother, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, founded the Special Olympics, and is celebrated as “a pioneer in the worldwide struggle for rights and acceptance of people with intellectual disabilities.” Cox, who aborted her child following a prenatal diagnosis of Trisomy 18, is lauded by abortion advocates as a hero for having her child with disabilities dismembered in a D&E abortion.

Eunice Shriver recognized that individuals with disabilities are treated unjustly, ignored, and neglected by society, and she saw their value as human beings. She fought for their inclusion and acceptance in society. Cox saw her child with disabilities as an obstacle to her desired life, as someone whose life was not worth living, and as a ‘fetus’ who was not worth the challenges of pregnancy.

Eunice Shriver’s own sister, Rosemary, had an intellectual disability and she noticed that athletic opportunities for Rosemary were limited. She wanted to ensure that others with disabilities were afforded the same opportunities as everyone else and to give them a chance to prove they could accomplish more than doctors and society believed possible. Eunice Shriver launched Camp Shriver in 1962 as a summer day camp for young people with intellectual disabilities in her backyard. By 1968, she had launched the first International Special Olympics Games in Chicago. Her legacy is one of opportunity and equality, which included being proudly against abortion. As reported by The New York Times, “Like her [Catholic] church, [Eunice Shriver] saw a continuity, rather than a contradiction, between championing the poor, the marginalized and the oppressed and protecting unborn human life.”

Maria Shriver has celebrated her mother’s work to gain human rights and equality for people with intellectual disabilities. She also supports her brother Anthony Kenney Shriver’s Best Buddies International, an organization dedicated to creating opportunities for friendship, integrated employment, and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Cox championed the intentional death of her child with disabilities and ensured that her baby was denied equality. She afforded her baby no opportunities — not even the opportunity to be held by her mother.

It is easy to feel compassion for Cox, and we should. She and her baby have been exploited by abortion advocates. Cox has been promoted by a pro-abortion culture as a woman facing an ‘impossible choice.’ Her much ‘wanted’ preborn child received a diagnosis of Trisomy 18, a life-limiting condition that can include both physical and intellectual challenges. Cox’s baby was not the one she had envisioned or hoped for, and would not necessarily be celebrated by the world. Instead, Cox’s baby was treated unjustly despite Shriver’s efforts towards acceptance. It’s because of this that Cox was no longer willing to take the risks associated with pregnancy — risks that, for Cox, seemingly were only worth taking for a certain type of child.

Cox is currently pregnant again… and is clearly willing to risk pregnancy complications for this child.

Using prenatal testing to target a child rather than to prepare

Her ‘impossible choice’ should not have been a choice at all. It should never be called ‘hard‘ to ‘choose’ whether or not to have your innocent child killed. And Cox may someday come to regret the abortion. Women who undergo abortion for their babies due to a poor prenatal diagnosis are at an increased risk of emotional distress than those who carry their babies to term. According to Perinatal Hospice and Palliative Care, which provides resources for parents who are facing such a diagnosis, significant research shows that women who have an abortion following a fetal diagnosis suffer “physical and emotional pain, with psychosocial and reproductive consequences.”

A separate study found that women who have undergone an abortion due to a fetal diagnosis “ultimately felt as if they were betraying themselves and their children.”

However, women who carried to term expressed feelings of closure and peace. The Journal of Clinical Ethics reported that 97.5% of parents who chose to carry to term rather than abort did not regret the decision. “Parents valued the baby as a part of their family and had opportunities to love, hold, meet, and cherish their child,” it explained.

If Cox didn’t know her daughter had a health condition, her daughter would have been born and doctors would have provided her with care. We can hope that in such a circumstance, Cox would have fought to protect her child. It’s likely we may never have heard Cox’s name had this been the case, or if we had, it could have been for a truly exceptional reason — her fight for her daughter’s equality.

Instead, the prenatal testing that should have been used to help Cox, her husband, and doctors prepare for this child’s birth and life instead made the baby a target for a violent death.

She requested dismemberment for her child

According to her lawsuit, Cox was requesting a D&E dismemberment abortion for her baby. It can only be assumed that this is the abortion procedure she ultimately underwent in New Mexico after Texas denied her the abortion. In a D&E abortion, the abortionist uses a Sopher clamp to grasp the baby’s arms and legs and tear them off of her body. The abortionist will then crush the child’s skull and in some cases, the child will be decapitated.

And for that, Cox was celebrated by the President of the United States while positioned next to the daughter of a pro-life, human rights, and equality-for-all champion, who stood firmly against abortion.

Imagine all of those individuals for whom Eunice Shriver wanted rights and equality for were instead dismembered in the womb for not meeting certain societal standards. This is what abortion advocates fight for — and it’s a horrific injustice against all preborn children and people with disabilities both born and preborn.

Eunice Shriver died in 2009, but in 2017, she was given the ESPY Arthur Ashe Award for Courage, which her son Tim accepted on her behalf. Tim was handed the award by pro-abortion former First Lady Michelle Obama, and as they stood on stage with several individuals with intellectual disabilities, he told the audience, “My mother knew one thing. She knew that the athletes of Special Olympics have the same dedication, the same commitment, the same guts, and they deserve the same glory as any other athlete competing in this country or anywhere around the world.” He noted, “We’ve got a lot of work to do for equality for the 250 million who have intellectual disabilities and we will not stop until we have equality for 250 million who have intellectual disabilities.”

“Remove the blinders, remove the fear, remove the stereotypes, see the person,” he said. “…Don’t look at them as a cause… When in doubt, choose to include.”

Yet, on the world stage on Thursday night, Eunice Shriver’s efforts towards equality were mocked by our President and First Lady as they placed abortion for disabled persons on a pedestal next to the daughter of the woman who believed that every human life has value and who fought specifically for the equality and inclusion of children like Cox’s.

Not only is President Biden refusing to include people with disabilities in athletics but in life overall. He’s advocating for the legalization of their slaughtering.

It’s a cruel reminder that even in the United States, true equality is still but a dream.

Editor’s Note 3/10/24: This article was updated with information on Best Buddies International.

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