While Ariel and Deborah Levy – the parents who won a wrongful birth suit because their daughter has Down syndrome – were surely not the first parents to file a “we wish we could have aborted our living child” suit, their case could certainly be considered the most notorious. It garnered nationwide attention. One of the things many pro-lifers worried about was that this would set a dangerous precedent.
Now another couple is making headlines. A judge has given the parents the OK to move forward with their wrongful birth suit. Like the Levys, if they had known their daughter was disabled, they would have aborted her.
When did parents start believing that children are acceptable only if they are perfect? Apparently, there are people who believe that if their child is somehow “flawed,” he or she doesn’t deserve to live. Right now, these cases seem to be strictly about disabilities. But where is the line drawn? With prenatal testing becoming more and more advanced, what will happen when the baby has the wrong eye color? The wrong hair color? Babies are already aborted around the world for being born the wrong gender. What makes a certain baby’s life worth living, while another baby is deemed unfit for life?
One of the most abhorrent things about this case, and that of the Levys’, is that the parents are asking to be paid off because they have to raise their child. How many parents demand millions to compensate them for the hassle of raising their son or their daughter? What’s worse is that doing so in such a public manner means that the affected children will surely find out about it when they’re older. Imagine finding out that your parents demanded millions of dollars because they weren’t able to kill you.
The idea that a child is worthy of life only if he or she is acceptable to the parents is sad – and wrong. Part of being a parent is being willing to shoulder whatever burden is handed to you. What if the child is born perfectly healthy, but then is diagnosed with cancer? Is in a car accident and becomes paralyzed? By the logic behind these wrongful birth suits, the parents should be allowed to euthanize them then, because Heaven forbid they have to take care of a sick or disabled child. You don’t decide to become a parent, but add in the caveat that the child is deserving of life only if they meet your criteria. Just because a person is disabled, it does not mean that he doesn’t deserve to live, or that he isn’t deserving of your unconditional love.
It is, frankly, disgusting that there are parents out there who could look at their child, say “I would have aborted you,” and then demand a payoff. And what is scary is that the more parents win these wrongful birth suits, the more other parents will be encouraged to do the same. Worse, the attitude that disabled = defective will be furthered, and that finding out your unborn child is disabled means that he or she should be aborted.
Life comes in many different shapes and forms, and all of it is precious. Just because a child has Down syndrome, cystic fibrosis, or any other disability, it doesn’t mean that she doesn’t deserve to live.