Monday, August 24, 2009

What is a Human?

I recently read a disturbing statistic in National Review. In the United States, 90% of unborn children with Down syndrome are aborted in America.

I work with several people who have mental disabilities of some kind or another. There is no doubt that people who are disabled are greatly challenging. They are distinctly different than "normal" people and present their own unique difficulties to their coworkers and families. But I have found that they are some of the hardest working, most delightful people in the world.

To say that people who are disabled would be better off not to have lived at all is never to have seriously dealt with disabled people. They love, suffer, laugh, and live just as any of us do. I have personally never met the disabled person who would rather be dead than alive in a somewhat restricted state.

Choosing to abort a child on discovering that they are disabled may seem like the compassionate, enlightened thing to do. In reality, it is nothing more than paternalistic, hubris ladened eugenics. As National Review noted, what happens if they discover a gene for homosexuality? What if parents would simply choose not to "deal" with the unique challenge that a son or daughter with same sex attraction presents? Parents ought to make the truly compassionate, courageous decision to deal with the difficulties and joys that are inevitable with any child. We are all created in God's image and deserve a chance to live.

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