Chris' Original Blogbeque

A fresh, vinegar-based examination of life

Down’s Syndrome & Abortion

Posted by Chris on March 10, 2008

I was inspired to write a letter to the editor of a couple local papers a few weeks ago. I’m going to post it below now that I’m updating the blog again. The immediate inspiration was a blog post from John Piper.

This is not a new issue to me. I thought about it during some reading assignments in college for Anth 47, Comparative Healing Systems. That’s where I first heard about the attitude of the medical establishment toward neo-natal down syndrome diagnoses.

Unfortunately (or perhaps, fortunately), since I wrote the letter it has come out that Al Qa’eda may not have used mentally-ill women as bombs. The US does not deny it but will not speculate on it either. It’s unfortunate for my point but I should be happier if it was known that the terrorists would not yet have stooped this low, that perhaps there is some common grace withholding their evil acts.

Here’s the full text of the letter:

The latest news from Iraq suggests that Al Qaeda has willingly resorted to new moral lows in its effort to kill. Among these tactics is two women with Down’s syndrome being used as human bombs in a crowded marketplace, an operation “carried out by two booby-trapped mentally disabled women.”

The latest news in the US suggests that the medical industry has reached new highs in its effort to normalize standards for babies and children. Fetuses diagnosed with Down’s syndrome often fail to reach these standards. The American College of Obstetricians recently recommended that all pregnant women, regardless of age, have their unborn babies tested in the first trimester for Down’s.

A 2005 Harvard study found that many physicians did not provide these expecting parents up-to-date information or referrals to support groups. The parallel efforts of medical academia and practitioners work hand-in-hand to de-emphasize the value of human life. The result is an abortion rate estimated at 59-92% for Down’s syndrome diagnoses.

It is easy to see that Al Qaeda has a blatant disregard for human life. Unfortunately, we must remove the speck from our own society’s eye before we can speak with credibility and authority against the logs of terrorism.

Would we justify the use of Down’s syndrome women as weapons, even if we were the aggressor? Does it really matter the justness of the cause? Is it not inherently wrong? Truth invites us to condemn the act no matter the dreams and ideals.

Should we justify the use of technology that leads to devaluing the life of those with Down’s syndrome? Does it really matter, the hopes or ideals of doctors and expecting parents? Is it not inherently wrong? Truth invites us to condemn the act no matter the dreams and ideals.

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One Response to “Down’s Syndrome & Abortion”

  1. In light of this post, thought you might appreciate find these thoughts interesting:

    http://nohiddenmagenta.wordpress.com/2010/01/29/down-syndrome-abortion-and-discrimination/

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