This is Tim, owner of Tim’s Place. He has Down Syndrome, but he’s not sad or suffering. He’s happy and loving, and he shares that love with everyone he meets through his restaurant, where he says the hugs are more important than the food.
Richard Dawkins said yesterday on Twitter that, if you have the choice, bringing people like Tim into the world is immoral. He recommends having preborn babies who might end up like Tim ripped apart in the womb or given a heart-attack-inducing drug. That’s the moral and civilized thing to do, he says.
The twitter user who had originally asked him what he thought then continued to ask whether people with Autism should be aborted before birth if the mother knows while she’s still pregnant. He says that people with Autism have a lot to contribute, while people like Tim don’t.
So apparently, your contribution to society is what makes you valuable. Or is it your emotions?
Dawkins was quick to cover his tracks, insisting that he didn’t wish that anyone currently living with DS had been aborted.
But his comments still stand. He hasn’t backed down from what he thinks “the right thing to do” after a prenatal DS diagnosis is. In Dawkins’ view, it’s immoral to bring someone like Tim into the world. Despite the fact that our ability to care for people with DS has greatly increased over the last few decades and people with DS now have a much greater quality of life, it’s apparently immoral for their mothers not to kill them in the womb.
If Dawkins had his way, we’d be facing a future without people like Tim. I don’t want that. Do you?
I’m not even sorry that I agree with him. He’s saying if you have the option to work towards eliminating disorders which people are predisposed towards passing down to their children, like Down Syndrome, you should.
No one is saying that people with Down Syndrome deserve death. But if the child is still in the womb, and you know ahead of time, you are perpetuating a problem. And Down Syndrome IS a problem. If you ask anyone with Down Syndrome if they could choose to have Down Syndrome or to not have it, they’d rather not have it.
They are not puppies you take pictures with and post online so that everyone knows how kind of a person you are. These are PEOPLE who are developmentally challenged and they can tell you that it pretty much sucks. Stop talking about Down Syndrome like it’s just a variation of human. That’s like saying children born with cerebral palsy is just a variation of human. It’s not. It fucking sucks.
The problem is that we’re not talking about curing DS. We’re not even talking about preventing someone from getting it in the first place.
We’re talking about human children in the womb who may or may not actually have DS being killed because of something they may or may not have that doesn’t make them any more or less human or valuable.
Abortion kills a living human being. And people like Dawkins are convinced that it’s better to kill “it” [the human child] than to let “it” [the human child] be born with DS.
Also, just to clear things up, DS isn’t hereditary. There are risk factors like the age of the mother that are involved, but people with DS, if they have kids, aren’t going to pass it on to their children.
Just to clear things up, there IS a genetic predisposition towards Down Syndrome. Yes, it can also be random, but there is also a predisposition for it.
We have differing opinions on what abortion is. In my book, if there is no brain activity yet, it’s not “alive” in the way that we define it.
I’m not going to agree with any statement saying that people with DS are inherently less valuable because that’s so relative.
And we do have ability to test that a child is almost certainly going to be born with DS. So it’s not a “may or may not” situation. It’s a “probably” situation.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s your book or my book. Biologically speaking, the preborn child is alive and human with his or her own unique DNA. Heck, that’s how you’re able to test in the first place! That child is an individual, unique and inherently valuable.
How much brain activity does someone need to be considered human? This isn’t something we can be relative on, because it’s literally a matter of life and death. We need to be clear on whether someone is or isn’t a person, because to do otherwise would be disastrous.
Did you know that brain activity is measurable as early as 6 weeks? Check out EHD.org, you might be surprised what you find.
And I personally know two people who were “supposed” to have DS, and neither of them do. Both have told me how their parents were encouraged or even pressured to abort. Thank the Lord they didn’t. One of them is going to be one of my bridesmaids in July.
The initial DS test is practically useless statistically speaking, and the second, more accurate test carries fairly high risk of miscarriage, which no woman should feel obligated to take. Even then, it’s not perfect.
Eugenics is such a horrible mentality. Yes, some people have serious disorders. That makes them different, not expendable. Anyone who says otherwise is trying to sell you something, and that something is probably awful.