Thursday, November 17, 2005

I'm Turning Pro-Life...Thanks Ayelet

I read an article yesterday that just irritated me so much that I couldn't get it out of my head. And, after thinking and thinking about it, I now feel as if I am more pro-life now than I was before. If I continue to think this way, I may even vote pro-life, and I do believe each person's vote counts. Yes, I have a child with Down Syndrome. Many people probably assume I am pro-life, but I have always been pro-choice, it just has never been MY thought to ever think of terminating a pregnancy. But I have always appreciated that women have choices, until now. Until I read that article that made me feel sick to my stomach.

Here's why. The article I am referring to is by Ayelet Waldman and is called "Looking Abortion in the Face." (sorry, I don't know how to link it, but you can find it on Salon.com). She talks about how she terminated her child after finding out he had a genetic abnormality (which, since she mentions Down Syndrome in the article, I'm sure it was Down Syndrome, based on her amnio test results). What irritates me so much about it is that she talks about how she still made the decision to kill her fetus even after seeing him move, seeing his "tiny feet, perfect pearl toes, footprint arches, round heels" and she has no regrets. Her decision is based on her family's needs and limitations. Well, how does she know what her families limitations are? How can you know that when you don't even know what your child will be like? You haven't even given him a chance. And if you can't give him that chance, then have the child and adopt him out. There are waiting lists for adopting children with Down Syndrome. But, that means she might actually want to keep her child when she saw him, and that would screw it all up, wouldn't it? Screw up her carefully calculated choice to kill her child. And she's the one who used the word "kill."

Upon further research, I found her blog and discovered that she is Jewish. Hmmm....Let's see. Her ancestors were killed by Hitler because they weren't the perfect race. A horrible, horrible genocide. Yet, here she is doing exactly what Hitler did: deciding that her child isn't perfect enough to be born and live. It's her own personal form of genocide, but because she has made a decision for her family's sake, it's okay. Someone please explain this to me: it was wrong for Hitler to gas people to death, but it's not wrong for a mother to have her child "dismembered" and killed before they pull him out of her, at five months gestation. I can understand when a child will not live beyond birth, or is so severely deformed that there is a slim chance the child will make it, but that is not the case with Down Syndrome babies, and I know that because I have one, and I know a lot of parents with very healthy, wonderful, amazing, smart children with Down Syndrome.

I don't get it, and maybe I don't get it because she then went on to get pregnant again six months later, as if she could just wipe the slate clean and pick up where she left off. She mentions that this baby she killed was a "much-wanted child." Really! Let's rephrase that: a "much-wanted child only if he is genetically perfect," because that's exactly what her actions said. Clearly, this is a woman who has never struggled with infertility, probably never had a miscarriage, and so deems having a child like a commodity, something that can be thrown away if it's not what she wanted.

I really feel as if she wrote this article so she could justify her guilt, a catharsis of some sorts. May the karma gods be keeping notes...

2 Comments:

Blogger vixanne wigg said...

Uh oh...I feel bad since I'm pretty sure you got the link through me.

I'm getting into this discussion again, since the last time I did I hurt somebody's feelings unintentionally. But I'm sorry if the article upset you. I did find it honest--like it or not.

12:11 PM  
Blogger vixanne wigg said...

That was supposed to read NOT getting into this discussion again....

12:11 PM  

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