Saturday, October 25, 2014

This Down Syndrome Awareness Month - Seek to Educate

I have recently read two articles out of the U.K. from two women who either aborted a baby with Down syndrome, or wished she had aborted her (now adult) son with Down syndrome. I have also read comments from Richard Dawkins, who believes abortion is necessary when there is a diagnosis of DS. I will very rarely write a blog in response to articles like these, but because I have seen them numerous times and have commented on a few threads, I thought I would share my opinion here.

Those of us that have chosen to share our journeys with our children are doing so to raise awareness - I do so to raise awareness and teach others about DS; the good, the bad, and the ugly. I feel this is an accurate statement from what I see on a majority of the Facebook pages I follow. Part of raising awareness is educating people about both sides, you cannot teach people how to make green without offering yellow and blue. While these articles have come out at a time that I would consider rather inopportune (during DS Awareness month), they have done what the writer intended - sought a reaction from a lot of people all over the world.

Obviously we did not choose abortion. We also did not have a prenatal diagnosis, only a suspicion that we refused to have confirmed until birth, because it would not have mattered one way or another. I will say that I do not agree with the woman who chose to abort. I understand her reasoning behind it, I understand her child had a 1% chance at life because of other medical complications. But my personal opinion is that 1% is better than 0%. I would rather have the heartache and know I tried.

As for the woman who wishes she had aborted her son (who is now 47), I feel bad for her. I feel that she must have missed out on the support system many of us do have now. I realize that "times are a changin'" and raising a child with DS today is nothing like raising a child with DS 47 years ago, and these parents did indeed pave the path many of us are now following and expanding. I feel bad that she missed out on this opportunity that I look forward to.

But as for this family - we love Jeremy, he is as much a part of this family as any of our other children are, he was the last piece to our puzzle and we are the team that he needs.

Awareness is raised through education, and education can change the world.