90 Days of Life: Downs and Far From Out


This month happens to be the “official” month for a number of things.  It is National Pizza Month as well as redundantly being National Sausage Month and National American Cheese Month (scandalously there is no “National Pepperoni Month”).  For my wife and her side of the family it is National Polish-American Heritage Month and for my side of the family it is German-American Heritage Month (if we believed in such “hyphenated Americans” nonsense.)

For pro-lifers we can observe many different things related to the movement including National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Medical Ultrasound Awareness Month, 3D Ultrasound Awareness Month and American Pharmacist Month as well as National Infertility Awareness Month. 

For many in the movement (or me at least) most importantly it is National Down Syndrome Awareness Month.  In celebration LifeNews has printed inspiring stories that are sure to cause some dust in your eyes.  One inspiring story comes via LiveAction and is written about the author’s brother Edward Vincent Ebenhoeh.  The second story is about two High School seniors, Semone Adkins and Travjuan “Bubba” Hunter, with Down’s Syndrome who were just elected Homecoming Queen and King by a student body of about 800.  The article highlights the tremendous obstacles these two kids had to overcome, including just being born:

The couple’s big win came as both a surprise and an affirmation for their parents. The teens have already beaten numerous odds just to come into this world.

McNeil, Adkins’ mom, said that she considered having an abortion when she found out the her daughter had Down syndrome.

“I would have had to have had a partial abortion because I was so far along in the pregnancy and the doctor wouldn’t do it,” McNeil told Today.com. “I thank God he did not let me be able to have that abortion.”

When her baby was born, McNeil confessed that she was afraid to look at her daughter. She said she wasn’t properly educated about Down syndrome. In addition, she nearly died due to complications from the birth.

“I promised God that if he let me live, I would love her and take care of her forever. When I said that, that’s when my blood pressure started coming back up,” McNeil said. “That’s why it was such a big deal for me when Semone won because she really wasn’t supposed to be here.”

Research has found “[a] 2002 literature review of elective abortion rates found that 91–93% of pregnancies in the United Kingdom and Europe with a diagnosis of Down syndrome were terminated.”  In the United Kingdom the rate has been constant at 92% of children diagnosed with Down’s syndrome are killed in the womb.  These statistics match the United States where about 92 percent of pregnant women who are given a Down syndrome diagnosis have chosen to have an abortion.

As many parents can tell you people with Down’s Syndrome can lead very happy and productive lives.  I would imagine it is harder to raise a child with Down’s than without, however none of the parents I know with a child who has it would ever change their position or ignore the joy that child, and eventually adult, brings to their lives.  When we are a society that decides the killing, or mistreatment, of innocents is okay in a pursuit of perfection or to ease our own lives the quest for flawlessness only makes us as a whole more flawed.  George Will called it correctly when he called it “eugenics by abortion” however it isn’t just those with Down’s we are euthanizing but what makes us human as well.


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