Friday, January 14, 2011


I think anyone who reads my words regularly can anticipate my thoughts on this.

But I can't not address this one more time.

It's a tricky line. I'm not going to tell you I'm pro-choice or pro-life. As a woman it's hard to say that I would want other people to decide what is right for something having to do with my body, my privacy. Yet as a Catholic, I highly respect the right for life. For myself, me personally, my body, I would not be able to ever make a decision that would end the life of a baby growing within me.

I'd like to say that each person is capable of making their own decisions. I'd like to say that if it doesn't personally affect me, a decision should be one's own private thoughts, to live with and deal with on one's own.

And yet it completely totally affects me, and Lilly, whether it wants to or not. The implications of the media and medical community highly promoting abortion for a child who is exactly like my own, using old data, misinformation, fear tactics - this is not "make your own decision." This is not "choice." This is persuasion of having medical tests to make sure nothing is "wrong" with your fetus/baby (depending on how you look at it) and encouraging terminating a pregnancy. Or ending a beautiful person's potential and future - depending on how you look at it.

I can tell you: there is nothing wrong with my baby, my little girl. Oh my God, there is so much right with her I can't even use the word amazing enough. I can't even say enough thankful prayers, I can't even imagine a world, and especially my life, without her beautiful presence. Lord, she heals me and makes everything right.

And that is my life, my decisions, that brought me to this place. It was God's hand, surely, giving me such a precious gift, but we accepted it with such a faith in the bigger picture, that there was a greater purposeful reason that our lives headed in this direction. Lilly is not an accident.

So the thing that gets me - is that I have my views on my life. And I have respect, as a woman, as an American, that those who don't share my views should be free to do as they wish, within legal boundaries.

However - this is where I get upset. Because the doctors are so one-sided. Because they are pushing negativity over potential. They are handing out lists of possible medical complications over showing parents a video of a four year old at her ballet recital. They are disclosing so much bad stuff and not giving a full picture of how this "situation" has so much beauty.

I agree with Becca - and honestly, if we - as parents - don't stick up for our kids, who will? I can't imagine being uninformed and being swayed by perception.

And furthermore - it affects my Lilly directly. If the media is putting out this type of news story - and the world is casually taking it in - then how do these people feel when they pass my child on the street. Sorry for me? Glad it's not their child? And when Lilly goes to school, when she gets a job, when she's out in the community as she grows up - will people limit her potential before they even get to know her?

This is why we fight. Not to necessarily change minds - but fight to get people the proper information. Unbiased accounts. This is why so many people blog about how their own child is making the world a better place, making people laugh, making us love stronger and live better.

A couple years ago I was passionately having a discussion similar to this. And a friend said: it sounds like Down syndrome needs a PR campaign, because it's really not so bad. And it does. And in the past year, our community has acquired a talented person to do just that, through the birth of her little angel and their family's story: I am loving Kelle Hampton's photography and words that make a person feel just a little more grateful for all the blessings in life.

So I don't know if I have a point, really, just my rambling thoughts. If nothing else, I agree that we need to encourage informed decisions. And wish that Down syndrome, generally, didn't have such a target on its back.

And hoping I haven't offended anyone. Like I said... these are just my thoughts.


Becca said...

Thank you SO much for putting real words to my ramblings this morning. :-) I, too, can't say for certain that I'm pro-life vs. pro-choice, but just don't think it's up to the doctors (or the media!) to play God and tell a woman that it's in their best interest to terminate a *life* without telling them so. much. more.

Great post, love the pics of your princess, as always.

Amy said...

I've gone to the same office for my NT exam twice now...this time I put my foot down midway through. If there's a next time, I'll stop them before they start. The scan was fine, but the counseling appointment during which they talked incessantly about down syndrome and fear lingered despite the fact that I had no risk factors infuriated me. I cut the doctor off and said "I work with kids with down syndrome. I know people with down syndrome. That does not scare me. I am here to did out about the many, much more serious possibilities you are looking for that are incompatible with life." I also complained to my OB who recommended him. He assured me that a couple with a diagnosis would get good counseling, and maybe they would, but what about all the people you just filled with garbage? They are going back out to the world with that in their heads. I was so angry. That man lived in a whole different world, like you said, and it's a world without pictures and stories and love like you share here. Thanks for giving me the wisdom and courage to stand up to him!