Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The Abortion Debate No One Wants to Have

Patricia Bauer--former Washington Post reporter and bureau chief--pens an excellent article in today's paper: The Abortion Debate No One Wants to Have.

She tells the story of her own daughter--born with Down syndrome--and observes that many people are choosing to abort their unborn Down children. Here's how she closes her piece:

What I don't understand is how we as a society can tacitly write off a whole group of people as having no value. I'd like to think that it's time to put that particular piece of baggage on the table and talk about it, but I'm not optimistic. People want what they want: a perfect baby, a perfect life. To which I say: Good luck. Or maybe, dream on.

And here's one more piece of un-discussable baggage: This question is a small but nonetheless significant part of what's driving the abortion discussion in this country. I have to think that there are many pro-choicers who, while paying obeisance to the rights of people with disabilities, want at the same time to preserve their right to ensure that no one with disabilities will be born into their own families. The abortion debate is not just about a woman's right to choose whether to have a baby; it's also about a woman's right to choose which baby she wants to have.

Update: After posting this, I noticed that Albert Mohler did the same. He suggests some further resources as well: George Neumayr, "The Abortion Debate That Wasn't Under the Radar," (originally published in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer), AAPD Web site. George F. Will, "Eugenics by Abortion -- Is Perfection an Entitlement?," (originally publshed in The Washington Post), AAPD Web site. For additional resources, visit the Web site of the American Association of People with Disabilities.