Birth (The Republican candidate for US vice president, Sarah Palin...)

The Republican candidate for US vice president, Sarah Palin, is a woman who knew while she was pregnant that her fifth child would have Down syndrome. She gave birth to the baby anyway. Many Americans agree with her decision.

We are already hearing a few American women criticize her and say that if she knew the baby was going to be retarded, she should have had it aborted. Today in the US, 84% of the babies with Down syndrome are aborted before they are born.

Do you agree with the woman who gave birth to the baby, or the people who think it should have been aborted?

IMO, that baby has a right to live. Palin made the right decision in respecting life.

If people can tell if a baby is deaf and may go on to live a difficult life, should they be aborted too?

Or fat…

Or a sociopath…

Or schizophrenic…

Or blind…

Or is it that these people are too lazy to raise a child with special needs, or too selfish and spoiled? “We’ll only accept a perfect baby.”

Or black? (You forgot that one.)

Part of how they justify abortion to themselves is to cook up some kind of phony theory of probability in their heads. They decide that if a child is born with this or that imperfection that he or she “will have a bad life”. Of course, many people are born with the same imperfections and live very illustrious lives, but when you point it out they just look at you bug-eyed.

I often play the “you just killed Beethoven” trick on people, but I do it with actual friends of mine. I tell people the circumstances under which these friends were conceived, and they’re all dead sure the baby should be aborted and that it’s liable to be a criminal or a burden on society. When I reveal that the person is a college professor now, or a factory foreman who mentors poor kids and helps them through school, or whatever they are, again, the people who predicted their imminent social pathology just stare at me.

Once I saw an interview with a woman who was conceived in a rape. Her mother figured two wrongs don’t make a right, so she lived with the trauma of the rape while she carried the girl to term. After the girl was born, her mother let a very good couple adopt her. The woman is now a lawyer, and she explained how she feels when unknowing people walk up to her and tell her that women who are raped should abort their children. It’s like walking up and telling her, “You should be dead.”

We should consider the baby’s feelings about its imperfections, after it was born and has grown into a fully-fledged man/woman. Would a thalidomide baby feel happy and lead life of the average American when it has been reared? I would not. I would rather be put down at birth than struggle through life and have my peers pick on me.
I know that maternal instincts tell a mother to keep her baby and bring it up no matter what defects it has, but this point is totally oblivious to the baby itself and its further problems as a grown-up.

So it’s better to be dead than to have a chance to live what might become a difficult life?

Which is worse, being dead or having a hard life?

Hi Jamie,

I agree with the mother because i think she took her decision and knew her baby`s case and needs. I think it was difficult decision for her .

What are the main reasons for aborting such a child?

Yes, that is sometimes the case, but it is also sometimes the case that people have a real feeling that life as a disabled person will be just to hard and it isn’t fair to put that person through it. Such people really do feel they are putting the disabled child first. For them, it’s not about laziness, embarrasment, selfishness or any other black vs white element which you and Prez think up. But, looking at this from the disabled person’s side, many disabled people do feel that pre-natal screening and selective abortion are the new eugenics.

So what do we do, Jamie? Do we prohibit abortion in such cases? Do we force the parents of a disabled fetus to give birth and take care of the child?

Are you familar with the difficulties, world over, of raising such a child ?

Which is worse, being dead or having a hard life?

You might want to post that question here, Prez:

And would you then ask that same question to the disabled adult who may feel his/her life is too hard and wants to terminate/end that life?

I understand that sentiment, LS. If Jamie and Prez are against selective abortion, let’s hope they talk about the responsibility of society regarding helping make disabled people’s lives easier.

Has anyone here ever heard a disabled person say “Why did you have me?” to his/her parents?

A man and woman were celebrating their golden 50th wedding anniversary. Many people showed up to congratulate them, and wish them well. During the party, somebody happened to comment, “How did they ever manage to stay together for so long? What do you think their secret is?”

A neighbor and good friend of the old couple said, “Ah, well, that’s no secret, I can tell you how they did it.”

With that, the old timer told the group a story about when the man and woman were first married. The story goes as follows.

The man and woman were driving home from their wedding, in a horse drawn carriage. As part of the wedding gift and her dowry, the couple had a brand new carriage with a young, strong, beautiful horse to pull their carriage. Along the way, the horse happened to stumble slightly over a rock. The husband, who was of course just a young man at that point, said loudly “That’s once!”

The wife, who was at that point in history a beautiful young woman, was completely confused, and didn’t understand what her new husband meant, but figured that instead of asking, she’d just see if it was a peculiar habit or something of his. About half way home, the horse stumbled again, this time over a small hole in the road. The man immediately said, in a stern harsh warning voice, “That’s twice!”

The woman was a little concerned now, because she didn’t know why her husband was getting upset, but she decided to wait and see.

As they were almost home, coming in through the front gate, the horse stumbled for a third time. The husband immediately stopped the carriage, stood up, and without another word pulled out a gun, and shot the horse dead between the eyes.

At this point the young woman couldn’t contain herself. She yelled out “What is wrong with you, are you crazy? Why did you shoot that horse?”

The young man just calmly looked at his new bride, and quietly but firmly said. “That’s once…”

I have heard perfectly NORMAL people say that to their parents!

Oh? And how do you propose to find out the baby’s feelings when it has not been born? If someone is considering the “feelings” of an unborn child, all that person is doing is considering his OWN feelings, because the future feelings of the baby cannot be known.

Maybe I’ll ask the thalidomide victim I know whether he is happy or not. Maybe I can also ask his wife if she wishes he had been aborted. I could even ask his kids if they wish their dad had been aborted.

But these are the feelings of a normal person about the hypothetical possibility of being disabled, not the feelings of a disabled person about a real disability.

Many of these people have satisfactions as grownups, and not just problems.

What is an adequate reason to abort a child as “disabled”? I know a white woman who got pregnant in college and aborted the child because her baby was going to be black! She’d kill you if you said this to her that bluntly, but this is what her reasoning boiled down to. She felt that the baby and she would have too many problems because the baby would be black, so she thought they would both be better off if the baby were dead. (Of course, now, years later, the guilt this woman carries makes her behave in weird ways.)

Do you think that being black is a disability that warrants abortion? Some people do.

With the same meaning?

Maybe we should invite some of the latter here? Maybe LS is disabled. Do you know for sure LS isn’t?

BTW, what does “normal person” mean in your idiolect, Jamie? And me, how do you know I’m not disabled?

I thought one of your many “I-knows” would appear. Are you saying that your “friend’s” view would be a representation of all Thalidomide victims?

I think your many “I-knows” give the rest of us no chance to survive in this discussion and in many others.

Do you know the guilt some parents of disabled adults feel? Do you know the ways some of those parents behave?

No… which is answer enough that it’s better to be alive, however difficult life is, than to be dead and given no chance to live. And in cases where the person decides to end his own life, or wants to die, at least he was given the chance to DECIDE that for HIMSELF… and not have death forced on him without a say of his own.