Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Eradication isn't okay

If you love someone with Down syndrome, you have probably seen a recent article discussing Iceland's near eradication of Down syndrome. If you haven't, click here. Now, I am Pro-Choice, basically, but I would never encourage abortion.

Here's my personal stance on abortion. It disgusts me to know that many women use it as a form of birth control when they have other options. Some women are, however, left with few options due to circumstances. While I would encourage the women to get out of those circumstances as quickly as possible, I know that changing your circumstances isn't always a magic snap of the fingers. If it's an abusive significant other, get away and to a shelter ASAP, obviously, but walking away is easier said than done. I also do understand that some people choose abortion when the child will not be perfect. While that saddens me, I do get it. I know parenting special needs children is hard. Some people can't cut it, and they know that. I also am aware that there are those who would only abort in dire situations where it is truly more humane than giving a child life who will live only moments and be in excruciating pain the whole time. I do sort of fall in this category. Never have I aborted, and never will I abort if at all possible. I do acknowledge that this is my opinion and that we are free to make the decisions that best suit our lives. I would never, ever encourage abortion.

This article seems as though Iceland is encouraging abortion of babies with an extra chromosome. I am horrified and disgusted. We are not eradicating anything but people if it is through abortion. Eradication of a disease or a medical condition implies that there is some sort of cure or remedy which would speak to the reversal of such a thing. What I would assume when eradication and Down syndrome is used in the same sentence is that you are figuring out what makes the egg split weird and preventing that from occurring. For example, we (scientific people who aren't me) figured out Folic acid was especially important and that it could prevent birth defects. The eradication of this complex medical diagnosis would indicate that we have discovered, or are close to discovering a cause.

I did a quick search of thesaurus.com indicates that an alternate word for eradicate is exterminate. I think that is more accurate--  Iceland is on the verge of exterminating Down syndrome. That headline doesn't sound so wonderful and promising; does it? That one is a little more accurate. How about "Iceland is on the Verge of Genocide"? Will that be okay? It's no different than creating a perfect race. We are still singling out a people and eliminating them to make the rest of the people superior. That wasn't okay when Hitler did it to the Jews; it isn't okay to do it now. If these children were already alive, would we be killing them? I think not. To be genetic counseled into abortion isn't the way to combat Down syndrome. I would really rather combat bigotry that says my sweet Lillie is lesser. Meet her. She is superior. At least she thinks so. I think she's pretty awesome and my life is better having known her and her peers. Iceland has it wrong. We are lesser.

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