Human Exceptionalism

Life and dignity with Wesley J. Smith.

Women Beginning to Reject Eugenic Abortion


Here's a little good news out of Scotland. Women whose fetuses test positive for Down syndrome are increasingly rejecting abortion. From the story:
More babies are being born with Down's syndrome than before pre-natal screening for the disorder was introduced at the end of the 1980s, it was revealed yesterday.

Parents appear more willing to bring a Down's child into the world than they used to be, research shows. Many are taking the decision because those affected by the syndrome are more accepted in society today and their quality of life has improved, according to a new survey...The findings show that while religious or pro-life beliefs counted in about a third of cases, many parents felt that life and society had improved for people affected by Down's. Others said their decision was influenced by the fact that they knew people with Down's or other disabilities.
This news confirms a few things I believe are very important to keeping the lights on in these darkening days. First, human exceptionalism is the key to a more moral society. When we accept the equal moral value of people with disabilities, people who are elderly, people who are ill or dying, death is less likely to be seen as the answer to their problems and those of society. Second, modeling lives lived in love does more to help others find the same virtues than a whole lot of tub thumping, albeit advocacy remains an important factor. Third, if people are given full information rather than being pushed toward eugenic options, fewer people are terminated. Fourth, if we commit to helping each other, both societally and as individuals, the despair that can result in eugenics choices will abate.

The people with Down and other developmental disabilities don't drag society down, they lift it up. Let us hope that one day they will all be welcomed into life in love and unconditional acceptance. Let us hope that one day no one will be considered--or consider themselves-- a "burden"


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