Friday, August 18, 2017

Thoughts on Selective Abortion


I apologize for being MIA around here, but between figuring out a new routine, an extra load on my shoulders and not being able to keep my eyes off the news this week I have felt completely spent. From the events in Charlottesville, to President Trump's comments, to the terror attack in Spain yesterday and also the widespread news report about Iceland’s “eradication” of people with Down Syndrome this has been one of those weeks where my head was swirling with thoughts, feelings and information and it was hard to do much else except process. I feel like I have something to say about all of the above, but when it comes to Charlottsville, White Supremacists, and Donald Trump I don't think I can say it better than it has already been said. (Here, here and here.)

However, I did want to take a moment to talk about Iceland and their "eradication" of people with Down Syndrome. I had actually read this a while ago (mentioned in this post here) but I guess CBS news report really hit a nerve this week and certainly within the special needs communities I've seen a lot of talk about it all. 

Let's be clear, when Iceland talks about "eradicating" Down syndrome, what they mean is through the magic of prenatal testing and selective abortion woman are choosing not to have a child born with Down syndrome. You know for reasons like “quality of life” and so that a child and their family don't suffer. Of course this type of selective abortion isn't limited to babies with down syndrome, this is a common occurrence for babies with a wide array of disabilities. I even once had someone message me on Instagram about aborting their baby with limb differences. You can read my response here

But here's the thing, you might be surprised to know that I’m not entirely against selective abortion. I mean if we could reduce human suffering and improve our overall quality of life, I think that actually sounds pretty good. I just think we’re focusing on the wrong group of people. 

I think that the medical community needs to focus it’s efforts on locating and isolating the asshole gene.

Of course a fully grown, mature adult asshole is usually easy to spot. They are the ones marching in the KKK rallies, sexually assaulting women, abusing our children, they deal in human trafficking, they lie, cheat and steal, and sometimes they even use their wealth and power to ravage our planet and exploit the poor. Unfortunately by the time the asshole has reached reached full maturity it’s too late. They have already caused a lot of human suffering. So we really have to focus our efforts on spotting the fetal assholes. (Not to be confused with finding the fetus’ asshole—we can already do that!) Frankly, I just don’t know when we’re going to get there. If ever.

And to be honest, I’m still not entirely comfortable with aborting a human life even if we were to detect such a serious malady as assholeishness. They are still human after all. But at the very least we should incorporate an early intervention program for children who may be suspected of carrying the asshole gene. As we all know, in many areas of life early intervention is key. And I really do believe there is hope for these possible future assholes and I believe these individuals and families need support. We need to make a safe space for parents who may think their child is being an asshole. Just imagine a mom being able to call her pediatrician with the following plea: “Hi doctor? Yes I’m calling because I’m concerned about Billy. He’s been lifting up the girls’ skirts at recess and bullying the smallest kid in his class… I think I may have (voice cracking a little) an asshole for a child.” (breaks into full on weeping.) We may not be able to screen babies for the asshole gene, but if we can’t prevent it, early intervention and asshole therapy is the next best option. 

I know the world is still frightened or at the least very uncomfortable with people who have disabilities like Down syndrome, limb differences, autism and a host of other physical and cognitive delays, but the weird thing is I’ve never seen a terror attack, a corrupt business, a white supremacist leader, nuclear war or any other major disastrous news headline spearheaded by someone from the disability community . (Not saying it’s not possible.) In contrast, I always spot a person who clearly is an asshole gene carrier involved in these terrible tragedies that cause real human suffering

Trying to eradicate people with Down syndrome, a group of people known in general for their love of life, happy dispositions and giving hugs? I don’t know guys… I just don’t think they’re the problem.

I hope this little piece of satire gave you something to think about. Every human being is a gamble and we love them anyways. If you have strong feelings about White Supremacists marching, please consider that killing people with disabilities was Hitler's first plan of mass murder. I love what this Warrior Mama (and special needs spotlight participant) had to say about speaking out about this humanitarian crisis. I also realize it is not this clear cut. I know that special needs families need support in the form of medical services, therapy, night care, live-in care facilities and much, much more. The oft repeated phrase "It takes a village" is never more applicable than when raising a child with special needs. And in my life and in the life of most special needs families a large chunk of that support comes from government funded programs and the access to health insurance. Anyway,  food for thought guys. Have a great weekend. 

13 comments:

  1. If you need someone to spearhead the efforts around isolating the asshole gene, I think Tina Fey would be a good start.
    Hugs to you Miggy!

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    1. She would be my pick for top advisor.

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  2. This is spot on!

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  3. I couldn't love his post anymore if I tried!

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  4. Great post Miggy. I love the way you think and share with us all. We learn alot from it as special needs moms.��

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    1. Thank you Balqees! Are you still in the US?

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  5. This post is too good! Thank you!

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  6. This post made me both laugh and cry. Perfect writing.

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  7. Anonymous3:13 PM

    Oh my God! This was so funny! I think you have a future in humor writing. Recently, another autism Mom and I were talking. Both our kids are low-functioning. I told her that I feel excluded when our local down syndrome community does outings that are just for them and not the rest of the special needs community. And then we both remembered all the times when the outings included the autism group, too, and how our children scared the children with down syndrome. And we both laughed thinking they must want some relief from our wild children once in a while.
    Mel in Fort Collins

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  8. I love this! I would happily take a world with more disabled people and fewer assholes.

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  9. Anonymous1:22 PM

    OH MY GOODNESS. I just came across this post. THANK YOU! Awesome.

    As the mother of a ROCKSTAR with an extra chromosome (also know as a "Homie with an extra Chromie :), this hits my heart. I'm new to this "journey." I was scared at first (incidentally, I have sent your post "from fear to love" to many people), but I would not trade it for ANYTHING.

    Thank you for what you do!
    -Roxana

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  10. THE. BEST.
    xx - Mom with a "Designer Genes" Daughter
    : )

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