I’ve brought this subject up a few times before, the subject of people with Down Syndrome being aborted out of existence. I don’t know if you have ever gotten to know people with Down Syndrome or not. I have been fortunate to. In some places when a child is diagnosed with Down Syndrome in the womb the mother aborts the child. Why she does that will likely differ from woman to woman. Some do not wish to deal with the hardships of raising such a child. A child that may never really become an adult. Others will do it because they feel they are saving the child from a life of suffering and hardship. Though Down Syndrome do have challenges and indeed, depending on their level of functioning, may need to have help all their days, that does not equal a life of hardship.
In fact, one woman I knew with Down Syndrome was in her 50’s. Her life was not a terrible one. She had love and companionship. She had her likes and dislikes. Sometimes, when she got bored she would just walk away. Thus validating what everyone else was feeling.
One young man I knew with Down Syndrome was life of any party he attended. He was kind, easy-going, and had a great sense of humor. He knew how to laugh and how to make other people laugh. It was hard to be sad around him. That was his gift.
Recently some people with Down Syndrome spoke before the United Nations, urging them to protect people with Down Syndrome. One of them said this, “I have been asked to tell you how to improve the lives of people with Down syndrome. The key is right there in my opening paragraph. It begins with “I am a man.” See me as a human being, not a birth defect, not a syndrome. I don’t need to be eradicated. I don’t need to be cured. I need to be loved, valued, educated and, sometimes, helped.”