I have little more to give you than my love and convictions in this world, my child…
She just turned twelve-years-old Friday. Twelve years ago I could not imagine who she would be or what she would be like. Twelve years later my anxieties and fears are like some distant dream. She is a person … an individual. She is worthy. I have come to the conclusion that she is the most honest, innocent, and wonderful human being I will ever know in my lifetime. Why God saw fit to entrust me, one of the most imperfect self-centered people in the world, with this magnificent gift of simple perfection is a question I will probably leave this world not having an answer for. I will tell you, however, that in the last twelve years I have compiled some questions of my own for the world:
Why must my child be “disenfranchised”? Where is my child’s “social justice”? Where is my child’s “tolerance”? Where is my child’s “diversity acceptance”? Where is my child’s “protected class”? Where is my child’s “liberty and democracy”? Where is my child’s “civil war”? Why must she be viewed with a “stereotypical and bigoted” judgmental eye from society … and the scientific community? When you use the words ‘pregnant’ and ‘Down Syndrome’ in the same sentence why does the word ‘abortion’ immediately come to mind?
Whether you agree or disagree with abortion, we have been conditioned. It is the primary reason I refused the prenatal testing, again and again throughout my pregnancy. I refused to allow that word to seep into my psyche. To put it between me and the fledgling life depending on me for sustenance … and sanctuary. We are not punished. We are promised…
Twelve years later I find myself increasingly appalled with a society that fought the “one-drop rule” for decades and decades, but continue to lynch the unborn from the womb by a one chromosome rule. With all our 21st century technology we have undoubtedly geared some of the scientific advances in testing in the field of obstetrics toward extermination for man’s narcissistic views of imperfection. Recently GOP candidate Rick Santorum took heat for making the claim that prenatal testing encourages more abortions. On this issue he is not wrong. HE IS NOT WRONG.
You know me. I am more political than most, and more than some can tolerate in casual conversation. Twelve years ago I had not even the slightest inkling that one microscopic chromosome in someone else’s DNA could immediately encase me in armor with sword in hand. I am an activist, and these human beings have a right to be born. I am an activist, and these human beings have a right to be accepted and tolerated in society, with all their diversities. I am an activist, and my child has the God-given right NOT to be deemed sub-human and disposable among the species. I am an activist, and my child and I have a right not to feel insulted simply for our existence every time a new scientific/technological test rolls out of some sterile university research lab. I am an activist, and I have a right to be horrified to know scientists want to eradicate my child’s diversity from humanity’s population.
Raising the prospect of a world without birth defects, a Stanford-created blood test that can detect Down syndrome and two other major genetic defects very early in a woman’s pregnancy will be available this week.
The simple blood test spares women the risk and heartache of later and more invasive tests like amniocentesis.
But it has startling social implications — heralding a not-distant future when many fetal traits, from deadly disease to hair color, are known promptly after conception when abortion is safer and simpler.
The $1,200 test, which analyzes fetal DNA in a mother who is 10 weeks pregnant, is being offered to doctors March 1 by Verinata Health, a biotechnology company in Redwood City, Calif. It licensed a technique designed by Stanford biophysicist Stephen Quake.
“It’s a game changer,” said Stanford University law professor Hank Greely, who studies the legal and ethical implications of emerging technologies. The controversy over abortion “is about to be hit by a tsunami of new science.” […]
Think about this … If certain people who bemoan and are outraged by the continual military weapons development in order to kill each other more efficiently were one tenth of one percent as appalled by science’s advanced technology preemptively aimed at the occupant in a woman’s womb perhaps our civilization might value life enough to ease our urge to spill each other’s blood on the ground.
Twelve years later I see people in public in a silent state of confusion as they watch my daughter walk among them with her gentle beauty, independence, and genuine interest in the world around her. I watch their faces transform with surprise when they interact with her to find her warm, graceful, and polite. They are then compelled to tell her how pretty she is, and pleasantly shocked when she responds with a “Thank you”, a smile, and a slight fashion runway pose. For a moment they feel a spark of joy inside that only she could have given them. I pity them for their willful ignorance, while I swell inside with selfishness and gratitude because she is mine. Like them, I am not worthy. I am imperfect…
Cross-posted @ Chandler’s Watch