Doubtless by now you've all heard about the British Medical Journal which printed an article about the ethics of "after-birth abortion," otherwise known as killing a kid. (Here's a link to an article on the subject, sent by a reader.)
The argument says that "a foetus and a newborn both lack a sense of life and aspiration... this justifies 'after-birth abortion' on the proviso it is painless as the baby is not missing out on a life it cannot contemplate."
The outrage over this conclusion rocketed around the world, as it should. Supporters say people shouldn't criticize those parents who want to kill a handicapped baby because hey, we don't know what it's like to take care of a handicapped baby.
In our case, as in the Lewis family's case, they're right. We don't know what it's like to care for a handicapped baby. But the "handicaps" specifically cited in the article reference babies born with Down Syndrome.
I confess I have a soft spot for Down kids. A few years ago I attended a regional homeschooling conference in Spokane and saw an enormous number of Down kids, a phenomenon that puzzled me until I realized – duh – that here was a segment of the population with the strength and integrity not to abort a “flawed” baby.
Let me relate just a trivial example of what I saw at this conference. There was a little girl with Down, probably about three or four years old. Her father, who was talking with another man, reached down and picked her up. They exchanged a lot of face-patting in what was clearly a loving ritual. Then the father handed the little girl over to the man he'd been talking to. The man had a beard (the father did not) and the little girl was fascinated by the beard. In a modification of the face-patting game she played with her daddy, this child patted the man's face to feel his beard, grinning all the time. The father was smiling. The friend holding the child was smiling. The combined love was so tangible it rolled across the room to where I stood, riveted, watching this scene.
And yet most Down babies are aborted, and some people want to kill them at birth.
If you were to poll parents of special needs kids (whatever the nature of those special needs) and asked if they would rather have killed their babies at birth rather than let the kids "suffer" in life, I believe the reply would be 99.99% of parents responding with horror at the idea.
We have a local child, nine or ten years old, who is severely handicapped. She is blind, unable to walk, and has the mental faculties of a toddler. My girls and I were at the lake one hot summer day when the mother and a friend brought this child to the lake as well. She is so severely handicapped that she could only have been marginally aware of her surroundings, yet I watched these two women tenderly carry the child into the shallows, splash her and talk to her, and let her enjoy the beautiful day. You can't tell me these women wanted that child dead.
Here's an earlier blog post about a woman who survived a botched saline abortion which left her disabled. Her testimony is riveting and demonstrates that the disabled are just as interested in living as the able-bodied.
But enough about disabled babies. The article continues, "However, the pair [the "scientists" who wrote the article] also want the principle of killing newborns extended to healthy babies, because a mother who is unwilling to care for it outweighs an infant's right to life."
This just leaves me speechless. Hello, have you ever heard of adoption? I have dear friends who were so desperate to adopt a baby they had to go through foreign adoptions because they couldn't find a domestically-born child. If a mother is unwilling to care for a baby, give it to someone who can. That's how we got my youngest brother. That's why I have a niece and nephew. That's how hundreds of thousands of parents became parents.
There's so much wrong with the logic of this article that it leaves me sputtering. Yet it's clearly a prime example of the slippery slope of ethics that have come into play in the last few decades. Whenever a concerned person points out the slippery slope of some new progressive agenda, those concerns are dismissed with contempt about how they're "overreacting."
Still think this is overreacting?
"A liberal society protects humanity," noted a comment at the end of the article. "It does not delete the defenseless!"