Aborting babies with disabilities is hurting us all

Cross-sourced from TheLeadingEdge Blog

At the heart of what I am going to write about today is love, really at the heart of any human life should be love. We all have the capacity to live a life of generous loving.

A topic that has become increasingly relevant in the western world over the last decade is abortion. With greater medical technology and advancements we are able to detect probabilities of whether children will be born with Down syndrome or spina bifida. We as parents have the decision whether we want to keep our children or not, we have the responsibility of being a voice of life or death. When I think of the consequences of abortion, what often has sprung to mind  has been the struggle that the mother has to live with for the rest of her life, knowing that she never met her precious child at her own choice, I think of people’s fear being a huge part of their choices, I think of society being impacted by lack of family values and priorities; what never occurred to me was how the medical profession would be impacted through a lack of knowledge of these conditions because less and less babies are born with these conditions.

I was inspired to write on this topic after a surgical consultation with my son who was born with spina bifida. We were discussing his possible surgery on his hips. The surgeon told us that Eli (our son) was not a case where you could clearly make a yes or no decision for surgery due to the uncertainty of how much feeling and function he has in his quad muscles. He followed by saying that he would take my son’s case to a panel of doctors, then they would research historical data on how previous doctors would have treated a child similar to Eli because they don’t see many children with spina bifida anymore, they do not have the experience to make a decision without research.

Many of you would be aware that directly linking this lack of knowledge to abortion would be very difficult as there is always the argument that medical advancements such as giving folic acid to pregnant mothers will have also decreased the amount of children born with spina bifida, however having being told to think about aborting my own son straight after having the scan which revealed his condition, I am aware that folic acid is not the only reason contributing to less children having spina bifida.

What occurred to me after the meeting with the doctors is that it is easy to think of the moral consequences of abortion and those whom abortion directly affects such as the mother and family, however the reality simply is that our society at large is affected because these children help provide knowledge to doctors and nurses, there can be all sorts of non for profit organisations involved in these children’s lives such as disability link. There are so many strands of the medical profession that are involved in my sons life, to think that others choices to abort are affecting my sons medical care is heart breaking but even more so if this continues to think how much less information is going to be out there in the future to help those whose voice is yes to life. For a world that is so hungry for knowledge and advancement in technology, are we stopping to think how we use this technology and are we killing some knowledge in exchange for what we interpret as less suffering and a better world?

Love is often found in suffering, a mother giving birth, Mother Teresa taking care of those the world couldn’t bring themselves to. The deepest trust is often found in enduring suffering together. Suffering can mobilise fear and love in our hearts. I am hoping that in time more love rather than fear is mobilised in the hearts of the medical profession and the hearts of those having to be the voice for the unborn, so that these children can make their generous contribution to our society, so they have the chance to know love and give love. I hope rather than their chances being taken away, that by living they will allow the medical profession to continue to research and perhaps one day find ways to enhance their lives, to help ease their limitations or even find a cure.

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