By Justina Van Maren
It isn’t like parenting is easy. If you’re not a parent, ask your mom and dad, your uncle, your grandmother and they will universally tell you: Parenting is not easy. Thankfully, there is information out there to help you. Websites like YAHOO! Parenting offer advice on how to deal with problems your children face daily, how parents have dealt with similar problems in the past, and now, how to empathize with parents who think their children themselves are the problems. Problems they would have dealt with differently if they’d had the chance.
It’s funny people wouldn’t find it ironic that the title “If I knew my daughter had down syndrome, I would have aborted her” is found on a parenting website. Parenting advice has clearly changed since my mom and aunts passed around The Strong-Willed Child and The Five Love Languages of Children. It’s devastating to think that the shift from advice on how to understand your children and love them best despite challenges, to how to support women who want to kill their children rather than help them through difficulty is seen as a shift in the right direction.
It’s madness that people would read an article about how a woman would have killed her daughter because she has Down Syndrome if she’d had the chance and regard this woman as any authority whatsoever on parenting. Can anyone actually believe that her daughter is now the “center of her world” and that she is “beyond grateful that she didn’t” have an abortion when she is declaring firmly that if she hadn’t been attended by doctors inconsiderate to her concerns she wouldn’t have had to deal with all of the problems that she “didn’t sign up for?” Can anyone respect a woman who can look into her daughter’s eyes, to hold her, rock her, feed her, laugh with her, cry with her and still say: I would have killed you, if only I’d known? I would have walked into a clinic, handed over a wad of bills to a so-called doctor who would have torn your tiny body to shreds? That makes sense to people?
So she loves her daughter now. She loves her daughter because she has developed a relationship with her, a relationship that was allowed to develop on it’s own. Maybe now, she admits, all the trouble was worth it—worth it for her. And what about her daughter? As she empathizes with women who shouldn’t have to be “forced” onto the “rocky road” that she found herself on, she never once mentions their children. Why should she? Children are merely meant to fulfill the desires of their parents, aren’t they? And if they can’t, parents shouldn’t have to parent them. After all, this is the twenty-first century. Children aren’t precious because of the inherent value found within each of them individually, they are valuable because they fulfill their parents’ longing for a child.
Apparently women deserve better than having a child with a disability. Perhaps she should consider that a child deserves better than a parent who would see them as less than perfect because of an extra chromosome. Perhaps a child deserves better than a parent who looks at her and sees a disability, not a beautiful, unique little person with her own personality just waiting to be loved. And a child certainly deserves better than a parent who can look into her eyes and say: “No parent should ever have to deal with something like you.”
Editor’s note. This appeared at unmaskingchoice.ca and is reprinted with permission.