By Kurt Kondrich
As we have come to the 43rd anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision isn’t it time we begin to “Embrace and not Erase” the most priceless gift and treasure we have in our world – Human Life? All human life?
Consider: In 1975 the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) was passed to ensure that children with disabilities have the opportunity to receive a free appropriate public education, just like other children. This was a major step for including individuals with disabilities in their schools and communities, and it recognized that these human beings are valued and accepted members of our society with many ABILITIES.
Prior to IDEA there were many misconceptions and prejudices about individuals with disabilities who were labeled uneducable, defective, or undesirable, and many were placed in an institution for a shortened life of exclusion. While such attitudes linger, they are far, far less pervasive.
My beautiful daughter Chloe was born in 2003 with a postnatal diagnosis of Down syndrome. Thanks to IDEA, she is currently attending 7th grade at her neighborhood middle school with typical peers reading at grade level and excelling in her academic and social life. My daughter has received many rights and protections because of her Down syndrome postnatal diagnosis.
In 1973, two years prior to IDEA passage, the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision introduced legalized abortion in our culture. Its terrible impact on babies prenatally diagnosed with Down syndrome is well known.
The rapid advance in prenatal screening means unborn children with Down syndrome can be identified, targeted, and eliminated prenatally at a very high rate (up to 90%). What could be more an example of prejudice and negative profiling toward a group of people than this? It is a tragedy that these rights conferred by IDEA cannot be transferred to their unborn brothers and sisters.
As prenatal genetic screening allows for recognition of ever more genetic anomalies, we all need to ask who will be the next group of individuals to be targeted and terminated due to false mandates for “perfection” in a misguided society.
Children with Down syndrome educate the world with an irreplaceable message about unconditional love, purity and kindness. Like my daughter Chloe, they teach us how the piercing light of unconditional love chases away much darkness.
And that is a lesson we all desperately need.
Editor’s note. This appears in the January digital edition of National Right to Life News. Like all of the exciting content, it can be accessed at www.nrlc.org/uploads/NRLNews/NRLNewsJan2016.pdf. Please forward to your social media contacts.