By Dave Andrusko
I confess I didn’t see this coming, but I sure should have. Shame on me for not anticipating how the Media Elite would respond to what is clearly a gaffe.
We wrote three stories of our own and reposted others that address the egregiously tasteless, brutal, uncaring observations of Ruth Marcus, who is the deputy editorial page editor of the Washington Post, about babies prenatally diagnosed with Down syndrome.
After some to-ing and fro-ing (including bashing pro-lifers), Marcus announced in a recent column that had she discovered that either of her children had Down syndrome,
I can say without hesitation that, tragic as it would have felt and ghastly as a second-trimester abortion would have been, I would have terminated those pregnancies had the testing come back positive. I would have grieved the loss and moved on.
Give “birth to a child whose intellectual capacity will be impaired, whose life choices will be limited, whose health may be compromised”? Don’t be silly.
“I’m going to be blunt here: That was not the child I wanted. That was not the choice I would have made.”
So Marcus rightly gets clobbered, she doubles down, and the Post looks pretty (how should we put this delicately?) insensitive. What to do? Run another column, this one by Tim McQuire, a guy who, on the surface, is the very opposite of Marcus.
Went to Catholic school, learned about the barbarism of “some culture’s ancient custom of leaving deformed children on the mountainside,” is himself born with a serious malformation, and on the top of that willingly accepts his child who has Down syndrome. A saint by comparison, McGuire tells us when his middle son is born
The bumbling, insensitive doctor suggested that we commit Jason, adding that “some people even take them home.”
The mountainside had not changed since I was born.
What a guy. And he’s not done yet! It’s awful that (at least) 67% of the kids diagnosed with Down syndrome are aborted. “How is this abortion based on medical diagnosis any different from leaving deformed children to the wolves?” he asks indignantly. (As he goes forward, he never answers his own question.)
Well, “It should stop,” McGuire tells us without hesitation only to drop the (Washington Post-approved) hammer)
yet I categorically oppose any bills that force people to keep Down syndrome babies. I find it reprehensible and morally dangerous that our governments would pretend to know best what choice parents should make. I oppose abortion, but I believe the state must stay out of that choice.
What?! Before the reader has a time to assimilate the incredible turnabout, McGuire’s essay immediately takes another turn:
My life has been worth living. The mountainside would have been a bad place for me. Jason’s life has been worth living. He makes every person he encounters better. He spreads joy and kindness everywhere he goes. His ready laugh, his obvious kindness and his precious insight enrich our family. When his mother died a few years ago, as I sobbed, he pointed at his head and his heart and said, “Daddy, she’s here and here.”
And then he spends the rest of the essay developing an insight into the unique identity [“haecceity”] that is “inherent in each being.”
It may be the single most schizophrenic essay I have ever read. Ignoring his conclusion—“Every child makes the world more complete. And no child deserves to be left on the mountainside” —he falls back on the lamest, most threadbare cliché of the anti-life set: governmental “interference.”
Just guessing but I’m thinking Jason have quite a different perspective.
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