By Dave Andrusko
More than most, pro-lifers are keenly aware of the power of words. We operate in the specific and the humane. Our opposite numbers retreat to the vague and the inhumane.
The classic example of the hazy and the uncustomary—“fetus”—is no accident. When accepted, it allows pro-abortionists to evade the power of the distinctly human word, “baby.”
Another example What in the world does “intact dilation and extraction” even mean? You’d have to look it up—and who does that?
But “partial-birth abortion” captured perfectly what happens to a helpless, living unborn baby. After he partially delivers the baby, the abortionist punctures a hole in her skull and suctions out her brains. The skull collapses and the abortionist completes the delivery of a dead baby.
I mention these examples because I had one of those Aha moments but in a different context.
Sarah Roberts operates the very popular” “Don’t Be Sorry” blog and Facebook page. When you arrive at the blog, you see a picture of Ms. Roberts and her son.
This is Oscar. He’s my son. He also happens to have Down Syndrome. I know I am only one voice but I figure it’s time to diminish any misconceptions or prejudices about Down Syndrome, that we might have…. And when you look at this face, how could anyone be sad to have him as a part of their life? I am officially the luckiest mummy in the world.
She is on a one-woman crusade to eliminate prejudice against children with Down syndrome, to debunk the noxious idea that a child with Down syndrome is a burden and less important than any other child.
Ms. Roberts once wrote
“A friend of mine, who just announced she’s pregnant, sent me a photo of her scan picture the other day.
“Underneath it she wrote, ‘Due early next year… P.S I asked my midwife to please use the word chance not risk when talking about my nuchal scan’.
“Nuchal scan”? Roberts continues
When women go for their [nuchal] scan around 12 weeks, bloods are taken as well as a measurement of the fluid behind the babies neck and from those combined results, they’re given their ‘risk’ of having a baby with Down’s syndrome.
“While I understand a lot of women want to screen or indeed go on to have further testing, I’ve often been puzzled by the use of the word ‘RISK’. If you look up the word risk in the dictionary, it says ‘a situation involving exposure to danger’.”
What’s in a word—“chance” versus “risk”? Everything.
“The sonographer said ‘But it’s a risk assessment. We mean risk because it is a risk’. No it’s not – it’s a chance.
“She [the sonographer] then went on about how even at 20 weeks I could ‘do something about it’ if I wanted to and I said, ‘about the baby? About my baby?’. And she stuttered and that was that!”
According to Joshua Taylor of The Mirror, Roberts goes on to observe, “A woman’s entitled to ‘do something about it’ up until 39 weeks + 6 days if she so chooses…but killing a baby one day before his or her due date JUST for having Down’s syndrome? Just so so sad.”
“Anyway, who knows if either of them really HEARD my friend’s point. But I wanted to share this because you never know… there may be one more midwife, sonographer, healthcare professional out there who reads this today and goes ‘Aaaaahhh I see what she means’ and changes how they approach talking to new mums in the future.”
Yes, a mother can “does something about” a child she has learned may have Down syndrome.
She can love him unconditionally.