People magazine stories celebrate the diversity of children with Down syndrome

By Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director, Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation

A recent People magazine carried the cover story of a “Grey’s Anatomy” actress whose second child has Down syndrome. The lovely cover photo of Caterina Scorsone and little Pippa is accompanied by a headline which reads, “My Daughter is Perfect.”

In the article, Scorsone admits that, when Pippa was born, she was scared by the diagnosis of Down syndrome, a genetic disorder caused by an extra chromosome. For instance, she feared that her daughter would not be able to talk, and that mother and child would not be able to communicate. 

As it turns out, Pippa, who is now three-and-a-half years old, speaks three languages and can already read some words. As the editors point out, people with Down syndrome have made great progress, with a life expectancy of 60 years. They have integrated successfully into “schools, community organizations, and the workplace.”

Scorsone told People she now has knowledge she did not possess when Pippa was born:

“I know that the birth of a baby with Down syndrome is something to be celebrated rather than feared. I know that having a relationship with the perfect reality of your child is far better than having a relationship with a projected fantasy.” 

People also highlighted three other mothers of children with Down syndrome who are using Instagram to advocate for greater acceptance of children with special needs. One, Oakley Peterson, told the magazine, “I talk to other moms daily about their child’s new diagnosis and tell them they’re joining this incredible community.”

With all the negative news filling the media, it is refreshing to see a positive take on children with disabilities and their families. By celebrating the diversity of children with Down syndrome, we can create a more loving world.