The latest video in Live Action’s “Pro-Life Replies” series counters the claim that babies with disabilities are better off aborted. Stories of parents pressured by medical professionals and others to abort their children after a prenatal diagnosis are sadly not uncommon. These doctors offering abortion as a “solution” to a child with a disability typically are not experts in the conditions with which those children have been diagnosed. Therefore, information that parents receive is often outdated and inaccurate. Many parents who are told their children will either not survive — or will have no quality of life even if they do — find themselves feeling pressured and overwhelmed. Asking experts in the conditions can enlighten those parents — and who better to ask than the people living with those conditions themselves?
In Live Action’s new video, Karen Gaffney, a woman with Down syndrome, describes her life and what makes her “different” than others, but certainly no less worthy of life — and some of it may surprise you.
“It’s okay, I know I am different than you,” says Karen. “I look differently, I talk differently, I walk differently. I don’t hear as well as most of you do, and I don’t see as well either. And sometimes it takes me longer to learn things.” But, Karen says, she’s a champion swimmer who has relayed across the English Channel and done a “nine-mile nonstop solo swim across Lake Tahoe.” She’s even swam across San Francisco Bay 16 times.
But while Karen has accomplished amazing things, including getting her high school diploma, a 2-year college degree, and even an honorary doctorate, that’s not really the point. The point is that no one should have the right to decide for someone else that that person’s life just isn’t worth living. Yet, for children with disabilities, this is done before that child even exits the womb. In some countries, nearly 100% of children with Down syndrome are aborted.
Karen points out that she is “not the exception” when it comes to people with disabilities, and says many others are “showing what is possible when we are given the chance to live a full and inclusive life.” Live Action News has told the stories of many of these individuals.
“Ending the life of an unborn child because he or she will have a disability is wrong, it is very, very wrong,” Karen says. This comes from a belief that people with disabilities are weak and need to be weeded out from society. This view is unjust, tragic, and deserving of international outrage. It has no place in a world that stands for basic human rights.”
The solution, Karen says, is to celebrate every life — even those who are different from most of us, or seemingly disadvantaged in some way. “Let’s embrace those moms and dads that are choosing life for their babies who may be born with disabilities. AND let’s band together, to focus on improving lives, not preventing them.”
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