If you knew that your child was going to be born with a mental disability, would you abort them? As much as I would hope to hear everyone answer ‘no’ to that question, unfortunately some would say yes, and without hesitation.
Last night, I was reading an article about a couple who have two children, both with a mental illness. After reading the article, I scrolled down to the comment section. It wasn’t long before I angrily walked away from the computer.
Some people mentioned that the couple should have never had kids to begin with, knowing that mental illness ran in their families. Others said that they could have avoided the whole ordeal, had prenatal genetic testing been available for the diagnosis of mental disorders.
If they were to have their wish, millions of people would not be alive today. People who have contributed amazing things to this world. People who have touched our hearts and changed our perspectives.
The article was focused on children with schizophrenia. I won’t deny that having a child with such a severe mental illness would be difficult. It would, for both the child and the parent. However, that does not mean that the chance at life should be taken away from them. With the proper therapy, medications (if needed) and supportive environment, these kids can grow up to have wonderful lives.
Where do you draw the line?
Let’s just say they got their wish, and doctors start aborting babies with schizophrenia. That would only be the beginning. Eventually, they would be aborting children with all types of mental disorders. No more children with down syndrome, asperger’s or autism. While we’re at it, let’s not forget about the other mental issues like depression, bipolar disorder and ADD. If those run in your family, just don’t have children. Problem solved.
(I hope you’re picking up on my sarcasm.)
My son is Autistic.
What these people are saying by their comments, is that had I known that my son was going to be autistic, I should have aborted him. I should have aborted my precious son.
That amazing boy who has shown me a world that I never could have seen without him. The boy who has made me laugh, smile and cry tears of joy. My son, the one who has given me life, through his life.
My son deserves a chance at life just like everyone else.
Just because he is Autistic, does not mean that his life is doomed. He gets to experience life and the world, in a way that most people could only dream of. His happiness is pure. His love is genuine. He does not pretend to be something he’s not. He sees the small details in the world. The beautiful and magnificent details that we are blind to.
He is not abnormal.
What defines normal? Experiencing sadness, anger and hurt? Feeling the pressures of peers and the loneliness of not having enough friends? Laughing out of obligation and flippantly saying “I love you”?
If that’s what defines ‘normal’, then I wouldn’t want him to be normal.
He is successful.
What defines success? A college degree, a mortgage, a fancy career title?
My son may never have any of those, but he is successful. He’s learned to communicate, write and read. He just finished reading his second book! He’s becoming more independent every day and he’s made it all the way to high school. All of which the ‘professionals’ said that he would never do. That’s success!
Oh wait, I forgot…
It is the belief of some people that babies with mental disorders should be aborted.
That must mean that my son’s success is meaningless. Not only that, but I could have avoided all the tantrums, destroying of items, his finger ‘painting’ on the walls and changing his diapers until he was 8 years old.
Had I aborted him, I could have avoided all of that. So I suppose to them, it must be rather unfortunate that I kept him.
It’s so unfortunate that in three hours from now, my precious son is going to happily walk through the door, with a big smile on his face when he sees me.
It’s so unfortunate, that he is going to sit down with me and tell me about the day he had in school. About how much he loves art and science.
It’s so unfortunate that tonight, I will sit down with my son and listen to him read.
It’s so unfortunate that he will give me a hug ‘goodnight’ and tell me he loves me as I step out of his room.
Hard times and all, there has not been a single day that I’ve regretted having my son. I cannot image my life with him. He is my life.
What do you think? Who deserves life? My answer – everyone.
All opinions are welcome here, and I will not be offended if you disagree. Sharing our opinions is part of what blogging is all about. So please, don’t be afraid to share your thoughts.