Finally, something pro-life Sen. Sam Brownback and pro-abortion Sen. Ted Kennedy can agree on: a bill that values unborn Down Syndrome children.
According to the New York Times, more parents are getting Down Syndrome diagnoses for their unborn children and 90% choose to abort their Down Syndrome babies. Kennedy and Brownback's bill just passed its Senate committee and would ensure these families understand the condition and the resources available to them. It would also create a national registry of families seeking to adopt Down Syndrome children.
On MotherJones.com, Debra Dickerson tosses some grudging praise at a bipartisan effort to reduce abortions. Then she slashes all consensus to pieces with a polarizing rant on pro-lifers' unwillingness to adopt the children they would force others to keep. She makes a cynical prediction:
This national registry will flop. Protesting outside of clinics is quite different from agreeing to raise a fundamentally disabled child, as birth parents are oh-so-blithely instructed to do on pain of hellfire.
Dickerson is wrong about pro-lifers. Most pro-life organizations link to adoption agencies for special needs children, and these pro-life people are a few of many taking special needs children into their homes.
But Dickerson seems to assume that no one else would want to adopt a fundamentally disabled child, either. She seems to think this registry depends on pro-lifers walking the walk. Where's her confidence that pro-choicers would pick up the slack?
Unlike Brownback, Kennedy, and even the president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, Dickerson misses the point. People - both pro-life and not - who know Down Syndrome sufferers cherish them. Here's a PBS essay from a teen about the lessons her disabled brother teaches her, a mother who says her Down Syndrome son changed her perspective on life, another recent article about a couple who would have aborted their daughter if they'd known she was disabled, and a Boston Globe column from a woman who calls her granddaughter an "ambassador against fear."
When pro-life people and "abortion grays" can reach consensus, why politicize and polarize?