Down Syndrome Should Not Be a Death Sentence

QuicktakeMatthew Hennessey, writing at First Things:

Sadly, this is how many see disability — one, long, painful babysitting job for beleaguered parents who will never know happiness, never know grace, never know peace and quiet, never know what it is to eat a nice meal of pizza at an outdoor café. Can you imagine such hardship?

I can, I suppose. I have a daughter with Down syndrome, and I know countless other families who love someone with the genetic condition known as Trisomy 21. We’re not saints for having taken on this burden; neither are we victims. Sure, it’s hard sometimes. On balance, though, our difficulties are no greater or more insurmountable than any family’s. After all, into each life some rain must fall.

Despite claiming to have done some research, [Sophie] Horan and her husband are terrifically misinformed about Down syndrome. Horan claims she aborted her baby because she didn’t “want him or her to ever feel lonely, lack independence, or be confined to a nursing home when we passed on.” In fact, numerous studies have confirmed what my family already knows: people with Down syndrome are happy with their lives. Siblings of those with Down syndrome report that their lives are enriched by their brother or sister’s condition. Parents are brought closer together by the experience of raising a child with Down syndrome.

Read the whole thing.

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