The whole point to all of us working so hard to get fair and balanced information on Down syndrome (and other prenatally determined conditions) into the hands of women and prospective families, is so that they are no longer given the “death sentence monologue” from medical practitioners in the prenatal setting.
We want them to know not just about the challenges of a life with Down syndrome but also the richly rewarding lives that are possible and probable these days for citizens with Down syndrome. We want them to talk to other families who have had their home life enriched and made more satisfying and loving by including a child with Down syndrome.
As we speak States in the USA like Arizona and Kansas are considering Bills that would protect doctors who deliberately withhold information from women in the prenatal setting. It’s being done under the auspices of decreasing or eliminating wrongful birth suits.
Wrongful birth suits are distasteful and discriminatory for a myriad of reasons, not he least of which is how they have the potential to strip people living with prenatally determined conditions of their liberty and humanness in a way that makes them other-worldly. But making it legal for doctors to withhold information from women is not the right way to go about ensuring justice and equity for people.
This is a fools journey folks. In fact Bills like this have the potential to make us lose our way in a dense and dark forrest of polarizing issues, political partisanship and absolute control.
We can not advocate for the rights of one marginalized group of citizens at the expense of another. It doesn’t work that way.
The Canadian contingency fought long and hard at the United Nations during the drafting of the Convention on the Rights of the Disabled to ensure it included articles that would ensure that men and women with disabilities would have access to equal and quality to reproductive health services, (UN Article 25 sub-section A). Thankfully it’s part of the convention.
Lets work harder on getting accurate and timely information to women so that they make make the best decisions possible for themselves and their families.
We don’t need the tunnel vision that makes us smug enough to think that by making it legal to withhold critical information from women that we can control their decision making process.
We know that that with fair balanced and timely information, widely and fairly distributed I am less likely to have to worry about my grandchildren never getting to know people with Down syndrome.
You can’t advocate for peace while holding a gun.
We don’t want to lose our not lose our way at this critical juncture. There are plenty of groups more than excited to co-opt our messaging.
Lets ensure that women with disabilities and without, have their rights upheld as laid out in the United Nations Convention.