Monday, August 20, 2007

Time to Speak Up, More Loudly

There is a new medical test available for pregnant women, which screens to identify babies with Down Syndrome using less invasive methods. You can read about it
here. More mothers are getting positive screens (including two FALSE-positives in our family), so there is more concern for pregnant women. Those with positive screens are tested further, to find those who are truly carrying babies with Down syndrome or other genetic problems. The majority of babies with Down syndrome now result in "terminated pregnancies," and the numbers are growing every year. With more testing, more babies will be identified, thus more who may not be allowed to survive. Who would have thought a few years ago that someday there might be hardly ANY men and women with Down Syndrome who have survived their mothers' pregnancies! It's astounding! A world without Down Syndrome would be a sad world indeed. We've said many times that if we ALL saw the world through Hugger's eyes, it would change the world! I've had many opportunities to talk about the impact he's had on our lives. We don't ignore the challenges, but certainly celebrate the wonder of all it means to have Down syndrome.

With the recent news stories about Down Syndrome, and the impression they leave that an unborn baby with DS is something to be 'dealt with,' I've been thinking a lot lately about the state of things in the realm of DS. I decided to 'go public' (not that we've never been silent, or even private about DS), and dug out this sticker that I picked up at a conference a couple of years ago. I placed it on the side window of our van -- even though we've never used a bumper sticker of any type before. Someone has to speak up, and I might as well be one of those someones. It's not a huge thing, but it's something. (Note the raindrops on the window this morning! We needed the rain so badly, I didn't even want to wipe it off the sticker.)

The other day I ran across an article written about the playwrite Arthur Miller, who had a son with DS.
It's an interesting story. Although denial of a child is very sad, and family life has been proven to be more successful than institutionalism (no surprise there - with God designing the family), the direction of the US today is moving toward not even allowing children with DS to survive the womb, and that snowball is growing and rolling faster every day. I've never been especially politically active, but politics keeps crowding our values, and our home, and if we don't speak out, then who will?

I haven't read anything by
Barbara Curtis before (who referenced the Arthur Miller article -- you can find Part One here, and Part Two here), but I will be doing some more reading! Her background includes some difficult things to overcome, but along the way of giving birth to 9 children -- one of whom has Down Syndrome -- and adopting 3 more with DS, she left the life of left-leaning politics, drugs and child neglect, and is now following Jesus. She's a conservative Christian, and a prolific writer and public speaker. Someone I'd like to know more about, I'm sure.


Barbara said...

Thank you for mentioning my blog! Blessings to you and your family!

Barbara Curtis

strem said...

I fear I got into a few "discussions" lately with some co-workers about genetic testing, and I don't see eye to eye with them ONE BIT! Thank you for the links to Mrs. Curtis' site.