Often when the abortion debate is brought up, people on the pro-choice side are quick to bring up cases in which a child would be born with a disability. One of these cases has recently appeared in the news, and the details are thought-provoking to say the least. The case involves a mother to a four-year-old child in Britain, and the title of the article summarizes the situation bluntly: “Mother of son with Down syndrome sues hospital, would’ve had abortion.”
Edyta Mordel is suing for a compensation of $250,000 for the cost of raising her son, who was born with Down syndrome. She claims that the hospital did not follow proper procedure to check for disabilities before birth and has stated that if she and the father had known that their son would be born with Down syndrome, they would have terminated the pregnancy.
Her comments are likely shocking to some, including myself. Simply imagining a mother saying she wishes she could have killed her child in the womb is a heart-wrenching. However, the case does bring up an important point that is not often talked about.
The reality of the situation is that caring for a child with a disability such as Down syndrome requires a significant amount of time and patience that some people do not necessarily have. With that being said, the solution to this problem is not to terminate the pregnancy. For the termination of a pregnancy of a child with Down syndrome to be justifiable, one would have to make two assumptions: firstly, that living a life with Down syndrome is far too challenging to endure and that the life of the child would be miserable. Additionally, there mustn’t exist any family, community, support group, etc. focused on meeting the specific needs and concerns of a child with Down syndrome.
Of course, these ideas are fallacies, therefore the termination of a pregnancy because of Down syndrome is wrong. People with Down syndrome are by no means miserable, and their lives are certainly worth living. Frank Stephens, a young man with Down syndrome who serves as a powerful advocate for people with disabilities, gives wonderful existential insight into why his life is worth living in a congressional hearing about abortion (click here to see Mr. Stephens’ testimony). There are people who do have the requirements to properly care for children with disabilities, and who would be more than happy to bring a child with Down syndrome into their loving homes.
Our society is also becoming increasingly accommodating for people with disabilities. School systems have full-time staff specifically geared toward educating, caring for and mentoring students with disabilities. There are countless organizations focused on raising awareness and understanding of disabilities, as well as promoting the notion that people with Down syndrome and other disabilities are wonderfully unique and a blessing to others around them.
Simply put, the solution to the problem of some people simply not being capable of effectively raising a child with Down syndrome is adoption. The solution calls for fully capable couples to actively seek out adopting a child with Down syndrome or other disabilities. The abortion rate for children with disabilities is significantly higher than that of children without. It does not have to be this way, and the solution begins with the adoption community.
My name is Conner Howard. I am from Enterprise, Alabama, and I am currently a student at Huntingdon College. I graduated from Enterprise High School in 2016, where I captained the soccer team my Senior year. I went on to play soccer in college and captain the team at Huntingdon as well, however my career has been cut short due to ongoing injury problems. I am involved in many clubs and organizations on campus, including Student Government Association, Student Recruiting, Huntingdon Ambassadors, and debate club. I was also lucky enough to help start up a branch of the College Republicans on campus, and serve as the Vice-President of the organization. I am majoring in Business Administration, and plan to use this background to aid me in tackling the next step in my education; either law school or a Master’s degree. Through interning with The Adoption Law Firm, I have gained unprecedented insight into the legal field, and I can honestly say I have matured as an individual over the short period of time I have been here.