Monday, May 6, 2013

A Storm A' Comin'?

Mother's Day, take three. This time, a baby. I don't really feel like this year is going to knock me down, but then again sometimes it happens when you least expect it.

I haven't been sad in awhile. I mean, about Blue. I still think about him a lot, but not so specifically anymore. I think I have recovered from the PTSD. It's not so terrible to remember what things were like right after Blue died. I do still get angry about articles and comments about abortion access and health care access and the right to make a medical decision on behalf of your own child, however.  I mean I always believed in reproductive rights, but not with the same understanding I have now.

See this recent New York Times Motherlode guest blog. North Dakota wants to ban abortions where the fetus has Down's syndrome. Some people in the disability rights community think this is a good idea. They think that to abort for genetic defects is to practice eugenics. As if people would choose abortion over having a brown-eyed child, if only they could. Never mind that genetic defects are evolutionary hiccups, mistakes, DEFECTS...not gifts. So my kid, had he lived, would have been immune to cholera. Great. Anyway...North Dakota wants to ban all abortions. Just say it that way. And then admit that you are wasting enormous amounts of taxpayers dollars when your state chooses to defy the constitutional law of the United States.

Who are these people who think that abortion should be banned where a genetic defect is detected? Do they have special needs children? Did they have a child who died at a very young age? Did they have a child who suffered? Whom they watched struggle to live every day, wondering "is this the day we say goodbye?"

Will they require genetic testing in all pregnancies? Because what if you wanted to get an abortion before the trisomy can be detected? Will we continue to find ways to detect more and more abnormalities, earlier in pregnancy, less that we may ban more abortions?

And why would anyone else think that they knew better than I what is the right health care decision for my child? And why oh why, would anyone think I have anything derogatory to say about those born with disabilities? The fact that I believed my child would be better off not living means I have more compassion for those with disabilities, not less. And when I want the right to choose for myself, I am not asking for the right to take that away from you. I find this entire thread of the argument so lopsided and, well, ridiculous. "I didn't know I was having a special needs child until I had him or her. Now I know nothing else. You shouldn't either." You know, I never thought, "This child's life will be awful. He will not live to be an adult. In order to spare other babies like him this pain, I require abortions." Here is another way to illustrate the ridiculousness of the anti-abortion argument: if you decide not to resuscitate when your grandmother reaches the end of her life, then you believe no grandmothers should be resuscitated, and you think anyone who chooses to resuscitate is...I don't even know. I don't know where that argument comes from and where it goes, because it is incomprehensible to me. That someone else thinks they can make that decision for me. And one more point...who pays for the health care for the special needs baby? Last time I checked, children with pre-existing conditions--that is, children born that way--could be denied health insurance. (Yes, I know, the Affordable Care Act has changed this. And we all know that's going over well.) OK, now I really AM getting angry!


But back to the topic at hand...Mother's Day. Sprout will be almost 7 months old. The day has (almost) lost its meaning for me again.

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