Skip to comments.Bill Seeks Support for Parents of Children with Down Syndrome
Posted on 09/29/2007 11:10:47 AM PDT by wagglebee
Over ninety percent of parents abort their children after receiving a pre-natal diagnosis of Trisomy 21.1 In an effort to remedy this, the Prenatally and Postnatally Diagnosed Conditions Awareness Act has been introduced to "increase the provision of scientifically sound information and support services to parents who receive a positive diagnosis" of Down syndrome and other conditions. This would help ensure parents receive up-to-date information and support services as well as real alternatives to abortion.
Conservative Senator Sam Brownback (R-Kansas) and liberal Senator Edward Kennedy (D-Massachusetts) are sponsoring the Senate version (S. 1810) and Representatives F. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wisconsin), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Washington) and Pete Sessions (R-Texas) have introduced a companion bill in the House, H.R. 3112. (Senator Kennedy's sister Eunice serves as Honorary Chairperson for the Special Olympics and is an advocate for the disabled. She provides a strong influence for Sen. Kennedy, who is the Messinas' senator.)
The bill also provides for the expansion and further development of national and local peer-support programs. Julie Messina says that such programs are enormously beneficial to Evan's personal development as well as to their family.
Shock, fear of the unknown and a sense of dread cloud the minds of parents as they try to understand and prepare to care for their special child. For the Messinas, Evan's condition did not dampen their love, value, or expectations for their little boy. Instead, a desire to help other families dealing with genetic disabilities - especially Trisomy 21 - evolved.
Babies who have Down syndrome do not jeopardize the life of their pregnant mother, a reason frequently given for making abortion easily available. Rather, the medical profession's prediction of a doomed future with limited and outdated information on the potential of these children leads parents to choose abortion. These babies are unwanted because they are born "imperfect" - a trait common to all human beings.
Is the value of these babies' lives less because they were created with an extra chromosome? The answer is an emphatic no; all children are gifts from God. Evan is a blessing and reward to his family. For example, one result of having Evan in their lives, Chris and Julie say, is that they both have become less selfish.
This is true of many parents. Is it not ironic that the selfishness that leads some parents to abort their children is the first thing that diminishes when a child is born?
Like the Messinas, Helen and Mark Milligan never anticipated that their third child would have Down syndrome, nor did they expect the transformative love that Aidan would bring into their lives. Besides some minor health problems, the only real challenge the Milligans and the Messinas face in raising their sons is making sure their sons are not mistreated because of their condition. When parents decide to abort children with Down syndrome, it's often based on their fear of the cognitive and physical limitations of their children, and these fears often outweigh the special joy, friendliness and pure love these children possess.
"You can do all the prenatal testing in the world, but there's no such thing as the perfect child; people are complicated and everyone has their gifts and their limitations, whether those are obvious or not."2 This sentiment, expressed by Helen Milligan, is shared by the Messinas as well. Both families have chosen not to focus on the limitations of their sons but instead focus on their love for these children, whose ability to love far outweighs any disability.
Language in both S. 1810 and H.R. 3112 reflects the findings of recent studies on prenatally diagnosed conditions. Results show that it is necessary for parents of children with Trisomy 21 to fully understand the condition and its affects prior to making any life-altering decisions. S. 1810 and H.R. 3112 promote the dissemination of medically accurate information and encourage effective health intervention services. After a positive diagnosis for Down syndrome or other prenatally diagnosed diseases, what parents need is up-to-date information and support services at their fingertips, not abortion clinics.
S.1810 and H.R. 3112 will provide such parents with information on development potential, quality of life and also on families willing to adopt newborns with Down syndrome or other prenatally diagnosed conditions. While parents are encouraged to kill their children, simply because they have Down syndrome, there is a waiting list of many people who would like to adopt such children because of their condition! For more information, contact the Adoption Knowledge and Information on Down syndrome organization.
It is unfortunate that many people view Down syndrome as a disability, when the inability to love these children unconditionally is in itself the real "disability".
Kennedy’s sister, Rosemary, who died a couple years ago, was retarded. Her condition inspired her younger sister, Eunice to found the Special Olympics.
You know what would help the parent of every Down’s child, no matter what their age? End the stupid yearly ‘is (s)he still sick’ survey.
I read in an article last week that something like 80% of women whose babies test positive for Downs abort their babies.
How about a special bill protecting the unborn
I know all about Rosemary Kennedy.
She had a borderline low IQ and was showing signs of being promiscuous (which it seems is encouraged in Kennedy men but taboo for women). Joseph Kennedy Sr. was concerned that she would get pregnant and embarrass the family, so he had her lobotomized (which the inexperienced doctor botched) and put her in an institution. The Kennedy family then tried to hide the truth about what really happened.
No kidding? I'm totally amazed that the Kennedy family would do such. Could it be that I have been worshiping false Gods all these years?
I saw a video of a lobotomy several years ago. It left me flabbergasted. They don’t cut into the skull. They “slice and dice” behind the orbits with an icepick and hammer.
Thanks for the ping.
Many people may not know that I have a grandchild with Down’s Syndrome. He is simply precious. Loves music!
Shouldn’t this be left to the states?
I had a friend back in Memphis with a son severely affected by Down’s Syndrome. Every time I walked in her door I would call out “Hey John” in exactly the same singsongy tone of voice.
One day, many many months after being there often, when I walked in and called out, John ran up and hugged me.
I’ve never forgotten that moment. John didn’t communicate at all, so it was very special to me.
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