By Sonni Motton
On February 28, 2019 Utah passed the Down Syndrome Non-Discrimination Abortion Act and the bill is headed to the governor’s desk for signature. The legislation sponsored by Rep. Karianne Lisonbee, also known as HB 166, would prohibit women from making the decision to abort preborn children based solely on the fact they have been diagnosed with Down syndrome.
Parenting Down syndrome children has many hard challenges, but we cannot throw these lives away because we have to face those challenges. I hope that one day I will have children and if the child has Down syndrome, I will still love it, I will still care for it, and I will make sure that my child has the best chance of independence that any Down syndrome child or any child for that matter could have. Some naysayers will say the challenges will be too great for low income women to take care of Down syndrome children. I am going to give you three reasons why you should not abort any preborn children who have been diagnosed with Down syndrome.
Prove Them Wrong
As I have said before, raising children with Down syndrome is one of the most challenging things that parents could ever face. While there are challenges, do not let that get in the way of raising your child with correct morals and with the correct state of mind that can lead to independence. People may judge you when they see your child and your child may be bullied in school when they get older, but this is something that every parent may have to face in their journey through parenthood. Do not let that deter you. Do not let the fear of having to deal with adversity get in the way of raising a child who may have a disability. People will say that it is too expensive, others will say it is easier to abort the baby. You may even say to yourself you do not have the money to properly care for the child; but there are many programs, benefits, and nonprofits that help children with disabilities, some are low-cost and some are totally free. With heavy research, you can be sure your child has the best chance at a great life. You can show those who look down on children and adults with Down syndrome, that they can lead a relatively normal live.
Be The Example
Once you have proved the naysayers wrong, you will be a shining example of how to raise children with Down syndrome. Never be ashamed of taking assistance from the government or signing up for a program that provides assistance, whether that be emotional or financial. Will it be frustrating at times? Yes. Will you mess up? Absolutely! But when a parent faces a decision or adversity regarding their child, they are going to come to you for advice and guidance. You have to have self-discipline despite the difficulty in your life in order to make it through. It is going to be tough but the outcome of all diversity will be worth it when you see your child walk across the stage during graduation, gain independence, or when they get their first job. All of that difficulty, hardship, and tears will be well worth it whenever you see your child succeed. People will know that it is possible to do what needs to be done with Down syndrome children because you will be that example.
You have heard it said a million times, love conquers all, and it is true. If you have an outpouring of love and support for your child you can do anything. Whether you are Christian or not, love is the basis for all relationships to thrive. You cannot have a healthy relationship with anyone without love. So, if you have a tremendous love for your preborn child, how could you abort them? Our country is rampant with self-worship and disdain for any responsibility. Preborn children are our tiniest and most vulnerable neighbors, and does God not say to love your neighbor? He does. If you feel that you would have doubts about having a child with Down syndrome, do not take the prenatal testing. And if you do take the test, do not let the doctor talk you into aborting your child. Down syndrome children, teenagers, and adults are gaining tremendous ground when it comes to independence and there are many successful Down syndrome adults that are making it on their own or with the help of a support system. And it is because they were shown the love and support from their parents, family members and friends and told they can conquer anything they set their mind to.
While opposition to this has been minimal, in the past there was similar legislation passed in Ohio. It was met with articles by a mother of a Down syndrome daughter and another who accused pro-life supporters of using her kid as a pawn. For the doubter reading this, this is the furthest thing from the truth. While rejecting abortion may not fix all of the problems for those already here on this Earth, it does save the life of the preborn child in the womb. Shouldn’t that be the most important goal?
Here’s hoping Utah signs this bill into law and many states follow its example!