A chance at life

The issue of abortion will never end, because whether you believe in it, abhor it or think it’s the mother’s decision, we all hold fast and hard to what we believe is right or “Godly”. We argue the fact that all life is God-given or that we have the right to do with our bodies whatsoever we wish. However, what if we could know beyond the shadow of a doubt what we were having – would we change our tune? Let’s face it . . . many of us may know the sex, but not if the child has a disability until a later stage in the pregnancy.

Don’t get confused. If we could know from the get-go that let’s say for example that our child had a disability, would you say that the child is a blessing, or would you terminate it and then tell friends you had a miscarriage? What if law makers made it “easy” for us by allowing us to abort at will or even if you think the child you carry would be a burden of some sort to quickly terminate the pregnancy putting a case for a disability being the determining factor?

Most of us are very die-hard in our views but over in North Dakota, USA, a judge has made a ruling to ban abortions based on a disabled unborn child. They have become the first state to ban abortions based on genetic “defects” like Down Syndrome. When diagnosed before birth, such genetic abnormalities prompt couples to have abortions 90 per cent of the time. That’s a very high percentage!

Now this would lead one to believe that the other states allow the abortion based on genetic “defects”. I wonder how many mothers out there reading this in cyberspace would have chosen to abort their children had they known in advance about their abnormalities? Many reason that this world is already a cruel place and that bringing a vulnerable human being into the picture is in itself an act of cruelty. Some argue that the taxpayers of a country usually have to in many instances take up the slack to provide for these children since too many are abandoned by family and thus have to be provided for by the state.

But with this prior knowledge would this not control the kind of society we live in? This is the same as those who choose to abort children on the basis of their sex. It’s absolutely the same thing. Nothing speaks more of controlling a society by having a say and playing a role in who gets a shot at life and who doesn’t.

This ban in North Dakota will also ban abortion based on gender selection which is also seen as an issue especially in some cultures. Of course this ban is not going down well with Pro-Choicers and I’m sure this isn’t the last we’ll hear of this, but this is a start which I’m sure will be duplicated in other states.

Americans United for Life President Charmaine Yoest said that “abortion performed solely because of genetic abnormalities is discriminatory and devalues the lives of the disabled.”

Another argument for continuing with the abortions based on genetic abnormalities is that it would greatly impact the disabled community by keeping the numbers down and this would play a significant role in the development of a country. But who decides how or what a developed country or society should look like? What about the beauty in diversity? What about the colour each of us brings to the table?

Where does it end? I know some will say that while we may love our child when we first see him or her and would not trade them for the world, not many would willingly give birth to them if they knew early enough. Maybe.

I know that everyone has their opinion including me. I think that life is beautiful and that it should not be thrown away because it may be deemed inconvenient or broken. I however think that any child brought into this world should receive the love and attention that it truly deserves. If you don’t want children, fine. But don’t decide to have them and then choose to abort them on a technicality.

That’s why deciding to bring life into this world is probably the biggest decision that would ever be made. This is why parenting isn’t for the faint hearted. This is why sex is a beautiful act and not some callous and demeaning event where two people come together but one where they understand that life can be the result of the union.

At the end of the day every man will make the decision based on their personal belief and what they think is in their best interest. I still however believe that everyone deserves a chance.

*Bonnie Leonce is a Sign Language Interpreter with an A.A. Degree in Interpreting for the Hearing Impaired.

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