I hope this doesn't sound too brutal to any of you, I really don't think it should.

My mother was a nurse for a very long time. Before she was an RN, she was an LVN, and during this time she took care of several infants with Down Syndrome. I was around to witness the strain these children caused on their families. It's hard to be around someone with only a fraction of a personality. You might say that's harsh, but that is how it seemed to me.

I am a huge believer in the value of intelligence. I want to be able to have intense conversations with my offspring. I want to teach them about the world and life, not just how I see it, but I want to give them the tools to view the world with a more open mind and watch them go decide how they want to view the world themselves. I want to watch them discover things. I want to one day learn from my kids.

Do any of these concepts seem brutal to you?

If they don't, then I'd hope you don't find the termination of this pregnancy too brutal.

As if there aren't enough fantastically stupid people on the planet without any developmental disabilities. Nevermind programming a VCR, why can't people seem to look past the ideas their parents gave them in their youth? Why can't people seem to avoid reactionary violence? I've met too many people who are nothing but burdens on society to create another one myself. I say this with full confidence that if I ever do get pregnant again, and bring it to term, I will spend however long it takes raising my child to understand that we are all one, that there is never anything to fear, because we are all brothers and sisters. I'd just like to know that my child understands these things.

So I terminated the pregnancy when I found out that my child would most likely have Down Syndrome. I 'had an abortion'. I murdered the fetus growing inside me. I've heard this action put in all the harshest terms I could imagine and I still don't regret it.

Frankly I just don't buy the things most parents say about their kids. "I'd love my child no matter what it was?" Then why don't more people adopt children with different skin colors? Why do adoption statistics not reveal a gigantic number of rich, white, sterile couples knocking down the doors for some developmentally disabled children with dark skin? These strike me as the people who see parenting as a novelty. It's great for the first few years, but when they start forming their own opinions, those kids need the clamps down. Those kids need to be whipped into shape. They need to be put back in line. To most of these people it's cool to 'care for an infant', but 'raising a child' is a little less interesting. Caring for an adolescent is out of the question. Tolerating an adolescent is even rare. Eventually their caring for that infant turns into 'supporting a teenager' and even that doesn't have a lot of "love" involved.

This is not definite at all, just how I see things here in the United States. If there is an epidemic in terms of parenting it is certainly not pregnant women who terminate babies that they see as a future burden, it's parents who just re-use lines they hear from television; "I'll love him no matter what", "That boy needs to learn some manners", "You should love me because I'm your mother", "Do as your father tells you", it's parents who don't know how to think let alone raise a mentally and physically healthy child.

First things first: I have never had an abortion. I have never gotten pregnant. Women who have know much more about the act of abortion. I am speaking now only about the subject of abortion. I would also like to state that if I got pregnant right now, I would have an abortion. It would be the first option to enter into my mind. I am a Christian, and believe that I am a pretty devout one. However, despite what I believe, I am not ready to have children financially, emotionally, or physically, and I do not feel that I need to consult anyone to confirm that I am indeed not ready. My attitude is that when there's a decision you don't want to have to make, you should do everything in your power to avoid having to have to make it.

When abortion was legalized for whatever reasons it was first legalized, it was only a matter of time before abortion required little to no reasons at all and/or could be legitimized for a myriad of reasons. Who agrees on which reasons are and aren't valid will always vary. Which reasons or financial capabilities will work to secure an abortion at the moment of a woman's movement across the threshold of a clinic will also always vary. In fact, on an individual level, the only decision about abortion that carries any weight is the decsion you make at the time, whether it brings relief, numbness, haunting sorrow, or whatever. Because of this, abortion is at once a public and private subject; it gets media attention and divides people, yet it can also divide the person herself (and himself, not to exclude the fathers here) into a dual person, speaking in two voices, maybe more.

As usual, all I can say is what I think. Once abortion is legal, the reasons seldom really matter. They suffice doctors, if certain criterion apply, so that they feel confident that you are in the right state of mind. They further categorize and divide society's stand on this issue. They complicate and simplify the whole subject at once. What follows is simply inevitable. Choosing to not carry a baby that will be born deformed in a variety of ways in the benefit of all those involved is now a choice that pretty much any of us can make, and I wouldn't doubt that the medical field will aid us, even support us in our decision. This same attitude can be spread to the medical profession: if you feel that you are being screwed with the bill from your visit to the E/R, what makes you think that money isn't a factor in abortions as well?

The more advanced we become in medicine, as we constantly strive to be, the more specific every stage of our human development will become, the more control we will have. This has its good and bad sides, its pros and cons. I can't say that preventing a child's birth whose life will be significantly limited by its physical or mental deformity is wrong in and of itself. As I said, we can rationalize damn near anything because the act itself is condoned. But that is NOT to say that any parent, whether they knew beforehand of their child's disabilities, has done anything wrong by bring that child into the world. Children with disabilities are often a burden, but they are often loved just as much if not more, and are valid humans who deserve a chance. Many parents do not have the option of knowing ahead of time and like all parents, simply take what they are given and make the best of it, as ALL parents have the option of doing.

NOTfnordian's node, like mine perhaps, seems to wander from the point of the title's statement. She went off on many tangents that have less to do with abortion and more to do with parenting, which seemed to detract from her point. While I welcome anyone who feels the desire to legitimize what (s)he does, abortion is different to me. Not many people would know, theoretically, that you'd had an abortion unless your actions or words made it known (we humans can hide anything if we try hard enough), hence the need to provide reasons would only result after the act had been made known, more or less, by that individual. No reason is right enough or good enough to convince an audience about abortion if it has preconceived judgements ready to fire. Even my reasons are, perhaps, not good enough. Perhaps no reason is good enough to have an abortion, but we often feel the need to provide reasons for the things we do that are in any way questionable.

Just as we have the right to an abortion, we have the right to say whatever we want to about it. But, in today's society, seeking to make reasonable arguments is kind of like preaching to the choir. Sure, there are anti-abortion leagues, but there always will be, because, guess what, they have the right to speak too. I'm sure that NOTfnordian didn't necessarily feel the need to adamantly provide reasons, and despite my addtion, I say again that her reasons are just as valid as mine or anyone else's, but I wouldn't say any reason is any better than another. People can dispute me on that, and that's fine. We are all, at times, broken, confused, scared and alone. And I'd say we're all equally responsible for where our actions take us and where they inevitably take society.

I don't know. Am I the only one on the planet who wishes to separate the process of intellectual examination from love and birth?

I don't deny wisdom, and foresight, but to me the termination of a foetus for reason of lack of intelligence, seems well shallow. I mean there is a lot more to a person than their ability to solve problems, and personality or lack of it is as much a system of exchanges as an innate quality.

I have worked with, and know a number of children with Downs syndrome and one child who can only be described as moderately retarded, and I must say that the abuse they get from their society is more an indictment of the hypocrisy of that society than anything they have done. Like it or not, these people are human.

They may not be up to our standards of what we think humans should be, but then again neither were blacks a few centuries ago, oh and Jews in the earlier part of the last century.

Do you get what I am trying to say here? The issue isn't the termination but of simple, selfish, vindictive bigotry. To couch it in other terms is a crime in itself. It is understandable (not saying justified) to terminate a pregnancy because one genuinely believes that one doesn't have the resources to give the child a good life. Or maybe if the child is properly braindead, and can have no quality of life to speak of.

But to abort a foetus on the basis that it's intelligence while adequate to function isn't up to the mothers expectation is beyond any hope of reasonable justification or even aforesaid understanding. "I have an IQ of 186, my mother has an IQ of 136":- does this mean that because she and I cannot converse about some abstract concepts I may have that I should kill her? Where is the love? Where is the humanity? The idea itself is absurd, relativistic in it's lack of anything resembling sense.

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