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The Insidious Creep of Evil

Trig Palin, son of Republican Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin, has elicited many positive responses from those who value human life. However, he has also brought out the worst in those who think it better that children with Downs Syndrome are never born. The executive vice-president of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada thinks Sarah Palin set a poor example when she elected to give birth to Trig rather than aborting him:

According to the Globe and Mail, Dr. Andre Lalonde, executive vice-president of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC), is worried that Palin's decision to give birth to Trig, despite knowing about his condition, could influence other women in similar situations, but who lack the financial and emotional support that Palin had access to.

"The worry is that this will have an implication for abortion issues in Canada," he said.

Citing his concern for women's "freedom to choose", Lalonde said that popular examples about women like Palin, who choose not to kill their unborn children, could have negative effects on women and their families, reported the Globe.

Then this piece by Nicholas Provenzo is making its way around the blogosphere:

Like many, I am troubled by the implications of Alaska governor and Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin's decision to knowingly give birth to a child disabled with Down syndrome. Given that Palin's decision is being celebrated in some quarters, it is crucial to reaffirm the morality of aborting a fetus diagnosed with Down syndrome (or by extension, any unborn fetus)—a freedom that anti-abortion advocates seek to deny.

A parent has a moral obligation to provide for his or her children until these children are equipped to provide for themselves. Because a person afflicted with Down syndrome is only capable of being marginally productive (if at all) and requires constant care and supervision, unless a parent enjoys the wealth to provide for the lifetime of assistance that their child will require, they are essentially stranding the cost of their child's life upon others.

The sheer degree of arrogance required to put forth these ideas is mind-boggling. It is very easy to cast aspersions upon those who maintain such a utilitarian view of the value of life. Truly the comment boxes of many blogs discussing these views are filled with snide comments and personal insults. Yet such responses do nothing to bring about a conversion of hearts. Therefore, I appreciate Michael Scaperlanda’s response at Mirror of Justice. He links to this extremely powerful address given by Dr. Leon Kass at the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. in 2006:

Practitioners of pre-natal diagnosis, working today with but a fraction of the information soon to be available from the Human Genome Project, already screen for a long list of genetic diseases and abnormalities, from Down’s syndrome to dwarfism. Possession of any one of these defects, they believe, renders a prospective child unworthy of life. Persons who happen still to be born with these conditions, having somehow escaped the spreading net of detection and eugenic abortion, are increasingly regarded as “mistakes,” as inferior human beings who should not have been born. Not long ago, at my own university, a physician making rounds with medical students stood over the bed of an intelligent, otherwise normal ten-year-old boy with spina bifida. “Were he to have been conceived today,” the physician casually informed his entourage, “he would have been aborted.” A woman I know with a child who has Down syndrome is asked by total strangers, “Didn’t you have an amnio?” The eugenic mentality is taking root, and we are subtly learning with the help of science to believe that there really are certain lives unworthy of being born.

This is just a snippet of this insightful discourse by Dr. Kass. Please take the time to read the whole thing. Then share it with someone else. We are being incredibly naive if we think this eugenic mentality will not creep farther and farther into our culture. There is no safe amount of evil.

St. Michael the Archangel,
Defend us this day in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and may thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the Power of God, cast into Hell, Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.


Peter Brown said…
I thought the most frightening line of Provenzo's piece was where he described the choice to have children as a "profoundly selfish choice." It's Newspeak, of course; to those of us who actually welcome our children for their own sakes, it's nonsense. Nonetheless, expect that line to be used widely against those of us who, either by choice or otherwise, exceed the number of children approved by our benevolent elites.

Michelle said…
As the sister of a sweet, loving, Down's man, I am horrified at the Nazi-like utilitarian view of human life. It just makes me ill.
Barb, sfo said…
Peter Brown hit the nail on the head. This is definitely frightening. I worked with Downs adults in a "sheltered workshop" setting--how can anyone say that they should not be born? And spina bifida can now be managed through the miracle (yes, miracle!) of fetal surgery.
Who's next? People with big ears? Big noses? Red hair? We are going down a scary road--a very scary road.
EbethW said…
St. Michael Defend us in battle, in deed!

Thanks for this post.
Anonymous said…
I was about ready to believe your characterization of Nicholas Provenzo's argument until I read the whole piece. Writing of the choice to carry a pregnancy gone wrong to term, he says: "[i]t is completely legitimate for a woman to look at the circumstances of her life and decide that having a child with Down syndrome (or any child for that matter) is not an obligation that she can accept."

Apparently you think that it is illegitimate for a woman to make such a conclusion. That makes you a lovely Catholic, but a vicious and contemptible human being. You do not have the right to force a woman to give birth against her will.
Peter Brown said…
I think Anonymous just demonstrated my point.

--Peter Brown
Catholic Mom said…
I believe "Anonymous" is from the Center for the Advancement of Capitalism, of which Mr. Provenzo is the president. The commenter was referred to my blog from Mr. Provenzo's blog sitemeter. This is a password protected site so only Mr. Provenzo or others who have administrative access to his blog would have been able to make that comment. As I said, I do not want to make personal attacks in response to Mr. Provenzo's article. I want to offer a rebuttal to the philosophy behind such an article. If Anonymous would like to continue to contribute to the discussion, I would appreciate it if he would identify himself and further explain why he considers me such a "vicious and contemptible" person because I acknowledge an inviolable human dignity in every person from the moment of his conception to the moment of his natural death.
Hans Lundahl said…
Selfish to have children? Indeed, they can be useful on one's older days. If this be less directly the case with a Downs' syndromer, it is the more indirectly so.

I spoke to a man who had survived several stepsiblings, he being only carnal son of a woman who could have no more, but adopted Downs' syndromers, so that they, coming to heaven, might pray for their brother.
I imagine Margaret Sanger absolutely rejoicing over nonsense like this.
Thank you for passing this on. I have always had a heart for those with Down syndrome; I positively cannot imagine a world without them in it.

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