Sunday, January 14, 2007

They're Coming To Take Us Away


First They Came for the Jews

First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left
to speak out for me.

Pastor Martin Niemöller





Last week, the American College of Gynecologists and Obstetricians, as well as the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada announced that it will soon be offering screening for Down syndrome to all pregnant women, regardless of age.

They are widely touting this testing as a way to ensure pregnant women that their babies are "healthy." All of us who's lives are touched by Down syndrome know better. If the concern was for the health of a child, the intensity of this testing would be focused on better ultrasound screening of a unborn baby's heart, or digestive system, or any number of anomalies that would be apparent on an ultrasound.

A test for chromosomal count does absolutely nothing more than give a chromosome count. That's all. Yet, propaganda dished out by many medical professionals to vulnerable pregnant women convince them that they are ways to ensure a perfect child...that these tests will somehow give them insight into their child's life for the next 20 or 30 or 50 years.

Even the most accurate of tests will tell them very little about their child's future, regardless of whether or not that child has a typical chromosome count.

This week, my nephew and his wife gave birth to a perfect, sweet little baby boy named Cameron.

Cameron's Mom is Jewish, and Cameron will be raised with the Jewish faith and all of its traditions.

Although no one else in our family is Jewish, I can tell you that at just 5 days old, every one of my family would lie down their lives to protect this sweet angel baby. Our entire society would be absolutely appalled if he were to be treated differently because he is Jewish.

History has shown us some very horrible lessons, and we would never, ever, ever, tolerate the eradication of a unborn child because of his religion.

Please pray with me, for my daughter, for the many, many friends she has with T21, that we will be just as appalled at the thought of anyone suggesting for even a moment that our world would be more perfect without them.

Please let our families find a way to get the correct information out to expecting parents; to reach out and share our stories, and to fight the "big guys" -- the medical statisticians who need to see the humanity of what they do.

I did not have Paige because I didn't know. I do not want her despite the fact that she has Down syndrome - I want her because she is my daughter. She is not a burden to our family or to her classmates, or to our society.

She cannot speak a word.

But she has a message.

A message that will not be silenced.


2 comments:

Tara Marie said...

That passage by Pastor Martin Niemöller, always haunts me, as it is truly what is happening in our world in regards the whole 'prenatal' diagnosis of T21.....the unborn children of the future, who are carring that extra magical chromosome on their 21st pair are being targeted......it is so very sad.

I love the motivator of Miss Paige you made...she takes my breath away.

All my love,

Camille said...

Betsy,
As I sit here, alone, at 11:09 p.m., I want to cry. Not because I am sad, or mad, or threatened/ Just because I understand so much how you feel...