Pro-Life or Pro-Information?

From First Thoughts

Amy Julia Becker is a writer and mother of a child with Down syndrome. For several years she has sought to debunk the frequently reported claim that 90 percent of babies with Down syndrome are aborted. Technically, she’s right. It’s not accurate to say that 90 percent of all babies with Down . . . . Continue Reading »

Don’t Make Down Syndrome A Death Sentence

From First Thoughts

In her Yahoo! Parenting article “I Terminated My Baby with Down Syndrome,” Sophie Horan is not shy about painting her abortion as choice made with her baby’s interests in mind. She claims her unborn baby “deserved better than a life of struggle and frustration due to a condition that he or she would never be able to change.” Bad news, Sophie Horan, this is true for all of us, Down syndrome or no. Continue Reading »

That Our Children May Be Born

From Web Exclusives

A bill before the Indiana state legislature has revived what is becoming a perennialdebate: what information should be provided to pregnant women who receive a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome? The bill in question proposes to ban abortions due to either the sex of the fetus or a prenatal diagnosis of a genetic difference such as Down syndrome. The law would criminalize the actions of doctors who encourage and perform such abortions, not women who obtain them. Continue Reading »

The Down Syndrome Community’s Death Debate

From Web Exclusives

Let’s try an experiment: Imagine you are a high school junior just starting to think about college. You have your heart set on The Big Catholic Football School with A Good Academic Reputation. But your mom and dad want you to have options, so they make you go onto the websites of a few other schools and ask them to send you their application materials. When these arrive in the mail, you toss them into a corner where they sit for months and months. After all, your mind’s already mostly made up—there’s really only one school you’re thinking of going to. Continue Reading »

Editing Each Other

From Web Exclusives

I am an editor. My job is to improve manuscripts submitted by authors and prepare them for publication. I approach every new piece sceptically. I probe. I attack. I play devil’s advocate. I search for error and dispose of it. Often I rely on instinct. Even when I can’t initially diagnose a problem within a text, I can sense when something’s wrong. In such cases I have to work backward to find the answer. This process can be tricky. Writers have egos. Everyone has preferences. There is no right or perfect way to compose a sentence or structure an argument. Continue Reading »

A Loving Place, Inside Me

From Web Exclusives

I was not at all interested in reading Judy Nicastro’s New York Times op-ed. Not at first, anyway. A piece in any newspaper titled “My Abortion, at 23 Weeks” stands a pretty good chance of ruining my day. But in the Times? Breezy titles like this are usually confined to the posh pages of the Travel section (“My Kashmir Adventure, at 23 Weeks”). Make no mistake: The Times knows what it’s doing… . Continue Reading »

People-First Language

From Web Exclusives

There is a movement gaining steam among advocates for the disabled to spread awareness of so-called “people-first language,” that is, usage that puts a little distance between an individual and his or her physical or intellectual challenges. The goal is to train the government, the media, and the medical professions to learn to talk about “kids with cerebral palsy” or “people with autism … Continue Reading »

Guns, Glee, and Down Syndrome

From Web Exclusives

Last week, Glee aired a “ripped from the headlines” episode meant to capitalize on the debate over gun control. According to the Washington Post, the program featured “long, unsettling stretches of students sitting in the darkness, hiding under tables and desks and sobbing, while leaving devastating video messages for their loved ones … Continue Reading »

Russia’s Cruel Adoption Ban

From Web Exclusives

You may have read that Russian president Vladimir Putin recently signed a new law banning the adoption of Russian children by Americans. Andrea Roberts read the news with “disbelief” and was sure this meant certain death for the dozens of Russian orphans with special needs for whom she helps to find American homes each year… . Continue Reading »

The Down Syndrome Community’s Abortion Rift

From Web Exclusives

It all comes down to abortion. That’s what my late father-in-law always said. No philosophical disagreement, no policy debate, no theological quibble rivals our fundamental and unbridgeable divide on the question of abortion. No other issue carries half as much baggage in the public mind. Not taxes, not health care, not immigration, not war, not peace. In the final tally, it all comes down to abortion… . Continue Reading »