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A Loving Place, Inside Me

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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

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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

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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

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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 »

Rights Language and the Right

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Over the years, the American political left has excelled at using the vocabulary of rights”human and civil”to bolster and advance its policy objectives. Conservatives would do well to copy them. Building on the successes of the civil rights movement of the 1960s, progressives and Democrats have successfully cloaked their policy platform in rights-based language. In this way the battle over voter ID laws was transformed into a crusade against the resurgence of Jim Crow-era racialism… . Continue Reading »

The Freedom to Homeschool

From Web Exclusives

“It’s a free country.” You used to hear that a lot. Mind if I have the last piece of pie? “It’s a free country.” Mind if I smoke? “It’s a free country.” Too bad it has receded from everyday lingo, replaced by the ubiquitous, meaningless, “Whatever.” Something has been lost. “It’s a free country” was more than just whatever, it was, “Yeah, I mind. But I ain’t gonna stop you.” Isn’t that where the rubber hits the road in a truly free society? … Continue Reading »

Perfecting Prenatal Eugenics

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When I was a kid, it took twenty-four hours to get the results from a simple strep- test. Now it takes minutes. People used to get chickenpox. Now they have a vaccine for it. Usually, medical innovation is a good thing. But as the parent of a little girl with Down syndrome, I find news that geneticists are close to perfecting a noninvasive prenatal test that can map almost all of an unborn baby’s DNA sequence deeply troubling. This test will not be used to make your throat feel better or your leg stop itching. It will be used to abort babies. Lots of them… . Continue Reading »

Pro-Life PETA?

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The public relations staff of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) must think themselves very clever. Earlier this month, in an effort to grab the attention of Americans preparing to celebrate Memorial Day, the animal rights group “barbequed” a topless woman in downtown Houston on a fake grill adorned with the slogan, “Meat Is Murder.” … Continue Reading »

The Gift No One Wants Until They Get It

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Shmuley Boteach, the Orthodox Jewish rabbi and author of bestselling books, is perhaps best known as a friend and adviser to the late “King of Pop,” Michael Jackson. He is also currently a Republican candidate for Congress in Bergen County, New Jersey. This is all to say that he is a man”a religious man, at that”with a voice in the public square… . Continue Reading »