Shunning the Disabled

More than 90 percent of French children prenatally diagnosed with Down syndrome are aborted. Now the French government has decided the mere sight of children with Down syndrome on television is an unhappy intrusion on the national conscience. Continue Reading »

Pro-Life or Pro-Information?

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

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

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 »

An Open Letter to Richard Dawkins

You have a platform, Dr. Dawkins, an audience, and in some real way I’m very grateful that you drew attention to the pre-natal eradication of people with Down syndrome. But you made your point about the ubiquity of Down syndrome abortion in order to defend a terrible assertion. Continue Reading »

The Down Syndrome Community’s Death Debate

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

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 »