Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

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 »

Filter Tag Articles