Engrained in the pro-abortion culture is a mindset that believes some lives are more valued than others. What’s dangerous is how this belief can permeate our culture in such subtle and covert ways. Sometimes we don’t even realize it. And there’s one phrase in particular that seems innocent, but can actually be a gateway into abortion.
Sarah Watts is the mother of a little boy who has spina bifida. When she was pregnant, she encountered the words that soon began to haunt her. Sarah articulates it in the thought-provoking title of her blog post, “As Long As It’s Healthy, But What If It’s Not?” With the prenatal diagnosis of her son, Sarah knew what parents face when a child is considered “not healthy.” Suddenly the phrase, “as long as it’s healthy” took on a new meaning. She offers a reality check as she explains:
“Everyone’s happy for a new baby and congratulations are in order—but only under certain criteria. And if a baby doesn’t meet that criteria, well, all bets are off… People start whispering. Doctors start talking about going in another direction. Changing the course of the pregnancy. Disrupting the pregnancy. Termination. Because, clearly, if your child isn’t picture-perfect, a SWIFT DEATH is preferable.”
She’s right. This is exactly the mentality fueling the notion that abortion’s acceptable, moral, merciful and to some “a sacred right.” Even the medical community frequently resorts to recommending abortion. Those with disabilities or disadvantages are seen as better off dead.
The truth is that we’re not only devaluing pre-born life; we’re also diminishing the lives of those who’re living with disabilities. Are their lives less valuable simply because they’re living with challenges? No, these people are precious and significant to society. They’re filled with potential, passion and talents that go far beyond any diagnosis. Rather than be minimized, they deserve to be celebrated as these two young men are.
Can you imagine a young blind man in a wheelchair performing in a marching band? It’s true! Patrick Henry Hughes was born without eyes and had severe disabilities. Yet, his parents persevered and committed to giving him just as many opportunities as any child. Patrick Henry gravitated toward music and was quite talented with the piano and trumpet. While attending the University of Louisville, he joined the marching band. But he wasn’t on the sidelines. The drills were designed so Patrick Henry’s father could push his wheelchair through the formations. When I asked him if his disabilities detracted from his quality of life, he said, “No, as a matter of fact they’ve been a blessing.” Be encouraged by Patrick Henry’s perspective and see him in action in an episode of Facing Life Head-On called, “A Life Full of Potential.”
As a baby, DJ McCollum survived being set on fire. However, he suffered profound disabilities, was missing both of his feet, his right hand and ear, had little hearing, no speech and was covered in scars. Pro-death advocates would certainly argue that his life should’ve been mercifully ended rather than made to endure such tragic circumstances. Can someone like DJ have any quality of life? Absolutely. I’ve met DJ and he’s a very happy person. At the age of seven, DJ was placed with his adoptive mother, Pat. Within days, he captured her heart and she became his greatest advocate. DJ has now graduated high school and is moving forward with his life. He’s being taught sign language and has learned to walk on his prosthetic legs. Plus he attends life skills training every day. Witness the joy and excitement in DJ’s life as his story is shared in “Fostering Special Needs: A Special Adoption Story.”
These are just two examples of the countless individuals who’re living with disabilities and enriching the lives of those around them. “Being healthy” has no bearing on their ability to love or be loved. Health does not determine a person’s worth.
In closing, Sarah makes a heartfelt plea we all should listen to, “It’s time to stop putting health on a pedestal. We need to move past this fatalistic attitude we have that says a life with a disability is tragic and hopeless. We need to get over the idea that a handicapped baby is better off dead… Come on society. We’re better than that.” I couldn’t agree more.
LifeNews.com Note: Bradley Mattes is the executive director of Life Issues Institute, a national pro-life educational group.