After glamour model Katie Price gave birth to her son Harvey at age 23, she learned that he had a series of disabilities: a rare genetic condition called Prader-Willi syndrome, autism, ADHD and blindness.
Thirteen years later, Price talked about her struggles raising a disabled child on the British talk show Loose Women, and made a comment that caused outrage on social media, according to The Daily Mail.
During the show, which aired Tuesday, Price said if she had known about Harvey’s conditions before he was born, she probably would have given into her fears and aborted him. Price was 23 when Harvey was born, according to the report.
“I was young when I had Harvey and I admit it: If I’d have known he was blind when I had him, as harsh as it sounds, I probably would have aborted him,” Price said.
“Now it’s like, oh my god, no way,” she continued. “Now if they said I was going to have a child with disabilities, I would definitely keep it. I would even adopt a child with disabilities. … I absolutely love Harvey so much. I would never change anything about him. Yes, it’s challenging, but it’s also rewarding. He’s a great character and I love him. I don’t think anyone should be ashamed at all if they’ve got a child with disabilities.”
However, many people were angry that Price even mentioned aborting Harvey and criticized her remarks on social media. Price responded that her comments were taken out of context.
“Harvey is my life and I am so proud of him!” she tweeted.
Blogger Leigh Edwards defended Price for sharing the real fears that families face and admitted that she, too, would have considered abortion if she had known her son had Down syndrome before he was born, according to The Independent.
Edwards described herself as “dazed” and afraid when she took her son home from the hospital. She was 23 years old and unsure how to bring up a child with special needs, she said.
“For all the pros on the table – the love and bond that I would share with my child, and the reward of raising my son and watching him grow, the cons would have won,” Edwards said. “I’m not ashamed to admit it; at that time, the fear of not knowing how good or bad things could be would have terrified me.”
“If women like Price pretended like they’d never had such thoughts just to please others, then who will there be to let other women in similar situations know that they’re not alone, and that they shouldn’t be ashamed?” Edwards continued.
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Like Price, Edwards said she never would choose abortion today, after realizing how valuable her son’s life is. Unfortunately, Edwards ended by saying other women still should have a “choice” to abort disabled babies.
Edwards’ and Price’s stories are reminders of the fears many parents face when doctors diagnose their unborn baby with a disability. Parents fear that they won’t know how to care for their child or their child will suffer. Abortion advocates, and sometimes doctors, play into these families’ fears and recommend abortion.
Yet, many of these fears are rooted in the unknown, as Price implied. Her story is an example of how important education, encouragement and support are in helping families overcome their fears and recognize the value of every child.