Sunday, September 25, 2011

Down Syndrome, Dignity, and Abortion

My aunt Sheila with 9 of her brothers and sisters.
As a speech-language pathologist working in a school, 10% of the students I see were born with Down Syndrome.  I love the kids, and I love their parents.  My aunt Sheila, now in her forties, was born with Down Syndrome too.  One of twelve kids, my grandparents, dad, aunts and uncles, recognized Sheila for who she was, and is - another indispensable member of our family, with her own inborn set of strengths and weaknesses.  Sheila is adored by our family, as are the kids I work with who have Down Syndrome by theirs.  Why do I even feel the need to write that out?  Shouldn't it be a given?  It should, but in Europe and the United States, when a prenatal screening identifies a child as having Down Syndrome, that child is aborted 92% of the time!  Now believe me, I have an idea of the unique challenges parents and families of kids and adults with Down Syndrome face; but we're talking about human beings - my aunt, the little boy I'm building sentences with, the girl who is now communicating with her mom through sign language.  These people that I love are survivors of a genocide, a silent genocide taking place all around us.  We need to speak up and expose it for the atrocity it is.


  1. Well said, Shane! Bless you for all you're doing in the service of Christ.

  2. Hello !
    I was touched by the fact your aunt was one out of ten ! That's the case for our son (DS) 15 years old, number ten in the family
    You might enjoy the video on our website
    God bless you !

  3. Thank you so much for your comment about the Fraternites Notre-Dame. You are the first person to tell me about these communities. How incredible!! I passed along the information in its own blog post.

  4. Did you post the extended version of this post anywhere?

    Now wouldn't that be a fun retirement hobby-- to be a house parent at a Christian-based group home! Ministry never has a retirement;)

  5. Sarah,
    The piece that you were kind enough to look at came about after this one. I am still getting feedback and mulling it over. I do think it will be divided into at least two pieces though - thanks to your advice.
    This would be such a cool gig after my time in the school system! I seem to recall Tom Linares musing over something similar too.