Saturday, September 17, 2005

Day three.....

Day Three of the Roberts Confirmation Hearings.

Here is a clip from the transcript of the Roberts Confirmation Hearings that talks about a young man with Down syndrome and our humanity!

"And I want to take another point on that to tell you -- we talked a lot about the disability community, and well we should, and the protection needed for the disability community. And that's important, because I think it really helps people that need help, but it helps the rest of us to be much more human and caring.
Senator Kennedy is helping me with a bill because a number of children never get here that have disabilities. Unborn children prenatally diagnosed with Down's Syndrome and other disabilities -- I don't know if you know this, but there was a recent analysis, and 80 percent to 90 percent of children prenatally diagnosed with Down's Syndrome never get here -- never get here. They're aborted in the system.
And people just say: Look, this child's got difficulties. And we even have waiting lists in America of people, today, willing to adopt children with Down's Syndrome. And we will protect that child -- as well we should, under the Americans with Disabilities Act and other issues -- when they get here.
But so much of the time, and with our increased ability of genetic testing, they don't get here. Diagnosed in the womb, system that encourages this child to be destroyed at that stage -- and this is all in the records.
And we are the poorer for it as a society.
All the members of this body know a young man with Down's Syndrome named Jimmy. Maybe you've met him, even. He runs the elevator that takes the senators up and down on the Senate floors. His warm smile welcomes us every day. We're a better body for him.
He told me the other day -- he frequently gives me a hug in the elevator afterwards. I know he does Senator Hatch often, too, who kindly gives him ties, some of which I question the taste of, Orrin...
... but he kindly gives ties.
HATCH: It doesn't have to get personal...
BROWNBACK: And Jimmy said to me the other day after he hugged me; he said "Shhh, don't tell my supervisor. They're telling me I'm hugging too many people."
BROWNBACK: And, yet, we're ennobled by him and what he does and how he lifts up our humanity and 80 to 90 percent of the kids in this country like Jimmy never get here..............."

I post this because it is a statistic that bothers me greatly. I firmly believe we all have the right to choices, but it breaks my heart to know that many choices are made based on fear, indifference, predudice or what I believe to be the greatest reason, Dr's afraid of being sued, so they paint a picture of doom and gloom and parents make a choice not based on facts.

This clip made me happy to know that our senators are being greeted everyday by a human being that is blessed [as my daughter is] with an extra choromsome and is living proof that a life such as theirs is valuable, endearing and uplifting.

1 comment:

Kim Ayres said...

That 80-90% statistic is too scary, although I can guess it's probably true.

When my wife was pregnant with our son, the doctors messed up the blood results and we were told that there was a high chance that Rogan would be born with DS. Basically everything was put in place for us to have the Amniocentesis and then go ahead with termination.

We thought long and hard before we decided that there was no point in having the amnio because it wouldn't make any difference, and the medical staff seemed surprised.

We found out later about the mix up with the blood results and it turned out that Rogan was born perfectly healthy and without DS.

When my wife was pregnant with our daughter a couple of years later, we didn't have any tests done because we'd already been there. And Meg was born with DS.

Yes it was a shock and surprise, but Meg is Meg and we wouldn't have her any other way.

Like you I am fully behind the right to chose, but it saddens me greatly that so much choice is made in institutionalised supported ignorance