Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Lurching Down the Slippery Slope

Kathleen Parker, one of my favorite Southern Lady opinion journalists, has a column this week titled
Abortion's Dead Poets'Society. She cites the following statistics:

The week before...Britain's Sunday Times reported that more than 20 babies had been aborted in advanced stages of gestation between 1996 and 2004 in England because scans showed they had clubfeet. Had these parents never heard of Dudley Moore, the British actor who also had a clubfoot?

Another four babies were aborted because they had extra digits or webbed fingers, according to the same story. In 2002, a baby was aborted at 28 weeks because of a cleft palate. Last year, a 6-month-old fetus was aborted when ultrasound revealed that part of a foot was missing, according to the Times.

The most maddening aspect of this trend is that all of these deformities are minor and, in our time, treatable. Yet to some people, accepting a slightly less than perfect child is apparently too much to ask. So, I suppose, is making some sacrifices to treat and rehabilitate a child.

Parker refers to a number of well-known people, from Lord Byron to figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi, whose minor handicaps did not prevent them from leading full, productive lives. And those are just some of the famous ones. We all know people who are slightly less than 'perfect,' whatever that is (heck, I've got some kids who would fit that description.) Should they not have been born?

What kind of parent creates such expectations for a child? How will they deal with it later if their 'perfect' baby turns out to be not so perfect?

My God, where will it all end?



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