My social media news feed in the last month has been filled with wonderful posts about children and adults with Down syndrome. The fact that World Down Syndrome Day was March 21st had something to do with it. Even before those celebrations ramped up, the aborting of unborn children with Down syndrome was in the news. A CBS report featured Iceland’s efforts to “eliminate” Down syndrome through abortion. They hailed the supposed right to abort a child with a Down syndrome diagnosis as “important for women.” While there was appropriate criticism and negative reactions, I loved how so many responded by sharing inspiring stories.
The abortion rate of babies with Down syndrome or other conditions is the subject for another day. However, the posts and articles caused me to think about the disconnect we have in our culture. On one hand, people argue that the right to end lives of disabled, preborn humans is a necessary right. On the other hand, numerous laws, regulations, and cultural pressures demonstrate the value of encouraging people with disabilities to embrace freedom and the resources to live life to the fullest.
Instead of being frustrated by this inconsistency, what if we use it to encourage those we disagree with to think more deeply about what it means? We chose our tagline “Because Everyone Deserves an Advocate,” because we hope to remind you that every one of us, at times, needs someone’s help. We then have a starting point to talk about the uniquely vulnerable people we advocate for — the unborn and those who are at risk from infanticide, physician-assisted suicide, and euthanasia. An advocate is someone who pleads on someone else s behalf. That is exactly what we are doing every day.