The recent decision to award an Oregon couple $2.9 million from a ‘wrongful birth’ lawsuit has left me feeling like there’s actually some good news embedded in this story.To read the rest of John's thoughts, go here.
Four years ago a little girl was born with Down syndrome. Her mother had received testing and would have aborted her little girl if the results had shown evidence of Down syndrome. But somebody made a mistake with the test, the mother was told her baby was fine, and the little girl was allowed to live.
So the couple sued, stating they now needed significant financial resources to care for a girl who they otherwise would not have wanted before she was born. A jury agreed.
Here’s the good news from that article: “These are parents who love this little girl very, very much,” Miller said (their attorney). “Their mission since the beginning was to provide for her and that’s what this is all about.”
I don’t know if ‘that’s what this is all about’ or not. Comments and blogs have vilified these parents for their openness about wanting to abort. Yes, I find their initial thinking about abortion to be horrifying as well.
But somewhere along the way they learned to love this child. She went from being unknown to being known. She entered a family and was given a name. And today she is loved.
Abortion is an act of violence against a small human being who cannot defend herself; that is reason enough to be against it. But it is also a final act – that small human being will never be known.
Those of us who have already decided against abortion are frequently dismissed as deluded or guided strictly by manufactured sentiment – of course we’ll see value in and love a child with disabilities.
But this couple was willing and preparing to abort if disability was found – yet love their child today. They cannot be dismissed by abortion proponents so easily.
We also saw the same change in the wrongful birth case in south Florida last summer, in which the parents were awarded $4.5million because the ultrasound technicians and doctor denied them the opportunity to abort their son by not diagnosing his missing arm and leg prior to birth. In that case, the mother was asked, "Does his life have value?"
Her response? "Yes, a lot of value. Great value."
While I disagree with a lot in these cases, I can't disagree with that.