At one time, North Dakota was known for it desolation, its frigid winters and low population. Most people probably had a hard time finding North Dakota on a map. I don't think that's quite the case anymore. People are flocking to North Dakota for jobs. Our state has one of the soundest economies in the country. But even before all of our new-found popularity, I was a proud North Dakotan when it wasn't cool to be one.
|Faith enjoying the sights of the Missouri River in Bismarck, North Dakota|
You might wonder why I'm talking about this on my blog, a place I usually write about what's going on with Faith and our world of special-needs parenting. But one of the bills passed and signed by Governor Jack Dalrymple is very near and dear to my heart - not because it protects unborn babies but it goes further than that. This bill prevents the discrimination of a baby in the womb due to their sex or a genetic abnormality. In other words, it helps protect special needs babies still in the womb.
There are so many arguments that are for terminating a pregnancy when the baby is known to have some sort of defect. And with modern technology and the testing that can be done, ending the life of a baby who would be born with special needs is becoming more and more prevalent. In fact, 90 percent of babies who test positive for Down Syndrome are aborted. That is 9 out of 10 babies. Other abnormalities that can be found while the baby is in utero include congenital heart defects, spina bifida, cystic fibrosis, and trisomy 18. And many times, these babies are aborted as well.
I often wonder if disorders such as autism, depression, anxiety, asthma, allergies, sensory processing disorder and other issues could be detected in the womb, would these babies also be in danger of being killed before getting a shot at life?
Can you imagine what we as Americans would say if a parent killed their two-year-old child because they were just diagnosed with autism? Or their two-day old baby who was found to have hypoplastic left heart syndrome? We would cry out for justice. We would demand that the parent who just killed their child be sentenced to prison. We would hate that parent and be completely befuddled by their actions. "How could a parent kill their own child," we would ask.
Most Americans in this day and age recognize that it is wrong and even unlawful to discriminate against people with disabilities. Did you hear the story of the young boy with Down Syndrome who was at a restaurant with his family and a customer at another table was saying mean things about the little boy? The waiter refused to wait on that customer because of his derogatory remarks towards the little boy. The waiter was hailed a hero for his actions.
How can this be, I wonder? That it is heroic to stand up for a child with special needs when they are out of the womb but it is perfectly acceptable to kill a special needs baby in the womb?
I know it is because people think a woman has a right to do so because it is her body. But it is also because of this type of mentality:
"I had CVS done with both my children. It was the most horrifying procedure I have ever undergone, and I am thankful beyond belief that each time the test revealed a healthy child. But there is no doubt in my mind that, had the test revealed otherwise, it would have been my duty as a parent to terminate the pregnancy and I would have done so immediately."
This mother of two said it would be "her duty as a parent to terminate the pregnancy" had the baby been found to have some sort of abnormality. Funny because I thought that the duty of a parent was to protect the life of their baby at all costs. And that's why we have the mentality we have in society today. It is no longer our duty to protect our children, instead it has become our duty to have the least complicated, most pain-free lives possible - a life that ensures the highest quality of living. We have become the judges who determine which lives are deemed worthy of living.
But here in North Dakota, we along with our legislators and our governor have taken a stand for life. A stand that includes protecting the most vulnerable of vulnerable - babies in the womb with disabilities and genetic abnormalities. I am thankful that our lawmakers have realized that discrimination can and does start in the womb and that we are putting a stop to that. It's just another great reason to be proud of North Dakota!
|Sunset in Western North Dakota|
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