I frankly am not surprised that 80% of fetusus with severe disabilities are aborted, as two senators affirm and a Harvard study reports (below). But I must admit that it raises questions:
- Are we silently and secretly trying to create a society devoid of children or people with severe disabilities?
- Do parents have enough information when they decide to abort fetuses that have a high probability of severe disability?
- Are too many families today deprived of the "privilege" of a severely developmentally disabled child and of trying to find a meaning or make a meaning out of the experience?
- Where should the line between life and death be drawn? How do you define severe disability?
My brother, severely mentally retarded, was institutionalized from age four until his death in his early fifties. My uncle, Mac Secrest, recently wrote about this traumatic experience for my family in his autobiography, "Curses and Blessings." See "Plotting to Euthanize His Nephew."
Since I wasn't yet born, I can perhaps discuss the experience with some detachment.