Monday, January 22, 2007

Will on Down Syndrome and Abortion

Senior Conservative Pundit and Bow-Tie-Wearer George Will is always articulate. But he is never more so than on those occasions, like this week, when he reflects on what his son Jon's life should mean for the practice of abortion in this country. Jon Will, born a year before Roe v. Wade, is a citizen with Down syndrome (the Wills object to the phrase "suffers from Down syndrome," because they don't think that Jon's condition causes him to suffer), the kind of person for whom legalized abortion means deadly peril. We are glad to share one of our many names with him.

We urge the reading of Will's column, not least because it reflects the kind of principled compassion for which conservatives should be known, but also because it's simply well written.

We quote from the conclusion:

Jon has a disability, but he also has some things most men would like to have--season tickets for Nationals and Orioles baseball, Redskins football, Capitals hockey and Georgetown University basketball. He gets to and from games (and to his work three days a week for the Nationals at RFK Stadium) by himself, taking public transportation to and from his apartment.

Jon experiences life's three elemental enjoyments--loving, being loved and ESPN. For Jon, as for most normal American males, the rest of life is details.


Hensel said...

I have an uncle with down syndrome who is like a brother to me. For the past 28 years he has faithfully worked in a packaging plant in Indianapolis. In all 28 years he has missed work fewer than a dozen times. He leaves for a two hour bus ride at 530am and does not return until 530pm. He is financially independent and has more money invested than both of my parents combined.

My mother (who's brother is the aforementioned) had two children, myself and a younger sister. Before my sister's birth my mother was told that there was a strong possibility my sister would be severely mentally handicapped and there would be complications with the pregnancy. She was advised to have an abortion for the safety of her own life. After deliberation my mother decided to give birth regardless. Two weeks late, my sister came out healthy but my mother spent two weeks recovery in the hospital and lost her ability to have more children. My sister is now a Junior at an advanced preparatory school in Indianapolis where she carries a B+ average (better than I had), is the captain on the lacrosse team, is on the swim team, and runs cross country and has no mental defects, save for a hard head (a family trait).

Thought that might enlighten your day.

Bryan D said...

Can we expect a running blogentary on the SOTUA tonight?

JB in CA said...

Thanks, Hensel. You enlightened and brightened my day. Good story.