I can’t even believe what I just read. Gillian Relf, the mother of a 47-year-old man with Down syndrome, publicly said she wishes she’d had an abortion. Her son has made her life so difficult, she wishes he had never been allowed to live.
Can you actually claim to love someone and wish they were dead at the same time?
If that’s not horrifying enough, she spoke “in support of the 92 per cent of women who choose to abort their babies after discovering they have Down’s syndrome.” Parents of children with Down syndrome (including my own parents!) have shown the greatest demonstration of selfless love I’ve ever seen. To read this mom’s statements that are so opposite is just stunning.
I’m so glad someone chose to respond to this woman. Instead of furiously lashing out, Dan Calabrese says Gillian deserves credit for caring for her son for 47 years, arranging places for him to stay and defending him against abuse. She and her husband’s marriage survived when many don’t. No one can live 47 years in another person’s shoes, and we can’t judge the difficulty of another person’s life or how it makes them feel.
But, Dan says:
It’s not judging to offer an assessment of the assertion she chose to make publicly. And her assertion is monstrous.
No one who ever lived was guaranteed a carefree and easy life, and often the course of your life is determined by the issues that characterize those you love.
What’s really awful is Gillian’s belief that “it’s possible and even permissible for one human being to judge the worthiness of another human being to live, based on a ‘quality of life’ metric that turns heavily on whether the human in question causes any sort of inconvenience for the one doing the judging.”
In other words, she’s saying, I deserve a happy, comfortable life, and if you get in the way, I can take away your right to live.
That’s just not right. Every person has dignity because we’re all made by our Creator who loves us. And He has a plan for everyone’s life – both Stephen’s and his mom’s.
My family probably wouldn’t have chosen to have a child with Down syndrome. But God gave us Trig – and our family wouldn’t be complete without him! Now, I realize that kids with Down syndrome are amazing and wonderful – we are soooooo blessed to have him in our lives.
My heart just breaks for this woman’s son, Stephen. He may not be able to care for himself any more than a toddler, but even toddlers would know if their mom would rather them be dead.