In Ireland, someone told a woman with two autistic children that she should have aborted them. Here’s the story followed by two points I have with this.
Suggesting Eugenic Abortion
An Irish Website, NewsTalk, posted the story:
Samantha Kenny, from Athy in Co Kildare, says the letter targeted her family after she campaigned for back to school guidelines for children with autism…
She told Newstalk Breakfast she has reported the issue to Gardaí [Irish national police].
“Initially I was kind of shocked and my stomach just dropped because you don’t expect that kind of stuff to come through your door.
“I do a lot of campaigning online and I’ve had a few nasty things said to me online, but I never expected a letter to arrive through the door.”
The Actual Letter
From her Facebook Post, the actual text said:
I can’t believe you had another kid after having 2 with autism, you must have been smoking and drinking and have no brains. Now you have a child that is in pain and suffering. What kind of Monster are you, did you even hear of abortion. You must be very stupid.
Don’t Fake Catholicism
Say No to Eugenic Abortion
Society has already decided to abort most babies with Down syndrome. As prenatal diagnoses increase this will probably extend to other conditions. Also, some (like this author) want parents of disabled kids to abort future pregnancies. I’ve written about this before so will just quote from one of those articles.
Pope Francis referred to aborting disabled children in June 2018, saying: “I’ve heard that it’s fashionable, or at least usual, that when in the first few months of pregnancy they do studies to see if the child is healthy or has something, the first offer is: let’s send it away.”
In this speech, Pope Francis pulls no punches, comparing this practice to Nazism: “the murder of children…to get a peaceful life an innocent [person] is sent away…We do the same as the Nazis to maintain the purity of the race, but with white gloves.” He then notes, “It’s an atrocity but we do the same thing.”
In April 2020, Pope Francis was answering a question about how countries could show respect for human life in their coronavirus response. He jumps to the throwaway culture pointing to abortion of babies with Down syndrome as a prime example:
In the world of finance it has seemed normal to sacrifice [people], to practice a politics of the throwaway culture, from the beginning to the end of life. I’m thinking, for example, of prenatal selection. It’s very unusual these days to meet Down’s Syndrome people on the street; when the tomograph [scan] detects them, they are binned. It’s a culture of euthanasia, either legal or covert, in which the elderly are given medication but only up to a point.
On top of Pope Francis, right after condemning abortion, the Catechism (2276) notes that we need to help the disabled live well: “Those whose lives are diminished or weakened deserve special respect. Sick or handicapped persons should be helped to lead lives as normal as possible.” This paragraph starts the section on euthanasia. The eugenic abortions based on prenatal tests would be both euthanasia and abortion at the same time.
I hope that situations like this can help forge cooperation between pro-life and disability rights groups who could be great allies on this and euthanasia.
We need to help mothers of autistic children like Samantha Kenny to get the support they need at school. We should never discriminate against them suggesting eugenic abortions.
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