There is a story on Slate.com that needs to be read, in a subset of articles called DoubleX - women writing about women's issues. This story is about a woman who, had she possessed the right information, would have spared her son his two years of agony and imminent death. I think it sums up a widely-held liberal argument that quality of life is more important than quantity. One of the "choices" that women get to make is whether they think their child's life will ultimately contain nothing more than 100% suffering. Some things just aren't blessings. Sometimes it's cruel to put matters into God's hands.
Read the whole article. It's truly heartbreaking, yet resonates with incredible clarity. It's amazing how well she contrasts her love of her son with the truth that she wishes he was never born. Also read the comments. They are just as insightful - not the pie fight I expected.
This week my son turned blue, and for 30 terrifying seconds, stopped breathing. Called an "apnea seizure," this is one stage in the progression of Tay-Sachs, the genetic disease Ronan was born with and will die of, but not before he suffers from these and other kinds of seizures and is finally plunged into a completely vegetative state. Nearly two years old, he is already blind, paralyzed, and increasingly nonresponsive. I expect his death to happen this year, and this week's seizure only highlighted the fact that it could happen at any moment—while I'm at work, at the hair salon, at the grocery store. I love my son more than any person in the world and his life is of utmost value to me. I don't regret a single minute of this parenting journey, even though I wake up every morning with my heart breaking, feeling the impending dread of his imminent death. This is one set of absolute truths.Then she lays into Santorum. A man who wants strict rules for the country, but obviously has separate standards for his own family.
Rick Santorum, I would like you to meet my child. You should see how beautiful he is; you should see how he suffers, how his parents suffer. And I'd like you to meet me, as well, with my artificial leg and strong body and big, beautiful, complicated life full of friends and books and meaningful work and sex and all kinds of texture and heaps of subtlety and contradiction; in short, a full life. My mother made a choice without knowing she had one. I made a choice without having all the information. Neither choice is bad or good; neither is this one thing or the other.My main arguments for being pro-choice is that making abortion illegal is impossible to enforce uniformly, and the sheer complexity and unpredictability of pregnancy will lead to false convictions. However, here is yet another angle from which to attack. This article will definitely not convert anyone who has already chosen their opinion on the abortion issue, but we should keep such stories in mind when talking to someone who is on the fence.
Quality, not quantity.