Both the Saint Paul and Minneapolis papers ran an identical story on June 5 related to new prenatal tests on the genetic makeup of pre-born children: New earlier blood test for Down syndrome pregnancies may bring women comfort — or conflict.
The ramifications of what is presented in this article are huge for parents and churches and society at large.
But this article highlighted something really delightful: a woman passionately committed to her baby.
Witkowski, who prayed as that needle was slipped into her swollen belly in 2009, got her answer: It was Down syndrome. As her doctor gave her the news, her baby kicked her and “I could see my belly move,” she recalled.
Her doctor started talking immediately about abortion, a step Witkowski rejected. She changed doctors and gave birth to Grady in February 2010.
“When they first gave him to me,” Witkowski said, “I saw tiny little hands, and he had the most beautiful eyes… He didn’t have `Down syndrome’ stamped on his forehead. He cried and he peed and he pooped. He was a baby.”
New prenatal testing is getting cheaper and more widely available. But it is not something to fear when we know that good decisions can be made, like in this case! And those good decisions can be made even when those in authority, like doctors, are offering really, really bad alternatives.
There are those to whom we grant authority over us, like doctors and social workers and university professors and even some pastors, who are vocally against life with disability rather than for it. That doctor, whether because of training or because of bias, immediately started talking about abortion because our society has turned against people with disabilities.
Was that doctor going to be as vocal about the humanity of that baby or about the entire possible spectrum of how that child’s life could turn out? In addition to all of the struggles, and there will be many, are parents really being told the entire truth about their situation? This article also notes that studies show doctors emphasize the negative ramifications of the diagnosis.
And who will tell these parents the truth about God’s sovereignty over all things and all circumstances?
Obviously this young mother knew something that doctor didn’t – she was carrying a baby, not ‘Down syndrome.’
May God be pleased to encourage many, many more who behave like Erin Witkowski of Port Jervis, N.Y.!