The recent decision to award an Oregon couple $2.9 million from a ‘wrongful birth’ lawsuit has left me feeling like there’s actually some good news embedded in this story.
Four years ago a little girl was born with Down syndrome. Her mother had received testing and would have aborted her little girl if the results had shown evidence of Down syndrome. But somebody made a mistake with the test, the mother was told her baby was fine, and the little girl was allowed to live.
So the couple sued, stating they now needed significant financial resources to care for a girl who they otherwise would not have wanted before she was born. A jury agreed.
Here’s the good news from that article: “These are parents who love this little girl very, very much,” Miller said (their attorney). “Their mission since the beginning was to provide for her and that’s what this is all about.”
I don’t know if ‘that’s what this is all about’ or not. Comments and blogs have vilified these parents for their openness about wanting to abort. Yes, I find their initial thinking about abortion to be horrifying as well.
But somewhere along the way they learned to love this child. She went from being unknown to being known. She entered a family and was given a name. And today she is loved.
Abortion is an act of violence against a small human being who cannot defend herself; that is reason enough to be against it. But it is also a final act – that small human being will never be known.
Those of us who have already decided against abortion are frequently dismissed as deluded or guided strictly by manufactured sentiment – of course we’ll see value in and love a child with disabilities.
But this couple was willing and preparing to abort if disability was found – yet love their child today. They cannot be dismissed by abortion proponents so easily.
So I’m praying that the one line – “these are parents who love this little girl very, very much” – will burst like a spotlight through the darkness of another mom and dad considering aborting their child with Down syndrome. May they see that she isn’t a thing to be discarded but a little girl to be loved.
Yes, disability is expensive and complicated and difficult. Most people will struggle with seeing only a disability and a not a real human being.
But this couple have said it – they love their daughter! Not a clump of cells with a genetic anomaly, a little girl!
“Wrongful birth” lawsuits are ridiculous. A decision has been made in Oregon and I hope the medical system fights it.
But let us rather focus on what God has done for this couple and is prepared to do for others in making evident that even the child with disabilities can be loved for who she is.
And let us get rid of evil laws and systems that actively seek to destroy such children before they are given the chance to be known and loved.