When scheming politicians like Sarah Palin use the private lives of their children to sharpen their public policy points — the moderate middle recoils in horror as we begin to realize what she decides for herself is precisely what she wants for the rest of us. Using her Down Syndrome child as the tip of her policy spear, Palin calls abortion an “atrocity,” and she refuses to consider rape or incest in any decision to abort a foetus. Palin wants all pregnancies to end in live births. What the Sarah Palin mandate means for the rest of us is clear and simple and frightening: I had a Down Syndrome baby, and so will you!”
Over 90% of women carrying a Down Syndrome foetus abort the pregnancy and I promise you that 90% is not made up of only liberal women from the East Coast. Conservative women have Down Syndrome abortions because they know it is easier on the family and — in the longer, prescient, view of the disabled foetus — that terminating an ill-conceived pregnancy is better than pressing through a broken birth against the tides and wants of nature.
What’s lost on me in Palin’s strong-armed anti-abortion stance is how she even knew she was carrying a Down Syndrome foetus. All proper doctors will have “the conversation” with pregnant women over 40 about the risk of having a Down Syndrome foetus — but the only way we can currently know if a foetus has Down Syndrome or not is to do an amniotic fluid test. A blood test from the mother alone is not yet an accurate enough indicator for foetal Down Syndrome.
That means Sarah Palin had to agree to the Down Syndrome screening and that’s the hypocritical proof of why so many of us have a problem with her hard marrying of religious and political dogma for her private benefit: If she were truly anti-abortion in all conditions and memes, she never would have had the test done for Down Syndrome. Why have an invasive test if it won’t change your mind about keeping the foetus? Palin had the test. That decision speaks volumes against her anti-abortion stance.
If the idea of having babies is to carry on the gene pool and to make
society a greater place, then must we impale our private values into the greater good of the community?
If we knowingly and willingly give birth to babies that will not contribute to society as working adults in any meaningful or everlasting way — what is the point of extending to those foetuses a future lived on welfare or in sustained public care when their parents are not longer able to tend them?
Are we to become a Pillow Angel and Down Syndrome nation just because we refuse to heed the warnings and insights of modern medicine?
Women must own their bodies and make all decisions concerning that necessary and protected privacy.
Do we wish to doom the hopes and dreams of our young women — raped and abused in the prime of their lives — by then requiring them to carry their unwanted babies to term — Down Syndrome or not — and robbing them of their individual schooling and work hopes by forcing them to tend a crib and a diaper pail that they never wished for or wanted?
Palin’s Down Syndrome child gives her an uppity, scolding, suffering that she can use to push her conservative, anti-abortion message: “I had a Down Syndrome child, and so can you. Yes, you were raped by your father and are having his baby, but I had a Down Syndrome child, and so you can suffer, too.”
When a pit bull attacks — do we just bark or are we required so stand up and bite back?