Apparently, a few people who got their hands on my post from the other day, Better Off Dead, took it completely at face value and didn’t understand that I was using sarcasm and dark humor to get a point across. As of this writing, that post has been viewed 964 times; it’s been linked to and shared on Facebook, which I think is super cool, because my intention was to make an impact. I guess my oversight was in assuming that everyone who read it would get it (and the vast majority do appear to have gotten it, thank goodness). I thought the juxtaposition of the photos, plainly showing how much Finn is valued by our family, with the stinging words I wrote would get across a certain point: that I am outraged and appalled that new prenatal tests are being developed and savvily marketed in order to boost the bottom line for the companies that develop and manufacture them – and at what cost? The cost of humanity. The cost of human life.
I tried to make this point by speaking from a point of view that I assume those companies would have me speak: I should have undergone prenatal screening; my son was a mistake; this all could have been avoided. Isn’t that what these companies, and even the medical community who urge their pregnant patients to undergo these tests, want us to think? Or do you think they’re acting out of some sense of compassion – that they just want to offer families a chance to be prepared, and to that end, they have every intention of providing accurate, well-rounded, up-to-date information about what it actually means to have Down syndrome?
I thought that by writing an outrageous post, people would get how outrageous the whole thing is, and how appalled we should all be at the way financial gain now trumps humanity.
I’ve written before about prenatal screenings, and abortion, and my feelings on those issues: I’m not against prenatal screenings per se, just the apparent intent behind them and the way they are generally handled. I remain staunchly pro-choice, but I don’t believe a real choice is being made if full, accurate information isn’t being provided. Time and time again I’ve read that somewhere in the neighborhood of 90% of prenatally diagnosed cases of Down syndrome end in termination of the pregnancy. What does that mean? It means that women and families are still being fed ugly, worst-case scenario, outdated information about Down syndrome. That’s not providing an opportunity for real choice.
In hindsight, I can sort of see how if that post was the first and only glimpse someone got of me and my blog, it might not sit well with them. I sort of get that. I’m still taken aback that just a little bit deeper of a look wouldn’t reveal it for what it was. And if you take even a short little trip around my blog, you can see that I am sarcastic. I’m not your garden-variety Down syndrome blogger; I’m atheist, I use swear words, I use sarcasm, I rant, and I generally get my hands dirty. Sometimes I talk about things that make some people uncomfortable. I make no apologies. Underneath it all, my son means everything to me, just as all of my children do. And I will continue to fight tirelessly to have his place in the world respected.