Benjamin Franklin once said, “Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn.”
Yesterday, Richard Dawkins made the appalling statement that a child with Down syndrome should be aborted because it would be immoral to bring the child into the world if you had the choice.
Usually, I get offended when I read a comment like this but when I saw it last night, I had nothing but pity for him. I pity that he cannot see past his own way of living to realize that there are so many other ways to live. I pity that he has never known anyone that was blessed with an extra copy of chromosome 21. I pity that someone with such intelligence can lack such compassion and empathy.
What is Dawkins afraid of? Is he afraid of seeing the beauty in the world? Is he afraid of seeing that people, no matter how different on the outside, are really the same?
Having a child with Down syndrome is immoral? Wicked? Vicious? Vile? In what world is having a child who is different any of these things? Don’t we strive for our children to be different, to be themselves, to be unique?
Chris Burke is an actor who is best known for playing Corky on Life Goes On. Giusi Spagnolo graduated from university in Europe. Megan McCormick graduated with honors and received her degree in education. Angela Bachiller was elected as a councilwoman and now works at the municipality of Valladolid, Spain. Eli Reimer reached the Base Camp of Mount Everest. Maria Reyes Mermeladas owns a marmalade company in Colombia. Ashley Deramus is a fashion designer. Debora Seabra isn’t only a writer but graduated with a teaching degree. Pablo Pineda graduated with a bachelor degree in education and is a writer, speaker, and actor.
What do all of these people have in common? They all have Down syndrome and they’re all changing the world.
Please, Richard Dawkins, just open your eyes and experience the wisdom, dedication, and passion people with Down syndrome have and you won’t think they’re just a waste of space who should have been aborted. I challenge you and anyone who thinks a fetus diagnosed with Down syndrome should be aborted to actually take the time to get to know someone who has Down syndrome. You might be surprised at what you learn. You just might realize the true value of life.