Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Life Over Limitations

I recently had a mutually respectful discussion with a friend about children with special needs and whether or not they would be better off aborted. This friend, like many of us, had questioned whether these children could enjoy the same quality of life as you or I. While there is a sense of compassion in that question - in that we want everyone to have the same opportunities as we do - the solution of abortion to that question is not compassionate because it denies these children a chance of ever living up to their potential. Abortion denies children of life, love and the opportunity to have a family and future of their own. Who are we to unjustifiably predict their future and then deny them a chance of a better future? It's unreasonable and unethical to do so. Offering no chance at all instead of giving everyone (regardless of circumstances) a chance at life is our failure as a society.

We really need to ask ourselves this question: "Would we kill a born child, or eliminate them from existence based on special needs, birth defects or convenience?" No, of course we wouldn't! So why then should we kill or eliminate a pre-born child based on these reasons? Science (not religion) tells us that the pre-born are human beings from the moment of conception. So if we extend protection and dignity to those human beings living outside the womb then we should extend that same protection and dignity to those human beings living inside the womb. If our personhood is based on abilities someone will always get left out, but if we base our personhood - our intrinsic value - on the one thing that binds us all together, which is our membership of the human race, then we are all protected - it is the one thing we all share in common.

When we hear the label "special needs" we automatically think of all the challenges that may come along with special needs but do we stop to think about the fact that there is a valuable child longing to be loved and cared for behind that label? These children are special not because of their disabilities but just because they are unique individuals. Some may require more care than others, but nonetheless they deserve our love and care. Have we considered that it's not that these children can't rise up to their full potential but it is that we aren't willing to help them reach it? We should be making an effort to provide these children with opportunities, not eliminating them from existence before they've even had a chance to show what they are capable of.

Here is a short video of a few of these special needs children who have blessed the lives of their families. I don't know how anyone could look at the faces of these precious children and still believe that any child, regardless of their circumstances would be better off dead. We must accept that this is exactly what abortion declares. Let's educate others and share the love and compassion of abortion alternatives - like adoption - because every child deserves a family and a chance to give and receive love.

I want to leave you with one last powerful story. Nick Vujicic was born with Tetra-amelia, a rare disorder characterized by the absence of all four limbs. He and I are the same age and it's safe to say he has accomplished more things than I have in his lifetime despite his challenges, which reinforces the concept of Life Over Limitations and the importance of not writing people off before we've even given them a chance to succeed. Nick is living proof of how God doesn't make mistakes...he motivates with miracles.

Here is a quick glimpse of Nick's inspirational life....

I hope that this gave you an opportunity to better understand your own stance on this issue. Perhaps these are things you never considered before. My hope is that you now have a greater appreciation for ALL life.

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