April 18, 2006
Today I visited the Ragged Edge, and discovered that someone had proposed having Blog against Disablism Day on May 1st. The idea is to get as many people as possible to blog on the subject of disablism- discrimination/oppression of people with disabilities. Or conversely, _for_ disability rights. Go to the above site, and leave a comment if you’d like to participate. Then on May 1st, he will link to the posts on the various blogs. So spread the word to as many pro-disability bloggers as you can. (You do not have to be disabled yourself to participate) I found it interesting that May 1st was chosen, given the labor history connected with it. Probably intentional. I may blog on that as well, come May Day.
A while back, I read a horrifying article in the New York Times. A woman gave birth to a disabled child- and because the doctor did not suggest she get prenatal testing, she sued him for “wrongful birth”. That is, if she had known the child would be disabled, she would’ve aborted it, but because she didn’t get that opportunity she sued the doctor for negligence, essentially. It’s not clear from the article whether the couple won the case, but it brings to mind the larger issue of selective abortion. It’s probably good that the child in question likely won’t have the mental ability to figure out one day, in an old newspaper article when doing research at the library, that his parents wish he’d never been born. His siblings may well, however.
I am extremely concerned with this issue and how it affects the future of disabled communities. We can now detect before birth many disorders and conditions- one of the most common being Down’s Syndrome. Unfortunately, often the information parents get is rather limited or negative- many disabilities can range in severity, and the parents fear the worst. Every child is an unknown, but a potentially disabled child is even more of an unknown. It would be nice if parents had the option of connecting with the people living with the condition in question before they made their decision, so they could get a realistic picture of what their child’s life might be like. There is a lot more to say on this.