The book is called, "The Least of These" and is written by Curt Young (1984). The subtitle of the book is "What Everyone Should Know About Abortion". (I know...not exactly bedtime reading.) Young writes from a strong pro-life perspective. One chapter in particular was particularly disturbing to me in that it discusses what Young calls a legacy of abortion. I will simply quote Young here:
Within months after the Supreme Court's decision [Roe v. Wade], pediatricians began arguing for public acceptance of infanticide for newborns with birth defects or handicaps. Appearing in leading medical journals, their articles carried the imprimatur of the medical establishment. The published pieces were not theoretical in nature. They revealed the willingness of physicians to bring on the deaths of handicapped newborns...(p. 110, emphasis mine)It sounds unthinkable, and yet Young cites several cases in practice. One doctor in particular approached parents and told them their child would never be more than a "vegetable" and that they should withhold care. One such child had Cerebral Palsy but was eventually able to walk under his own power and earned straight A's on his first report card.
It raises an interesting point for me. For about a year now I've been wondering when the cause of autism will be discovered, and at some level wishing there were a test that would show definitively whether or not a child is affected by it. We already screen for so many disorders at birth, why not find a way to add autism to the list? The current diagnosis system is simply inadequate, sometimes leaving parents wondering for years what is happening with their child. However, I am now wondering if screening at birth (or before) would really be so beneficial for ASD children. In fact we already screen for Down Syndrome before birth, and many feel that a woman is justified in choosing abortion if their child tests positive. I'm sure you all followed the stir surrounding Sarah Palin and her son Trig. Autism is so misunderstood that early screening might be a death sentence for thousands.
Quite simply given all I have written about God's heart for children with special needs, it seems that we need to be their voice from the very beginning, that they might have the opportunity to participate in life itself.
Part one Inclusion
Part two Inclusion
Part three Inclusion
Part four Inclusion