Grey Area

****I should forewarn everyone, this story is going to be controversial. It will deal with genetic disorders, abortion and will have a video at the end. If you don't want to read the story, the video at the end is very heart warming and about the relationship between two brothers. Please watch it *****

My story starts 16 years ago. My aunt was pregnant with her fourth child, a son. My aunt and uncle were towards the end of their fertile years, and probability of problems with the baby were higher as is well known. At their final ultra sound, they found out that their son could possibly have birth defects and that the ultra sound gave some evidence the baby might have a genetic problem and that they the hospital were very sorry for their loss. My aunt was enraged by their wording. Her child was not dead. They suggested aborting the baby. But, my aunt, having already had three children would not hear of it. She carried the baby to term. Finally, the day came where she gave birth to her child. He was a little wrinkly, but a cute, if small baby. The doctor took him to be cleaned and came back to talk with my aunt. After some tests, they found out that my cousin Andrew had autism, down syndrome and epilepsy. He would have seizures for his whole life. Once again the doctor offered condolences as if Andrew was dead somehow. The doctor said my aunt should give him up to a home because having him would be too stressful on her family. It was unlikely that he would ever speak. At this point my aunt was livid. This was her child, she had carried him and whether he was different or not, she would not abandon him. She said to the doctor, " You know, all the medical profession has done since they found out about Andrew is try to get me to get rid of him. Why? His life won't be a good one? He won't talk? Who are you to decide who is good enough to live? Who are you to decide what will make my life hard? I would rather have given birth to a kid like Andrew, than a monster like Paul Bernardo "( for those that don't know, Paul Bernardo is a Canadian Serial killer who abducted teenage girls, raped and murdered them with the help of his wife.) My aunt took Andrew home, and sixteen years later, Andrew knows some sign language, but can't speak. He plays soccer, with kids with down syndrome. Sometimes I try to imagine my cousins without Andrew as a brother, and I can't. I try to imagine myself without Andrew in my life and I can't. He has taught me a lot. He taught me acceptance, and understanding. He taught me more than I can write in this story. But I guess my point is, how do people define a good life. Many people have aborted children because they have genetic disorders.

One day, in my high school philosophy class we were talking about abortion. A kid in my class said we should abort children who wouldn't have a good life making specific reference to children with birth defects like down syndrome. Having the experience I have with Andrew in my life, I told them about the above occurrence. What is a good life? Is it measure by who is normal? I don't think so, if that's the case no one lives a good life. No one fits into what is deemed normal. I think, a life is good if it affects positive change in the lives of others. My cousin Andrew, a person who you deemed should be aborted because he wouldn't have a good life has affected a positive change in the lives of his family. We are more accepting, more aware of the problems children like him face, and more caring. Thanks to him, I have a better life. He has friends, he has love, he participates, and he makes the world a better place. If that doesn't count as a life worthy of living, I don't know what does. I told this to my classmates and my teacher.

I guess the thing that gets me is that, without Andrew in my life, I would have agreed with the people in my class. There is no right answer to abortion, at least I can't find it, but the choice should be available. But it is wrong to assume that any life is not worth living, you can't decide that for someone else. When we abort a child, it is not like that child goes back and has a chance to live again, that's it, that potential person will never exist. So it's a cop out to say, they wouldn't have lived a good life. As I said, the choice is hard, and by no means would I say that the choice should be taken away, but should not be made lightly either.

We look at kids like Andrew and we call them retards, or useless to society. But, why? Human Behaviour can be cruel, anyone can attest to that. I guess I just find it interesting the decisions we make, they all have motives that are rooted in different needs. We all start off as a little clump of cells and grow into these people that judge things that are different, things we don't understand. The point is, you don't know who your kid will grow up to be, you can only hope that they make their lives good ones.

WeAllFallDown WeAllFallDown
18-21, F
Jan 15, 2013