|The Levy Children|
So as you know by now when I see or hear about something that I feel strongly about, I find it hard to stop thinking about it. This weekend, entirely by chance I was directed through a twitter link to an article about an American Couple.
Deborah and Ariel Levy are what would appear to be any normal parents. Mum and Dad to two sons and a daughter, living their everydays lives in America. Look a little closer and you see that their daughter has Downs Syndrome. Their daughter Kalanit is now four years old with two older brothers. So what's the problem I hear you ask? They are suing their healthcare provider for 'wrongful birth' saying they would have aborted their daughter if they had known she had Downs Syndrome. Yes, it's one of the most disgusting thing's I've ever heard.
The couple conceived Kalanit when Deborah was 39 years old so they were keen to have all the tests that would act as a warning to conditions including Downs Syndrome. As we all know, mothers over 35 years old are at increased risk of their child having Downs Syndrome. So doing the sensible thing the Levy's had the tests. Although the scans did show some things to be concerned about the amnio test came back clear so all seemed to be well. However sadly after Kalanit was born she was diagnosed with the syndrome and it was realised that the amnio had actually removed tissue from the mother not from the fetus. Hence why it came back clear when Kalanit had the condition.
So fast forward four years and the family are now suing their healthcare providers for over $3 million dollars for their daughters 'wrongful' birth.
This case has really played on my mind since I read it. I find it deeply disturbing and also increadably sad for this little girl. Her parents are not only standing in front of a Judge and a court, to tell them they wish they had aborted the child and therefore technically would prefer it if she wasn't alive. No, they are also standing on the worlds stage and saying this too! It's the biggest insult to so many other people. It insults the parents of children with Down's Syndrome, illnesses and disabilities as well as those people who are unable to conceive at all. In fact I think it insults any parent.
In my opinion every child is a gift, a blessing. And my twitter friend Sarah Bage @LittleFellandUs sums it up perfectly. Her son has disabilities and in her blog post here she writes about how having a child who is born with something like this is what it is. It can't be helped, it can't be changed and acceptance in imperative. The Levy's are standing there trying to throw blame around for something that can't be blamed on anyone. I find this typical of today's society-always got to have someone to blame rather than accepting the facts and moving on. People always have to have someone to blame and point the finger at.
The Levy's say they love their daughter as much as their other children but I find myself asking, how can this possibly be true?! They are telling the entire planet they wish they never had their daughter! It's a disgrace to her life that she is allowed to live with them if you ask me. I think they should send Child Protective Services in over this (the American version of social services) and remove the child from their care. Place her with someone who is happy and loving and accepting of her the way she is. In my experience with children with Downs Syndrome (which admittedly isn't vast) they are the most loving, kind and wonderful children. Equally as capable of happiness as any other child.
Now not for one minute am I disregarding how difficult it must be to parent a child who suffers from Downs Syndrome or any other condition. No way. In fact I salute parents like that and think they do amazing jobs. And in all honesty when many of them recieve that earth shattering news about their child, I'm sure in their darkest moments they consider abortion or question whether they should have followed that path. I think that is understandable. Whatever decesions they make, what for me is wrong and not understandable is to then blame the world for it and stand and say on the world stage that you wish your daughter wasn't alive. Because effectively that's what they are doing-remember the court case is for 'wrongful birth'.
Kalanit's brothers love her and accept her and I think the parents could learn a lesson here about pure, true love if they only spent the time looking closely enough to see their daughter is beautiful and loving rather than a drain on their finances. I think it's important to think of people like Chris Burke a well known actor and goodwill ambassador who was born with Down's Syndrome. He is the perfect example of how a child with Downs Syndrome can excel and acheive as much as any other child with the love, guidance and support of their parents. I find myself asking how much Kalanit will be encouraged to acheive by parents who wish she wasn't there?
So my lovely readers what do you make of this? Are you as shocked and disgusted as I am, or do you think I'm looking at this from the wrong point of view? I would be interested to hear your thoughts.
For now I'm going to leave you with the link HERE for the original article if you want to read it.
Love Chloe xx