Sunday, 14 September 2008

Choice? Only If It's The Right One

This story is a few days old, but I found it belatedly and some of you may not yet have seen it. It regards US VP nominee Sarah Palin's decision not to terminate a pregnancy knowing that the baby would be born with Down syndrome.
Particularly troubling is the opinion of André Lalonde, executive vice-president of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada(!)
...Ms. Palin's widely discussed decision to keep her baby, knowing he would be born with the condition, may inadvertently influence other women who may lack the necessary emotional and financial support to do the same...
Dr. Lalonde said that above all else, women must be free to choose, and that popular messages to the contrary could have detrimental effects on women and their families.
"The worry is that this will have an implication for abortion issues in Canada," he said.

Thanks to Felix Hominum for this story. From his blog,
I recall Dr Lalonde's last comments in a national Canadian newspaper. The SOCG began recommending genetic testing for all pregnant women and "automatic" genetic testing for pregnant women over 40. "Choice"? What exactly does it mean to be automatically given a test? Here is what he had to say in comment to the National Post: “Yes, it’s going to lead to more termination, but it’s going to be fair to these women who are 24 who say, ‘How come I have to raise an infant with Down’s syndrome, whereas my cousin who was 35 didn’t have to?'" Think that one through. Carefully.
Dr Lalonde, who says that "above all else, women must be free to choose", seems in fact to be worried by one choice in particular: Sarah Palin's choice to have a child with Down Syndrome.

Obviously, some people who declare themselves to be pro choice really approve only of choices with which they agree. (BTW, check out the beautiful picture at the end of the aforelinked Felix Hominum post.)

Take Care

1 comment:

Jonathan D. Groff said...

Yeah, putting aside the religious issue for a the time being, it seems a little hypocritical to say "that above all else, women must be free to choose" when what you mean is that women who are not going to influence others should be free to choose. That is not putting choice "above all else". What Lalonde is really saying is that above all else, no one should have more influence than him on this issue.