selective abortion and ableism.

December 4, 2014 ginginbonbon

I’ve been reading about selective abortion and ableism, and I have some disjointed thoughts about it, and don’t know where to put them. so, apologies, they will go here.

first of all, I’m not sure about reproduction as a social justice activity. maybe this is just me, but the decision to have kids? makes no sense on any level except as a biological impulse. it has its own rationale, too; its own sense of what’s “right” and not so right. if I’m gonna have kids, I need them to survive when I am gone. I want them to be able to care for their own children. I feel that I have a responsibility to all of them. I also feel that the opportunity to reproduce is limited by time and resources. it’s not fair, but there it is.

my second train of thought leads me to ask certain writers a few questions:

are you a parent? do you know the amount of work that goes into raising a non-disabled child?

are YOU going to be changing shitty diapers on a twelve year-old? a twenty year-old?

have you lost a child? would you advocate that other parents knowingly put themselves through that? for any reason, let alone a political one?

part of me doesn’t want to disagree bc in theory, it _is_ ableist to abort a disabled fetus. but anger on behalf of these fetuses is meaningless in context. we are pro-choice bc the alternative is unacceptable. so how is it any different when the alternative (being forced to have the child) is even more difficult for everyone involved?

if we can be real for a minute, I’m willing to put it out there that in a significant proportion of families, the bulk of the care work falls especially on moms and grandmothers. and unless you have been living under a rock you know just how much judgment these primary caregivers have to deal with every single day, every time they go out in public with kids, every time they look at the internet. and yet, no one is a harsher critic than we moms are on ourselves, usually. these articles always say we need better support for people with disabilities and their families, that it’s not about shaming women for (ableist) selective abortions. but we don’t actually have a fair and just society. and if you just want to say the former, then why frame it with the latter? no one benefits from that at all.

children don’t ask to be born, as they say. doesn’t this include disabled children?


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