Thoughts of a Country Preacher

The Monday morning ruminations of a pastor.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Brother's Keeper

In July of 2006, my younger brother James was diagnosed with a lung infection. He was given antibiotics and sent home. Before long, that infection spread to other parts of his body, and a week or so later, at the age of 21, my brother James died of sepsis.
As I sat at his funeral, I thought about his life - a life that might not have been. My brother James, born with Down Syndrome, was one that some would consider a "throw away" baby. Someone who would never contribute to society, and would be too much trouble for our family, and as such should be aborted. I was only 5 when James was born, so I don’t know whether or not my parents had that discussion. But I do know one thing for sure, in James’ case, life won out.
Unfortunately, in many cases life does not win out. In fact, over the past several years the numbers of children born with Down Syndrome has decreased dramatically. Not because Down Syndrome is now treatable, but rather because it can be diagnosed sooner, giving parents the opportunity (some would say duty) to abort the child. As an example of this, in 1997, roughly 90 percent of children prenatally diagnosed with Down Syndrome were aborted, resulting in nearly 50,000 deaths.
This is but one example of the eugenics styled abortions in the U.S. Proponents for abortion rights argue that abortion must be kept "safe and legal" in the U.S. to protect women who have become impregnated through rape or incest, or whose lives are threatened due to complications. However, Planned Parenthood’s own records show that these reasons represent a small number of abortions (roughly 2%). All other abortions are done for reasons of personal preference (can’t afford another child, another child will interefere with career plans, etc), which basically amounts to using abortion as an after the fact form of birth control.
On this day in 1973, the Supreme Court handed down its ruling on the case of Roe vs. Wade, since that time, about one third of my generation has been lost. We now live in a culture of death where people are valued differently than others based solely on their "desirability." It is my prayer that we all see this injustice, and work to see it ended.


Blogger Bryan Riley said...

I'm glad God didn't decide on my life based on human concepts of desirability.

4:49 AM  
Blogger Les Puryear said...


Thank you for sharing with us the life of your brother. Your family is a wonderful inspiration.



12:44 PM  

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