Rhetorical Analysis of Abortion Article
The Abortion Debate No One Wants to Have Michael McManus Baker College There are many people with permanent disabilitys that contribute to our society in very useful ways. In most cases, these people are viewed as being courageous.
This kind of a reaction is typical but not always honest. There are a lot of people are uncomfortable around those that are considered “less than normal”. In her article The Abortion Debate No One Wants to Have, Patricia Bauer writes about Down’s syndrome and abortion. Bauer is a former reporter and bureau chief for the
Washington Post. Bauer writes about some of those in our society who have an indifferent attitude about the relation between abortion and those with disabilities.
As the mother of a daughter with Down syndrome, she writes about the love for a child and the hurt she feels when a less than thought out comment or question about Margaret (her daughter) is directed at her. She talks about the achievements that Margaret has attained and the Joy that she brings to rest of their family. Bauer is proud to inform the reader that Margaret is a high school graduate and is attending a community college.
Bauer also relates that her daughter behaves like any other teenager. “She’s consumed with more important things, like the performance of the Boston Red Sox in the playoffs and the dance she is going to this weekend” (Bauer, 2005). She wants to let anyone who will listen know that Margaret’s life is not a useless one.
Bauer brings up incidents and encounters that she and Margaret experience and the affect that it has on her. The fact that Bauer’s daughter Margaret has Down syndrome makes her argument credible and persuasive.
Bauer grabs the attention of the reader in the first paragraph of the article by bringing up a omment made by politician William Bennett. The comment that Bauer is referring to was made on Bennett’s radio show in which he stated miou can abort every black baby in this country, and the crime rate would go down” (Tapper, 2005). This comment was met with a great amount of outrage and hostility. Bauer taps in to the readers emotions by asking the question “why then do we as a society view abortion as Justified and unremarkable in the case of another class of people: children with disabilities? ” (Bauer, 2005).
” Bauer is not Just another mother of a child with a disability. She is a strong advocate for all of those who are disabled. Evidence of her credibility can be found by searching her name (Patricia E. Bauer) on the internet. She blogged about the disabled (http://patriciabauer. blogspot.
com) and currently has a website (http://www. patriciaebauer. com) that stands up for those with disabilities. Bauer and her husband co-founded the Pathway Project at UCLA, a post secondary project for young adults with disabilities. Are people really that indifferent when it comes to the life of an unborn child? According to Bauer’s article, some are.
She entions encounters that they (Bauer and Margaret) have had with many young was only available to women over the age of 35 is now available to a wider range of pregnant women.
This test is used to, among other things, detect the presence of Down syndrome. As for the reaction from young women about the test, Bauer further states “If I say no, they fgure, that means that I am a victim of circumstance, and therefore not implicitly repudiating the decision they make to abort if they think there are disabilities involved. If yes, then it means I’m a right wing antiabortion nut whose choices aren’t relevant in their lives… ther way, they win” (Bauer, 2005).
Bauer writes about experiences with different people and their reactions to Margaret and people like her. By making the statement “either way, they win”, it discredits the counterargument. Bauer further emphasizes her point when she writes about being at dinner party and being seated with the director of an I’vy League ethics program. He believes that prospective parents have a moral obligation to get tested and terminate a pregnancy if it turns out that the child will be disabled (Bauer, 2005). The reader is left to wonder if any real thought is going on in this mans head.
By sharing his story with the reader, we are left to wonder how many people share the I’vy League director’s views.
Down syndrome occurs in people who were born with three, rather than two, copies of the 21st chromosome. This extra genetic material is what brings about the effects of Down’s syndrome. It is often characterized by an impairment of cognitive (process of thought) ability. Most people with Down syndrome have lower than average, mild to moderate, cognitive ability and this cannot be predicted at birth. A smaller number fall into the severe impairment range.
Physically, people with Down’s syndrome are smaller in stature, have less uscle tone, and have noticeably different facial features. The number of these births occurs approximately in one out of every one thousand (ndss. org). As of 2007, the number of people in the United States with Down syndrome stood at about 350,000. These numbers will shrink because now (most) potential parents can know the condition of the fetus early. This information is included to let the reader relate to the struggles that some with Down syndrome goes through.
The question of ethics is also raised, and adds to the consistently hot topic of abortion.
Consider this from the Baptist Press. A couple of problems plague the new tests,” said Mitchell, associate professor of bioethics at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in suburban Chicago. “First, it moves us farther down the road to seeing children as chosen for their genetic condition rather than given to us for their nurture and care. Second, the tests target embryos the most helpless of our children for destruction” (Strode, 2003).
Still there are people who can’t, or don’t want to deal with the emotional and monetary expense of having a child with Down syndrome.
There are some doctors who, after diagnosing a mother to be, actually discourage their patients from having he baby. “Thirteen percent of doctors attending pregnant mothers whose babies are discovered to have Down syndrome, this survey said, “emphasize” the negative aspects of Down syndrome and 10 percent said they “urge” the mothers to terminate the life of the baby’ (cnsnews. com). About 90% of the women that are diagnosed having a child with a disability choose to terminate the pregnancy.
There are advocates of people with Down syndrome who say that this will be detrimental.
This could lead to less support from the government and less funding for research they aren’t being born anymore” (Bauer, 2005). Because of advancements in medicine and social policies people with Down syndrome can live productive lives. Bauer writes miears ago, people with Down syndrome often were housed in institutions. Many were in poor health, had limited self-care and social skills, couldn’t read and died young” (Bauer, 2005). Today some of those with Down syndrome live on their own (with some assistance) or in group homes.
People with Down syndrome are also living longer.
The life expectancy for someone with Down syndrome has increased from 25 in 1983 to 60 today (ndss. org). Bauer tugs at the heart strings by letting the eader understand her pain, she writes “That someone I love is regarded this way is unspeakably painful to me” (Bauer, 2005). This is a good use of ethos.
Because of the test, the ranks of those with Down syndrome have fallen steadily. Bauer writes about a discussion that she had with Margaret’s pediatrician and he said “that years ago he used to have a steady stream of patients with Down syndrome. Not anymore” (Bauer, 2005).
Adding the doctor’s quote brings credibility to her article. Bauer doesn’t consider Margaret to be disabled.
On the contrary, Margaret Just has to meet more challenges than most. It’s the negative social attitudes that cause us to suffer” (Bauer, 2005). By adding more emotional aspects to her article, the reader can’t help but sympathize with Bauer and her struggles to gain acceptance for Margaret and people like her. Still there are those that have what they consider good reasons for taking this test. There will be a far reaching impact because of the new rules regarding early detection.
Harmon writes, “There are many couples who do not want to have a baby with Down syndrome,” said Deborah A.
Driscoll, chief of the obstetrics department at the University of Pennsylvania and a lead author of the new ecommendation from the obstetricians’ group. “They don’t have the resources, don’t have the emotional stamina, and don’t have the family support. We are recommending this testing be offered so that parents have a choice” (Harmon, 2007). Although the counter arguments have merit, it is clear that compared to Bauer’s article, they lack the emotional appeal.
The abortion debate has been going on for many, many years. Because of people’s religious and political views, it is an argument that will continue.
The decision to have an abortion can be quite agonizing for some women, especially if they have to do it alone. There used to be what society considered Justifiable reasons for abortion. These included rape and incest. Now, the mentally and physically handicapped have been added to the list. There are some who feel uncomfortable around the mentally challenged or worse, despise them.
Many people, including some that are pro-choice, feel that families have a moral obligation to terminate a baby that isn’t normal and there are others that believe that society in general doesn’t have the right to decide who is considered normal.
On the other hand, advocates for those with Down syndrome don’t feel that parents should e made to make this decision at birth. As a matter of fact, some of these advocates are pro-choice. However, parents of people with Down syndrome feel that this is more or less genetic cleansing.