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Op-ed: ‘Sarah Palin and Me’

November 28th, 2009

Lon Jacobs, general counsel for News Corporation and a pro-choice Democrat, writes in the Wall Street Journal that he empathized with Sarah Palin when she spoke in an interview last week about the “cruel attacks on her son Trig.”

Jacobs, whose 13-year-old daughter has an intellectual disability, says he perceives a widely held presumption that society would be better off if children like his daughter were eliminated before they could be born. “In too many quarters we have moved from a society that protects the right to abortion to one that promotes it,” he says. “This is especially true with regard to those with disabilities.” An excerpt:

I don’t presume to tell others what to do when they are faced with these difficult decisions. But I worry that women who find themselves pregnant with a child who has a physical or mental disability get only one message, which is all about the burden about to be dumped in their laps.

…  I have no magic answers. I do have a beautiful daughter who lights up my world when I look into her trusting little face, who enriches our family with her life, and whose big-heartedness brings out the best in those who know her. I sometimes wonder how many Americans deprive themselves of that same joy because of an aggressive message that abortion is the only sensible choice.

In my mind, President Bill Clinton had it about right when he called for abortion to be safe, legal and rare. If that is to be more than just a convenient political spin, we who support a woman’s right to choose should do our part to celebrate the life side of choice.

2 Responses to “Op-ed: ‘Sarah Palin and Me’”

  1. Diane Says:

    I think the more important quote is this one,

    “Today, nine out of 10 American women who are told they have a child with Down syndrome choose to abort. I think it’s fair to say that if some of these potential parents had a glimpse of the other side they might have made a different decision.”

    I would say this about a child who has Down syndrome, and a child who does not. If parents would give life a chance, they would be surprised how many lessons, and how beautiful it really is! Sometimes the unexpected, brings us unexpected joy! Those of us with children who happen to have Down syndrome, know that better than most!

    Kudos to Lon Jacobs for his honesty! I believe the line I highlighted above would be the closest thing to “common ground” that we can hope for! If you are the child that is aborted, rare is not good enough. All life is precious!

  2. jawanda Says:

    Bravo Lon Jacobs! Jacobs hit it when he says that he perceives a widely held presumption that society would be better off if children with intellectual disabilities were eliminated before they could be born. Now we need the media outlets and Hollywood to take leadership in helping “to celebrate the life side of choice.”

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More than 50 million people in the United States have disabilities, a number that is growing rapidly as the population ages. Experts say disability will soon affect the lives of most Americans. This website attempts to aggregate news and commentary about disability, and to document the efforts of people who are seeking new ways to address familiar challenges.

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