Eric Scheske, who is certainly not the master of politically correct verbiage, had this to say regarding the high numbers of babies aborted due to a Down’s Syndrome diagnosis:
How can they tell whether the fetus is mongoloid or merely vibrantly French?
I’m sure most people will find this comment to be horribly insensitive. I, however, am reminded of the conversation my mother relayed to me that occurred after the birth of my brother, Glenn. Glenn will be 37 years old on Thursday. Back then, they didn’t have AFP screens with high false positives, nor did they have ultrasound. And since my mother was in her early 20s, who would have suspected that her child might have a genetic abnormality usually found in children of older parents?
But after his birth, the doctors and nurses looked at him and then approached my mother with the likelihood of his mental retardation. What makes you think he has Down’s Syndrome, my mother asked. They then proceeded to point out his physical characteristics, one by one, to which, each time, my mother responded that her husband had similar features. In fact, my brother does have Down’s Syndrome (and my father does not). But it does make one wonder if some of the babies are not misdiagnosed with Down’s, when in reality, they just look like their parents.
My husband, when describing his own father to people who do not know him, mentions that he looks like Adolf Hitler – a look I think my very nice father-in-law cultivated to frighten his own children and those in the neighborhood.
My father, on the other hand, looks more like Napoleon. Now Napoleon hailed from Corsica, not France. But the historically xenophobic French accepted him as their leader, so he must have passed himself off fairly well as one of their own.
And so, if my Down’s
brother looks like my father and my father looks like Napoleon, how can they
tell if a baby in utero
is mongoloid or merely vibrantly French?