Monday, February 07, 2005

UN Treaty Debate Hits Me Where I Live

The United Nations has been debating the Treaty on the Rights of the Disabled lately, and has taken up the issue of whether people should be allowed to abort pregnancies when a disability is detected in utero.

This is obviously a charged subject for me, even though I don't think my parents would've chosen to abort me if they had knowledge and the choice. We live in a society that constantly reminds itself (Think Terri Schiavo or even the Oscar-nominated films "Million Dollar Baby" and "The Sea Inside") that life isn't worth living if you can't walk. I don't think we can trust new parents or malpractice-panicked doctors to make a truly responsible decision about a child's quality of life, before the child is even born.

I would love to see a Hollywood director with Eastwood's clout, or an actor with Christopher Reeve's dignity and voice, begin to speak for the richness of a life lived on wheels.

As I was reading about the UN treaty, with its provisions that governments give financial assistance to families with disabled children, I couldn't help thinking that the US won't ratify it. I might have to move to Sweden.

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