Pro-life Republican Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers took great exception to a Washington Post editor’s recent declaration in an op-ed: “I would’ve aborted a fetus with Down syndrome.”
In a tweet on Sunday, the Washington state representative — who is the mother of a child with Down syndrome — wrote, “I struggled to put into words how offensive it is” after reading the piece by the paper’s deputy editor, Ruth Marcus. The chair of the House GOP caucus then posted a series of tweets arguing that the opinion writer is wrong.
Marcus proclaimed flatly that if she had found out during her pregnancies that either of her two children suffered from Down syndrome, she would have aborted them.
“I can say without hesitation that, tragic as it would have felt and ghastly as a second-trimester abortion would have been, I would have terminated those pregnancies had the testing come back positive. I would have grieved the loss and moved on,” she wrote.
“And I am not alone. More than two-thirds of American women choose abortion in such circumstances,” Marcus continued. “Isn’t that the point — or at least inherent in the point — of prenatal testing in the first place?”
The columnist explained that she understands there are those who believe taking the life of an unborn child through abortion is equivalent to murder, “But that is not my belief, and the Supreme Court has affirmed my freedom to have that belief and act accordingly.”
Marcus went on to contend having a Down syndrome child is life-altering to a family.
“I’m going to be blunt here: That was not the child I wanted. That was not the choice I would have made. You can call me selfish, or worse, but I am in good company,” she wrote.
Marcus spent the remainder of her piece arguing why legislation passed in North Dakota, Ohio, Indiana and Louisiana making it unlawful to abort unborn children solely because they have been diagnosed with Down syndrome is unconstitutional.
McMorris Rodgers responded directly to Marcus tagging her in a tweet.
“I know how difficult it is to be told that your child’s life is going to be different than you dreamed,” wrote the representative. “When our son, Cole, was diagnosed with Down syndrome, my husband and I were given a long list of challenges and complications from his doctors. But when we looked at Cole, we still saw lots of potential.”
“Today, Cole is in the fifth grade,” McMorris Rodgers continued. “He finds joy in learning. He is a great big brother. He’s very personable and very motivated. He is in cub scouts and plays basketball. He lights up a room and people are drawn to him! He is living a life full of huge possibility.”
The congresswoman communicated that there are countless examples of people just like Cole who are out there “changing the world.”
One example she offered was 1-year-old Lucas Warren of Georgia, who was named 2018’s Gerber Baby.
Lucas was chosen from among more than 140,000 entries for 2018, according to People magazine
“We’re hoping this will impact everyone — that it will shed a little bit of light on the special needs community and help more individuals with special needs be accepted and not limited,” said Lucas’ dad Jason Warren on NBC’s “Today.” “They have the potential to change the world, just like everybody else.”
Gerber CEO Bill Partyka recalled that Lucas’ smile won over his team.
“Every year, we choose the baby who best exemplifies Gerber’s longstanding heritage of recognizing that every baby is a Gerber baby,” he explained. “This year, Lucas is the perfect fit.”
McMorris Rodgers closed out her series of tweets by noting that the examples she offered “are a reminder to us all that we live in an extraordinary time in which we’re not bound by the conditions of our birth. We should be celebrating what every life has to offer.”
She concluded, “Every baby has a right to life, period.”
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