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Re: “Helen Gurley Brown's legacy, emergency funds for prison and a Saturday line

To Diogotta:

My sister has required a wheelchair pretty much since birth. Yes, people ask these kinds of questions, and it isn't just the anti-abortion crowd. STFU should be perfectly legitimate response when you are stopped in the middle of the grocery store to be asked how you feel about other people aborting kids "like your sister." But if I respond that way, then they say I'm the one being rude. I'm the one being rude? You wouldn't go up to an able-bodied family that you don't know in the middle of the grocery store to ask them how they feel about other people aborting kids like theirs, so why do you think it's okay to do that to me? But rather than get mad and get into a fight in the middle of a grocery store, I generally try to educate them instead.

Here is my answer to "How would you answer such a question if you were in that situation?"

Yes, we are fortunate to have her. She had only a 2% chance to live, and the research done on her as a baby is part of the reason that premature babies survive at much higher rates without being guaranteed a disability nowadays. So it's not just us who are fortunate to have her.

That being said, the reason we are suffering has nothing to do with the fact she was born with a disability and everything to do with the fact that society consistently devalues her as a human being. Having a disability doesn't make her less of a person, but you wouldn't know it from how people or public policy treats her. So do not use my sister to explain why abortions should or should not be taking place--it is degrading, dehumanizing, and incredibly offensive. Some people can't handle the financial and emotional burdens of having a child with disabilities--don't shame them for feeling like this. Instead, join us in fighting to change society's perceptions on disability in the first place so that having a child with disabilities isn't so scary. Join us in fighting those who would take away hard-won things like Medicaid and Social Security and the ADA, which is how we didn't go bankrupt just because she was born and how she manages to go out in public at all. And above all, please remember that people with disabilities just want to be treated the same way as everyone else. If you have any further questions, please direct them to my sister. She can hear you and she is more than capable of answering your questions herself.

12 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by ConfoundIT on 08/23/2015 at 12:19 PM


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