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Missing/Unusual Limbs

This is where eugenics abortions really got their start -- with the idea that it would have been better to abort Thalidomide babies. The spectre of children with missing or deformed limbs so horrified people that abortion laws were actually loosened to allow abortions for "fetal deformity."

"Everybody listened to Sherri Finkbine, when they SHOULD have been talking to the people like Johnny Eck and Jeannie Tomaini and Randion. People born with missing or abnormal limbs."
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But is life with missing or deformed limbs really so terrible? Are people born with missing or unusually-formed limbs less happy or fulfilled than others? Evidence is that they have just as great a capacity for happiness as any other child. They have as much capability to be valued citizens as anybody with the usual complement of limbs.

What causes congenital amputation or limb deformaties? The causes vary, from genetic abnormalities to exposure to chemicals to unknown. Although the most well-known causes are Thalidomide and Gulf War Syndrome, abnormalities in the amniotic sac or plain mysterious causes can lead to a baby born with unusual or missing limbs.

One other thing that gets forgotten as well in the abortion argument is that abortion attempts can result in children being born with missing limbs.

Ana Rosa Rodriguez
Ana Rosa lost her right arm in a 1991 abortion attempt by Abu Hayat.

I bring you not only links about parenting children with unusual limb configurations. I bring you links about ordinary families and famous people from the past whom I've come to admire. Once upon a time, people with unusual bodies were viewed with awe for their adaptability rather than with pity.

A Little Bit of Everything
Mothers share their experiences surrounding the births of their children with limb conditions.

Amputations and Missing Limbs
Information for parents.

Amazing Feats of Armless Women
Meet women, contemporary and historical, who showed that two limbs are enough to live a full life.

Congenital and Traumatic Limb Absence
How do the experiences of a child born with limbs missing differ from those who lose limbs later in life?

Frances O'Connor
A lovely lady, and friend to Jeanie Tomaini. She starred in Freaks with Johnny Eck.

Handling Limb-Deficient Fetuses
A calm, professional manner is best to avoid unnecessary trauma to parents when a limb abnormality is noticed during prenatal care.

International Child Amputee Network (I-CAN)
Information for parents, by parents of child amputees and adults who grew up with congenital or childhood amputation. Lots of pages by families.

"Is Distraction Augmentation Manoplasty the Answer?"
A radical and expensive new surgery provides simulated fingers. But is it worth the risk and expense?

Johnny's World
This is your Pro Life Guide's first Web site, celebrating Johnny Eck -- artist, showman, and congenital amputee. See a young Johnny and twin brother Rob here.

"Legless Athlete Gets to Try Out Alongside Morris, Strawberry"
This plain text site tells you about Dave Stevens, a Thalidomide baby, who loves to play baseball.

Maria Beaudreau
Maria is a mother of two, born with quadruple congenital amputation.

People Missing Limbs
At one time, missing limbs were a ticket to a show business career. Meet some of the royalty of a bygone era, People of the Sideshow.

Sabine Bruder
Meet a Thalidomide baby, all grown up. Sabine is ordinary; she just has no arms.

Online newsletter for families and friends of children with limb differences.

Thalidomide Survivors
A survey of Canadian adults with congenital abnormalities associated with Thalidomide.

Theresia Degener
Another Thalidomide baby, all grown up. Theresia is a disability rights activist. Scroll through here for more Thalidomide babies.

Things to Remember
Advice for parents of children with congenital or early-childhood amputations.

Tony Melendez
A Thalidomide baby and armless guitar player.

For more information on congenital conditions:

Prenatal Diagnoses

For more on prejudice against people with disabilities:

"Freaks" Teaches Pro Life Lesson
How can a film that was censored for half a century teach us about ourselves?