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"Freaks" Teaches Pro Life Message

Dateline: 1/29/00

The Real Deformity

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It's not too hard to see Cleopatra's evil and she and Hercules plot the death of the smitten Hans. We can see it as wrong when Cleopatra prefers the brutish Hercules to the adoring Hans on the feeble grounds of physical differences. We can see the cruelty when Cleopatra flings the wine in Angelo's face. Yet when we mark these same superficial traits as valid grounds for abortion, we dress it in the language of mercy. Why is Cleopatra's rejection evil, and ours kind?

"That's different," is the elitist answer. "Angelo and Johnny and Daisy and Violet were born people. They were already here. A fetus isn't here yet. It's just a potential person." But the rejected baby is real enough to be examined, judged, declared imperfect, and executed. He is a living human being, with a beating heart. He has just as much to say as any other child. But we silence him, dismiss him out of hand without ever knowning him, on the same grounds Cleopatra uses to dismiss the guests from her wedding banquet.

When Amelia Eckhardt gave birth to twin sons on an August night in 1911, it was the younger baby, the deformed baby, the half-baby, the child who wasn't expected to live, that was given his father's name to carry on: John Eckhardt, Jr., known to the world as Johnny Eck. He was not loved any less than his physically whole brother, Robert. The Eckhardt family knew something we've conveniently forgotten: that rejecting somebody is a choice we make. It says very little about the person we push away, but it says volumes about us.

To focus on a "disability" is to look at something that isn't even there -- to pay attention to the arm that is missing, or the intellect that is lacking, or the movement the legs don't make. It's seeing the hole and ignoring the donut.

That's an empty way to go through life.

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Differences
Freaks
"One Of Us"
The Real Deformity

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Related Areas at Pro Life Views

1962 - The Finkbine Abortion
How the Romper Room lady's quest to abort her Thalidomide baby won sympathy for abortion advocates.

Conjoined/Parasitic Twins
Information and links about incomplete twinning, in which the two fetuses remain attached to one another in various ways.

Eugenics
Abortion and eugenics still go hand in hand after all these years.

Missing/Unusual Limbs
Information and links about congenital absence or deformaties of the limbs.

Quality of Life
Activists often use the poor quality of life of vulnerable people as a justification for abortion and euthanasia. Pro life efforts attack causes of suffering, not suffering people.

Elsewhere on the Web

"The Bad Baby Blues"
Reflections on abortion of handicapped children.

"Picture Perfect"
The Politics of Prenatal Testing
, from First Things.

Special Child
Online magazine for parents and caregivers of children with special needs.

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