Thursday, September 4, 2014

An Open Letter to PBS

Dear PBS:

You recently showed a special on your channel called After Tiller. It was a delightful view into the lives of late-term abortionists, people who perform abortion procedures on viable fetuses. Many bloggers and Internet personalities weighed in on the various moral implications of late-term abortion, mostly focused on whether it's really good to be able to kill persons who could otherwise live on their own. But you managed to dodge that argument spectacularly, by focusing on the abortion of disabled fetuses, framed as merciful and compassionate. You wouldn't want those fetuses to live painful, possible lesser lives compared to their able-bodied counterparts, would you?

Oh, no! It's a human who isn't perfect! KILL IT WITH FIRE!
PBS, this is, respectfully, absolute bullshit.

Please stop dressing up eugenics in empathy. Aborting the disabled isn't mercy. It's murder. Stop hiding behind your veneer of compassion. You're advocating for the slaughter of innocents simply because they don't fit in with your idea of "perfect" humanity. And you're not the only one to blame for this. From Richard Dawkins and his disgusting comment about how aborting a pre-born child with Down Syndrome was the morally correct thing to do, to a culture that glorifies both physical perfection and fiscal success, the disabled are rapidly becoming the most at-risk group within the population. Who are you, who are they, to determine who worthy of life and who is worthy of death? Who is anyone here on Earth to say that some people deserve to be dismembered because their lives will be different from yours? How arrogant is that?

Like, y'know, the attitude that people like me deserve to die for something that isn't our fault. 
Many say that, in aborting disabled babies, they are saving them from a "poor quality of life." But what does that even mean? As a disabled person, I know that I won't really accomplish much in life. I will have a very hard time making it through college. I probably will not get a decent job, since I can neither walk nor sit for long periods of time without pain. And oh, yeah, the pain! Ravenous, treacherous, biting and burning and tearing its way through my body, my disease is attacking every system of my body and leaving naught but crumbling brokenness in its wake. 

So, why not kill me? What is the real difference between me and the children you murdered on national television? One of us has slipped through a birth canal alive and in one piece, the others did not, but is that all that separates human me from inhuman them? We have the same potential, in the end, the same viability. Is their position in the world what really makes it O.K. for them to be awakened by knives slicing their limbs off, and a vacuum sucking the pieces away? In what world is brutally hacking a child apart a viable alternative to letting him enjoy the sunshine, hear the birds, laugh and smile and be loved?


And we do enjoy life. Yes, we are in pain. Yes, we might be deaf or blind or have limited mental capacities or advanced physical disabilities, but what isn't disabled is our ability to experience life. It can definitely be hard to raise a child with disabilities; it can be exhausting and thankless. But that child has as much a right to live as any other person. He might be different from you, but difference doesn't take away that right. And here, PBS, your biggest act of hypocrisy comes to light. In a ridiculous yet appalling contrast, every morning, through shows like Sesame Street and Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, you show the disabled as valuable, lovable, even "normal" members of society who are ultimately no different from the able-bodied characters. Yet, in the evening, you can use After Tiller to show the disabled as burdens who must be escaped from and destroyed at any cost.

Real integrity would be dismembering these two on-air. I mean, neither of them is really human, right? 
You can't have it both ways, PBS. We're either a hopeless burden or we're a priceless treasure, but you can't tell us that we're both. And frankly, this is one disabled person who is tired of you and the culture thinking that you can.

Yours in brownies,

~Tani

5 comments:

  1. I totally read this. And comprehended. And agree.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Bravo, Tatiana! I can find disagreement with only one sentence: "...I know that I won't really accomplish much in life." Oh... no, you don't know that at all. I'd bet my last chocolate truffle on the likelihood that you will accomplish MUCH, and blessed things, and God will make good use of your life.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Definitely worthwhile article !!! Everyone has their own strengths !!! Everyone has a purpose !!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Good for you Tatiana for calling the so called intellectuals out on their hypocrisy. I too get really irritated when they fawn all over my daughter with Down syndrome now that she is born while advocate the abortion of babies like her before they are born, even as they are nearly born.

    ReplyDelete
  5. My sister was strongly advised to abort her first child by her doctors. They were convinced she would be disabled and my sister refused. She delivered 2 month premature. The doctors were now convinced that the babys lungs would not be fully developed and that she would need to remain in an incubator and on a respirator. They were wrong all around. My niece was not disabled in any way. My niece was able to leave the hospital the day after she was born. My niece was the healthiest baby one could possibly hope for and one of the brightest minds in her class. Even if people were to buy into the idea that aborting disabled fetus is the right thing to do (which I disagree with) doctors are often wrong. They could misdiagnos a fetus just like they misdiagnosed my unborn niece who is now a happy healthy college sophomore.

    ReplyDelete