This article was originally published by Mennonite World Review

A special-needs child

I have never met someone who is pro-abortion. I have known people who have struggled through the agony of whether or not to terminate a pregnancy. The main division between those who call themselves pro-life and those who identify as pro-choice is: Who makes the decision?

Others think the context of the pregnancy matters — the life and health of the woman and the means by which the pregnancy occurred, such as incest or rape.

Then there is the question of what the future holds for the child. Our culture has a dismal record in caring for unwanted, uncared for, neglected and special-needs children.

I am the grandfather of a special-needs child. He is as OK as a child with special needs can be. He is in an ideal situation. There are many therapies available — physical, speech, educational, occupational. He has required several medical procedures through­out his 19 years. He uses technology to help him communicate. He lives in a location where most of his medical and social needs are met. He is able to give and receive love and to express happiness and joy.

Science has changed everything. Developmental issues can be detected early in the pregnancy.  Sometimes corrections can be made prior to the birth. Sometimes things are going so wrong that the only merciful procedure is abortion.

To have the decision about the birth of a child be made by an indiscriminate law and an uninvolved legislature is abhorrent to me. We live in a diverse and changing society. Understanding, grace and love are required for a life worth living.

Gary Schrag
Overland Park, Kan.

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