Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin was on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday. Host Jake Tapper mentioned that presidential candidate John Kasich has not yet taken a position on a bill that would outlaw abortions done solely on the basis that the baby has been diagnosed with Down syndrome, and asked Palin, mom of a Down syndrome child, what she would tell Kasich. Her response was emotional and powerful. For a guy who touts his tolerance of gay marriage, Kasich should stop being a coward and listen to Palin on tolerance of babies, as she put it, with one extra chromosome:
Transcript via CNN:
TAPPER: Let’s talk about an issue that is literally close to your heart. Ohio lawmakers are soon going to bring up legislation that would ban women from being legally allowed to terminate a presidency based on a diagnosis Down syndrome. Governor Kasich has not yet taken a position on the bill. Do you want him to?
PALIN: Yes, I want him to. Hmm. Do I think that it should be legal for a mom to snuff out the life of her baby just because the child has one extra chromosome? And not to personalize it too much, but I — Trig is inside. I wish that he would, like he so often does, come over and tap me on my shoulder, and want to whisper something to me and share in whatever experience I’m going through.
I wish that more people could meet kids like Trig and so many others who have that extra chromosome. They’re — they are amazing, wonderful kids. They teach us more than we are ever going to able to teach them. They keep us grounded and put things in perspective in our lives.
No, I don’t think, because the child has one extra chromosome, they should be able to snuff that life out. When I was pregnant and very early on, at 12 weeks, got the diagnosis that Trig would be born with Down syndrome, I know what moms go through when they are given that, at the time, to be honest with you, kind of devastating news.
It makes your world stop spinning for a bit there. And there’s some fear there of the unknown. Certainly, there was fear in my heart about how in the world are we going to be able to handle the challenges up ahead, not necessarily thinking of the beauty that could come from a child being different, being unique.
And, as the months went by, though, and as I prayed about it, God, you know, make — please, change my heart and my eyes so I can see the beauty in all this, so that I will be ready to be a good mom to this child, and he answered my prayers, and awesome. Trig is so wonderful.
But I do know what moms go through. And, Jake, I think the reason that 85 percent, in some areas, 90 percent of babies who have Down syndrome are aborted is that fear of the unknown and because culture has told these women — and, again, I was there — has told these women, you’re not capable of being able to handle and nurture and love and raise a child with special needs. And it’s just so much easier and convenient for you to just end it, pretend like it never happened, get rid of the child, get rid of the baby, and get on with a convenient life of your own.
So, with culture’s kind of overall mind-set of life being able to just be thrown away, I know why that stat is what it is, is so high, is tragic. And, heck, for whatever I can do to help parents, though, who are facing such a challenge, at the beginning especially, to let them know you can do it and it’s beautiful.
I wouldn’t change anything about Trig. I wouldn’t change anything about how this has so solidified our family’s support for the sanctity of life, and for tolerance, for accepting people who are a little bit different.
Thomas Valentine is a researcher for APIA and a junior at the Franciscan University of Steubenville.