By Emily Brown
I want to share this beautiful story with you. It reminds us that every human being—no matter what his disability—is a beautiful person created by God!
Take a moment to image this scene:
A young lady has discovered she is pregnant with a baby girl. The pregnancy has left her a little anxious and scared, so she goes to her doctor for care. The doctor gives the woman’s baby a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome. He then immediately suggests that the woman terminate her pregnancy because the child has a disability. The woman rejects the twisted offer and the doctor argues that the child will decrease the mother’s “quality of life.” Again the woman stays firm in her decision not to end the life of her child. She knows her child is perfect, no matter the disability. As the now dreaded doctor visits come, this doctor continues to suggest killing the child, seeing no beauty in the tiny human in the woman’s belly.
Unfortunately, this is no imaginary incident. This scenario happened to Courtney Baker a little over a year ago. She now has a beautiful 15-month-old daughter named Emmy, a beautiful little girl with Down syndrome—the genetic condition that in some people’s mind is worth killing her for.
Baker was so hurt and distraught by the doctor who suggested ending her child’s life that she wrote a heartfelt letter to him explaining how Emmy brings nothing but joy to her. She expresses sadness that the preborn babies these doctors see each day do not bring joy to their hearts as well.
Here is her letter:
A friend recently told me of when her prenatal specialist would see her child during her sonograms, he would comment, “He’s perfect.” Once her son was born with Down syndrome, she visited that same doctor. He looked at her little boy and said, “I told you. He’s perfect.” Her story tore me apart. While I was so grateful for my friend’s experience, it filled me with such sorrow because of what I should have had. I wish you would have been that doctor.
I came to you during the most difficult time in my life. I was terrified, anxious and in complete despair. I didn’t know the truth yet about my baby, and that’s what I desperately needed from you. But instead of support and encouragement, you suggested we terminate our child. I told you her name, and you asked us again if we understood how low our quality of life would be with a child with Down syndrome. You suggested we reconsider our decision to continue the pregnancy. From that first visit, we dreaded our appointments. The most difficult time in my life was made nearly unbearable because you never told me the truth.
My child was perfect.
I’m not angry. I’m not bitter. I’m really just sad. I’m sad the tiny beating hearts you see every day don’t fill you with a perpetual awe. I’m sad the intricate details and the miracle of those sweet little fingers and toes, lungs and eyes and ears don’t always give you pause. I’m sad you were so very wrong to say a baby with Down syndrome would decrease our quality of life. And I’m heartbroken you might have said that to a mommy even today. But I’m mostly sad you’ll never have the privilege of knowing my daughter, Emersyn. Because, you see, Emersyn has not only added to our quality of life, she’s touched the hearts of thousands. She’s given us a purpose and a joy that is impossible to express. She’s given us bigger smiles, more laughter and sweeter kisses than we’ve ever known. She’s opened our eyes to true beauty and pure love.
So my prayer is that no other mommy will have to go through what I did. My prayer is that you, too, will now see true beauty and pure love with every sonogram.
And my prayer is when you see that next baby with Down syndrome lovingly tucked in her mother’s womb, you will look at that mommy and see me then tell her the truth: “Your child is perfect.”
No matter the disability, every person is beautiful and deserves to have his life affirmed and respected! Emmy, her mother, and her family are beautiful witnesses to the truth that every human being’s life has dignity.
Open your hearts and your eyes. See the dignity in each and every person!
Emily Brown is a graduate of Mount St. Mary’s University and is the director of ALL’s Life Defenders. She plans on educating and collaborating with young adults all over the country to empower the new generation!