You Are Valuable and I Love You

I was recently looking over The New York Times when I stumbled onto an article they recommended: British Conservatives Play the Abortion Card.  

And there it was.

A health secretary wanted to reduce the time frame of abortion to the first 12-weeks of gestation. This didn't go over well with many "because a 12-week limit would prevent testing for many fetal anomalies like Down syndrome, which cannot be detected during early pregnancy."

Implied: we need more time to kill the ones we don't want. And we don't want the ones with Down syndrome.

Here's my reply, or more like an edited version of my initial thoughts:

I'm grateful to God for the boys and girls and men and women with Down syndrome I have met and know.  

They have made my life better, my church stronger, and God's world more beautiful. When God gave them that extra chromosome he knew exactly what he was doing (Exodus 4:11). It really was for his glory and their good.

That does not make it easy — the physical and cognitive and emotional and financial issues are significant and change the trajectory of any family that experiences Down syndrome. But God is stronger (1 Corinthians 1:25).

For Collin and Mia and William and Jonathan and Eli and Levi and Kyle — and all the people with Down syndrome I hope to know later — you are valuable to me and I am grateful to God for you. I know your parents love you and long for you to know the God who made you. Because of you, ministries have been started, churches have changed for the better, and God has shown his strength and kindness and goodness in magnificent ways.

We will not let "The New York Times" or anybody else imply horrible things about you. You mattered before you were born, and you matter now.  

The National Down Syndrome Society has created some great resources to help us see real people who live with Down syndrome. And if this secular organization can speak so well to this issue, may God give his church even greater enthusiasm, creativity, and care about welcoming and serving alongside those with Down syndrome.


Our conference on disability — "The Works of God: God's Good Design in Disability" — is happening this Thursday, November 8. The entire conference will be live-streamed for free at www.desiringGod.org/live. The first session begins with John Piper at 9:30am (EST). We hope you can join us!

John Knight is Director of Donor Partnerships at Desiring God. He is married to Dianne and together they parent their four children: Paul, Hannah, Daniel, and Johnny. Paul lives with multiple disabilities including blindness, autism, cognitive impairments and a seizure disorder. John blogs on issues of disability, the Bible, and the church at The Works of God.