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Culture of human perfection aborting 80-90 percent of children with Down syndrome, Mohler tells Coral Ridge viewers
January 26, 2006
By Jeff Robinso
Recent statistics show that as many as 80-90 percent of all babies found to have Down syndrome through pre-term testing are aborted, an alarming number that demonstrates contemporary culture's fixation with human perfection and consumer choice, R. Albert Mohler Jr. said Jan. 22 on the Coral Ridge Hour television program.
The very fact that such pre-term testing is offered to expectant parents under the guise of "making informed choices" insinuates that they really only have only one choice to make: whether or not to abort, said Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
The Coral Ridge Hour is a syndicated weekly program that features the teaching and cultural analysis of D. James Kennedy, pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church (PCA).
"Parents are being offered these genetic tests in order that they can 'make the right decision,'" Mohler said. "What decision is there to make? The only decision that is implied is a decision to abort. Once we are confronted with a test that will identify whether an unborn baby is carrying the mark of the Down syndrome, there is no treatment. The only choice is whether or not to abort."
The number of abortions performed on children with Down syndrome is especially disconcerting because of the consumerist mentality that drives the decisions, Mohler said. Parents are now choosing life or death for their unborn children based upon the perceived "quality" of the child developing in the womb, he said.
"We really have entered that brave new world of medicine where all things apparently are becoming possible," he said. "Right now these parents are having tests done on their unborn children and even in the embryonic stage in order to determine whether these kids meet their expectations."
The broadcast also featured the story of Bob and Laura Reisert of Miami, Fla., and their seven-year-old son David, who was born with Down syndrome. Bob Reisert said watching his son learn and grow has made him realize that young David is not merely a boy who suffers from a severe handicap but a viable person whom God has fashioned in His own image.
David participates vigorously and joyfully in worship both in the church and home along with his older sister and younger brother, Bob Reisert said. David provides his family with a perpetual illustration of the sanctity of human life, his father says.
"David's spiritual life is wonderful," he said. "It is very difficult to know with him being mostly non-verbal right now exactly where he is in his walk and relationship with God and just how much he does understand.
"But you can see through his eyes when we are in the church service and a hymn or worship song comes on, David springs to his feet with his hands up in the air. You kind of get a sense that there is a special spiritual connection going on—that God understands his weakness and is communicating with David in a way that David can understand."
Many in the contemporary culture do not share the Reiserts high view of life but hold a radically different understanding of children who, through prenatal testing, are diagnosed with maladies such as Down syndrome, Mohler said.
"I think we in this culture have bought into the idea of human perfection," Mohler said. "We have bought in also to the idea that we should have consumer choice in all things. And let's face it; most parents would be praying for a child that is physically perfect in every way. But we live in a fallen world in which that is simply not going to be the case for many of us. There are babies born with all kinds of genetic issues."
Mohler alluded to several recent stories that have appeared in national newspapers celebrating the fact that fewer babies than ever are being born with Down syndrome. These shrinking numbers are hardly a cause for celebration because they can only be caused by one thing, he said.
"I want to ask a question: Is that (fewer Down syndrome babies) good news or bad news? It would be good news if something were being done to help these babies overcome some genetic difficulty, but that's not at all what's being talked about," Mohler said.
"Instead, there are fewer babies being born with Down syndrome because at least 80 and as many as 90 percent of these babies are being aborted before they are ever born."
Leigh Byers serves as director of the children's ministry at Wayside Baptist Church in Miami, the Reiserts' home church. She works directly with David and is thankful that his parents are among the 10-20 percent who have chosen life.
"Children with Down syndrome have a life worth living," she said. "They are very special. They are human beings and…I don't believe any child is conceived by accident.
"God knows every child and He knows them by name and He has a purpose for them. Regardless of the difficulties, regardless of the struggles or challenges of the child or the parents, God has a purpose for that life just like He does for every life."