A friend of mine forwarded an article mentioning Richard Dawkins statement on Downs Syndrome, extremely disturbed at the highly insensitive comment of the scientist, who had claimed it would be “immoral” to continue a pregnancy if the mother knew the foetus had Down’s Syndrome. This triggered a lot of responses of people who were shocked at his statement including from one mother who has a child with the condition, who wrote: “I would fight til my last breath for the life of my son.” The God Delusion author later defended his comment and refused to apologize. I would like to ask who or what gives the scientist the right to be judgmental on anybody’s life ? In a statement, theDown’s Syndrome Association(DSA) said: “People with Down’s Syndrome can and do live full and rewarding lives, they also make a valuable contribution to our society. At the Down’s Syndrome Association, we do not believe Down’s Syndrome in itself should be a reason for termination, however, we realize that families must make their own choice. “The DSA strives to ensure that all prospective parents are given accurate and up-to-date information about the condition and what life might be like today for someone with Down’s Syndrome.” The story of Jenny Hatch I would like to know if Dawkins has heard of Jenny Hatch. Jenny Hatch won a year-long battle in 2013 in which she challenged her biological parents’ right to keep her in a group home, making her a celebrity in the disability world. A court awarded temporary guardianship to Hatch’s close friends Jim Talbert, 54, and Kelly Morris, 45, who own the thrift shop where she has worked for the past six years. “I love them very much,” said Hatch. While Hatch says she was just following her heart, Talbert and Morris say she captured theirs. “Jenny has so much love and kindness around her,” says Talbert. “Kelly and I both have a love and fondness for her.” It all started in March 2012 when Hatch was injured in a bicycle accident and hospitalized for several days. She had been living with a family friend but the friend was losing her apartment so Hatch had nowhere to go. Her parents wanted to put her into a group home (Hatch has a good relationship with her father but not her mother). Morris and Talbert offered to take her in. “I was so happy when they said, ‘You can come and stay with us,’ ” she says, crying at the memory. “It made me feel so good inside.” She was also looking forward to spending more time with Morris’s 15-year-old daughter, Jordan, who has cerebral palsy. Each night, Hatch would lay out the Jordan’s pajamas and brush her hair. But after five months, the court put Hatch in a temporary guardianship with her parents. She bounced between four different group homes over the course of the next year. “We thought she’d be safe there,” says Jenny’s father, Richard Hatch, 53, who lives in North Carolina (Jenny’s mother declined comment). Since her win last August, Jenny has been happily ensconced in Morris and Talbert’s home when she’s not traveling the country speaking at conferences about her experience. Hatch has also formed The Jenny Hatch Justice Project, which advocates for others with disabilities. “Every day I thank God I am not in the group home,” she says. “I am so happy to be home. I don’t want to live anywhere except with Jim and Kelly.” Nothing is impossible where there is love and faith, Mr Dawkin. Surely, even if Mr Dawkin, the author of God Delusion is doubtful about God, he should know the power of love. Now, has Mr Richard Dawkins heard of Hellen Keller, the remarkable woman who has shown all of us that nothing is impossible and her teacher Ms Sullivan who has shown the whole world what a teacher can achieve ? Now, that is another story for another day.
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