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Posts Tagged ‘Down syndrome’

Where the liberals stand on infanticide–Honoring baby killers

Posted by MDViews on January 30, 2005

Conservative News Service has this article about a murder that happened here in Minnesota (before I moved here). Apparently, Mine Ener was an instructor in the Villanova history department and was director of the Center of Arab American Studies at that university. She gave birth to a daughter with Down syndrome. She was a married woman, so was not without help or support at home. When she and her daughter were visiting her parents in St. Paul MN she slashed her child’s throat two times with a kitchen knife. The baby girl was six months old. She admitted to killing the child because she did not want her daughter to “go through life suffering”. Her apologists say she was suffering from post partum depression (although receiving treatment) and as such was not responsible for her actions.

While incarcerated, Ms. Ener committed suicide in her Ramsey County jail cell by putting a plastic bag over her head.

Villanova now has decided to honor her memory by dedicating a new section of its library to “commemorate Ener’s life and work.” News articles also state that this area is being dedicated to her memory not only because of her life and work but also to raise awareness of post partum depression.

Oh, dear, where to begin.

I’ve provided care for countless women with post partum depression. At this writing, I’ve been delivering babies now for over a quarter of a century (I am old!)and have yet to see a patient kill her child. I’ve had some threatened to harm themselves or their children and I’ve aided them in obtaining psychiatric help, but NONE acted on that impulse.

And besides, by her own words, she did not kill the child because of her depression or the fact that she had lost touch with reality. She did it so the baby would not “go through life suffering.” Sounds like she knew exactly what she was doing and why. Her thinking does not appear to be delusional or psychotic.

So, in my mind at least, this woman murdered her daughter and post partum depression or not, she was aware, coherent and making perfect sense.

Her daughter had Down syndrome. This disability is just that–a disability, not a life sentence of misery.

My older brother and his wife started their family when they were already in their 30’s. They have three children now, MJ, Marc and Dianna. MJ, their first, has Down syndrome. My wife and I are his god-parents in addition to being his uncle and aunt. He is now 22 years old and is one of the happier souls on this planet. He voted for George Bush for president which means what he lacks in IQ, he more than compensates for in judgment.

Would I have wanted the ultimate solution for little MJ when he was six months old? God forbid.

Now, having a son with Down syndrome is no walk in the park. My brother and his wife have had their hands full. Their was an initial sadness that swept over the entire family as the magnitude of his disability settled in. How tragic! Both my brother and sister-in-law are teachers. They are educated people so in love with books and school and all that goes with it. Then to know that their son, their first born, would never really share that with them, would never reach a intelligence to perhaps even live on his own. Such a heartbreak.

But life goes on and his did too. It gave our somewhat smug family of high achievers an insight into the meaning of disabilities and also helped us appreciate that the disabled are people, too. We don’t think of MJ as our nephew with Down syndrome, we just think of him as MJ.

I say all this to point out that a disability is NOT a justification for homicide.

But now I’m left to wonder: Why is Villanova honoring the memory of this woman? One blog, Open Book has a good summary and many helpful posts. Would they be honoring her if she had killed someone else’s baby? Would they honor her if the slain child did not suffer from Down syndrome? The liberals are the first to defend the right to kill an unborn child with Down syndrome. It seems to me to be a minor moral stretch to extend the killing to those six months old with Down syndrome.

When asked, the university said that they wanted to honor her life, not her tragic ending. Like it was something that “just happened” to her, not something for which she was responsible. One student from Villanova points out, however, that the university removed the name of John DuPont from a building when he was convicted of murder. So they just “selectively” honor murderers at Villanova.

I, of all people, having provided care to women with post partum depression, would not want to minimize the impact of the disease. It is and can be devastating. But even those in the depths of post partum depression do not murder. It just is not a justification in my mind.

So, shame on Villanova for their actions. This appears to be another black eye for the Catholic Church (Villanova is a Catholic university) as if they didn’t have enough already.

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