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Barb Wire

Mom wishes she’d killed her son with Down Syndrome…’I wish it every day’

By Rebekah MaxwellBarbWire guest contributor

This Week’s Sign the Apocalypse is Upon Us

Ah, the things you do for love. From buying expensive gifts, to changing our looks, to devoting every waking moment and thought to your            loved one, you craft your world around your precious; you can’t help but plainly show who and what you love.

For example, love has made a woman in London publicly wish that she’d killed her son with Down Syndrome.  Well, she’s calling it love.

Gillian Relf gave a disturbingly candid interview to the Daily Mail, and she says she wishes “every day” that she had aborted her son, Stephen.

As Life News reports:

Mrs. Relf, 69, regrets having her son, Stephen, who is 47, because he has Down syndrome and requires constant and daily care. She worries about what will happen to her son when she dies.

Relf starts with an embarrassing anecdote about how her son refused to sit in his seat on an airplane for a family trip to Greece.

The pilot had been very patient but, after an hour of the plane waiting on the Tarmac at Heathrow, with my son Stephen refusing to get up off the floor, sit in his seat and buckle up, our bags were removed from the hold and he was carried off the flight, my husband Roy and I walking, hot-cheeked and humiliated, behind.

Our family holiday to Greece would not be going ahead, after all.

That certainly sounds frustrating…and grounds for homicide, of course. The classic “anyone who spoils my vacation in Greece should be executed” defense.

Relf’s example is meant to typify the challenges she faces as she cares for her son’s special needs, a struggle that any parent could sympathize with. Most parents however, might wish for an end to the challenges, not the end of their child…which to Mrs. Relf seem one and the same.

So difficult has it been that I can honestly say I wish he hadn’t been born.

I know this will shock many: this is my son, whom I’ve loved, nurtured and defended for nearly half a century, but if I could go back in time, I would abort him in an instant.

Got to admit, not many moms “love,” “nurture,” and “protect” their child by wishing they’d killed him. Must be the newest evolution in the species.

After all, this life isn’t what Relf wanted. She dreamed of a perfect baby, perfect family, perfect life. And Stephen doesn’t fit what she wanted. So apparently, he’s got to go.

In her article, she blames doctors for not giving her an amniocentisis. You know, so she could have diagnosed her son’s Down Sydrome…and then executed him for it.

Stephen came into the world one Sunday in January 1967 at the Kent & Canterbury Hospital.The following Wednesday, I looked at him in his cot: his small, almond-shaped eyes, broad, flat nose and the one crease on the palms of his hands.

‘He’s a mongol, isn’t he?’ I gasped to my mother. It sounds shocking now but that was how we used to describe people with Down’s Syndrome in those days.

And lest you think this was just her initial emotional reaction, and that upon reflection, she might think her son’s life is actually more valuable than her preferences, Mrs. Relf reiterates again in the article, that she wishes she’d had killed Stephen.

Perhaps you’d expect me to say that, over time, I grew to accept my son’s disability. That now, looking back on that day 47 years later, none of us could imagine life without him, and that I’m grateful I was never given the option to abort.

However, you’d be wrong. Because, while I do love my son, and am fiercely protective of him, I know our lives would have been happier and far less complicated if he had never been born. I do wish I’d had an abortion. I wish it every day.

If he had not been born, I’d have probably gone on to have another baby, we would have had a normal family life and Andrew would have the comfort, rather than the responsibility, of a sibling, after we’re gone.

A normal life. Truly, the highest virtue to which one can aspire.

Honor, compassion, courage, self-sacrifice…they all pale in comparison to the nobility of “normalcy” (as defined by the latest of mirage of our mercurial hearts). Who are we to stand in the way of such a lofty goal? Who is her son?

In fact, why can she not take his life now? If one grants Mrs. Relf’s position as an ethical one, there’s no reason she should not kill her adult son today…in a 188th trimester abortion. It’s not like, after 47 years of joy, pain, growth, struggle, and humanity, that Stephen is really a person. Not really. He’s a burden. And his mom wants him gone. It’s all the same love.

And love makes us do crazy things.

Well, love…crippling narcissism…murderous egomania…they’re all basically the same.

Rebekah Maxwell, producer of the Steve Deace Show, began reporting and producing at WHO Radio in 2007, with on-air work recognized by the official alphabet soup: the AP, IBNA, NBNA, RTDNA, NAB (all the while staying far from the TSA and UFOs). She delights in debating religion, politics, and all other subjects impolite at the dinner table. Her favorite time of year is Caucus season, and she’s an accomplished slam poet, ready to spit the truth…in mad rhymes, if necessary.


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