Thursday, February 15, 2007

How "Ashley's Treatment" Is Like Abortion Rights

Her parents lovingly named her their "pillow angel" because she is "so sweet and stays right where we place her—usually on a pillow." But the simple and ethereal term belies the controversy that has surrounded Ashley, the "pillow angel", and her parents for the last six weeks.

In January of this year, a story broke that unleashed a media torrent and a worldwide outwardly centered on medical ethics. Unpeel the layers, however, and you find a story that shares a great deal in common with the quest for reproductive justice and what it means to be able to sincerely and lovingly make a choice that may seem, to outsiders, the wrong choice—and therefore the unacceptable choice—but an individual's loving choice all the same. At the center of the story, Ashley, a now nine-year-old girl who was diagnosed at 3 months old with "static encephalopathy of unknown etiology"—an unchanging brain abnormality that sentences Ashley to live the mental and developmental life of a three month-old infant while her body continues to age normally. Ashley cannot move or talk but she is expected to live a long life. To read the story of Ashley's early life on her parent's blog is both heartbreaking and beautiful.

Continue reading on Reproductive Health Reality Check!


GrannyGrump said...

There is one staggering difference:

Ashli's parents did what they did to keep their child with them. Women have abortions to get rid of their children.

Luana said...

Good for people to know.

Feminist Peace Network