Rhetorical Analysis of Abortion Article

Topics: Disability, Down syndrome, Abortion Pages: 5 (2028 words) Published: September 17, 2010
Running head: ABORTION

The Abortion Debate No One Wants to Have
Michael McManus
Baker College

There are many people with permanent disability’s that contribute to our society in very useful ways. In most cases, these people are viewed as being courageous. This kind of a reaction is typical but not always honest. There are a lot of people are uncomfortable around those that are considered “less than normal”. In her article The Abortion Debate No One Wants to Have, Patricia Bauer writes about Down’s syndrome and abortion. Bauer is a former reporter and bureau chief for the Washington Post. Bauer writes about some of those in our society who have an indifferent attitude about the relation between abortion and those with disabilities. As the mother of a daughter with Down syndrome, she writes about the love for a child and the hurt she feels when a less than thought out comment or question about Margaret (her daughter) is directed at her. She talks about the achievements that Margaret has attained and the joy that she brings to rest of their family. Bauer is proud to inform the reader that Margaret is a high school graduate and is attending a community college. Bauer also relates that her daughter behaves like any other teenager. “She’s consumed with more important things, like the performance of the Boston Red Sox in the playoffs and the dance she is going to this weekend” (Bauer, 2005). She wants to let anyone who will listen know that Margaret’s life is not a useless one. Bauer brings up incidents and encounters that she and Margaret experience and the affect that it has on her. The fact that Bauer’s daughter Margaret has Down syndrome makes her argument credible and persuasive. Bauer grabs the attention of the reader in the first paragraph of the article by bringing up a comment made by politician William Bennett. The comment that Bauer is referring to was made on Bennett’s radio show in which he stated “You can abort every black baby in this country, and the crime rate would go down” (Tapper, 2005). This comment was met with a great amount of outrage and hostility. Bauer taps in to the readers emotions by asking the question “why then do we as a society view abortion as justified and unremarkable in the case of another class of people: children with disabilities?” (Bauer, 2005). .” Bauer is not just another mother of a child with a disability. She is a strong advocate for all of those who are disabled. Evidence of her credibility can be found by searching her name (Patricia E. Bauer) on the internet. She blogged about the disabled (http://patriciabauer.blogspot.com) and currently has a website (http://www.patriciaebauer.com) that stands up for those with disabilities. Bauer and her husband co-founded the Pathway Project at UCLA, a post secondary project for young adults with disabilities. Are people really that indifferent when it comes to the life of an unborn child? According to Bauer’s article, some are. She mentions encounters that they (Bauer and Margaret) have had with many young women on the street. Bauer has been asked whether she had “the test.” A test that was only available to women over the age of 35 is now available to a wider range of pregnant women. This test is used to, among other things, detect the presence of Down syndrome. As for the reaction from young women about the test, Bauer further states “If I say no, they figure, that means that I am a victim of circumstance, and therefore not implicitly repudiating the decision they make to abort if they think there are disabilities involved. If yes, then it means I’m a right wing antiabortion nut whose choices aren’t relevant in their lives…either way, they win” (Bauer, 2005). Bauer writes about experiences with different people and their reactions to Margaret and people like her. By making the statement “either way, they win”, it discredits the counterargument. Bauer further emphasizes her point when she writes about being at...

References: Bauer, P (2005, October 18). The Abortion Debate No One Wants to Have
The Washington Post
News and commentary about disability issues (2010, February 23rd) retrieved from
Bauer, Patricia E. (2007, October 22nd) retrieved from http://patriciaebauer.blogspot.com
Down Syndrome Fact Sheet (n.d.) National Down Syndrome Society retrieved from
Harmon, A (2007, May 9)
Times retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/
Starr, P (2008, October 13) ‘Eugenic Abortion’: With Pre-Natal Testing, 9 in 10 Down
Syndrome Babies Aborted CNSNEWS.COM Retrieved from http://www.cnsnews.com/
Strode, T (2003, October 17) More abortions for Down syndrome may result from new tests The
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