"Happy, happy, my dove. Sorry is not enough. Love is not enough. All I have to offer is what I am now and how I've reacted to what happened to you. Your life has helped a lot of people. I'm sorry it couldn't help you. I didn't do my best when you were here, but I do my best now. Loved or hated, popular or unpopular, revered or reviled...I stand for Truth.
How to say no to someone you don't want to say no to:
"Hey, ***. I got the fundraiser solicitation from *** (along with the humorous pic of ***) and now find myself in a most awkward position.
The Predicament I have this friend who not only wholeheartedly supports one of my biggest crusades but who has personally sacrificed for it...not to mention the fact that**********. You must know that verily there is little I would not do for this friend. And yet...
I can't contribute to MOD because:
1. I suspect that one of MOD's agendas is in fact eugenics (via the one-two combo of prenatal screening and TOP), and what I know about MOD (and their various advisory committee members, grants, etc.) does not convince me otherwise, despite their firm declarations to the contrary.
2. I'm fairly convinced that TOP (particularly repeat and advanced term) can increase the risk of preterm birth1-2 (which could explain why there are more cases of preterm birth today than twenty years ago when repeat and advanced term TOP rates were lower).3
So although I support you 110%, the combination of my suspicions and deep convictions prevents me from participating in the MOD fundraiser. However, I have made a $25 donation to the Michael Fund (International Foundation for Genetic Research) in your honor. I hope that can suffice, and I hope you understand that you have all my respect and admiration for the good things you are ultimately trying to achieve on behalf of your fellow man.
~ 1. Ancel PY, et al. History of induced abortion as a risk factor for preterm birth in European countries: results of the EUROPOP survey Hum Reprod. (Mar 2004)v19n3p734-40
2. Zhou W, et al. Induced abortion and subsequent pregnancy duration Obstet Gynecol. (Dec 1999)v94n6p948-53
A very dear friend wrote to say that he is taking part in a fund raiser that will benefit the March of Dimes (MOD) citing his admirable frustration over preterm birth and lauding MOD's commitment to preventing it. After all, as he wrote, MOD's mission is to "improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality." Well, we all want that. However some of us do not believe in health by death and are aware of the evidence that suggests that's exactly what MOD is advocating.
As I say, this gentleman is a valued friend. He has supported me in endeavors that are extremely important to me, and there isn't much I wouldn't do for him. However, when he asked me to participate in this fund raiser, via donation, it broke my heart, because I have to say no. And while I'm not obligated to provide an explanation, and while he probably doesn't at all want to know why, and while it may injure his feelings or our rewarding friendship...I am going to provide a reason...and an alternative.
My awkward but careful (considerate) explanation will consist of these two points:
1. I suspect that one of MOD’s agendas is in fact eugenics (via the one-two combo of prenatal testing and TOP [termination of pregnancy]), and what I know about MOD (and their various advisory committee members, grants, etc.) does not convince me otherwise, despite their declarations to the contrary.
2. I’m fairly convinced that TOP (particularly repeat and advanced term) can increase the risk of preterm birth1-2 (which could explain why there are more cases of preterm birth today than twenty years ago when repeat and advanced term TOP rates were lower).3
I will craft and publish this note leaving out any identifying particulars in hopes that it can help someone else who encounters any sort of similar sticky wicket with a friend.
"I turned to the Internet, hoping to find some clarity. Instead I found anti-abortion Web sites that terrified me with images of dead fetuses and stories of women scarred for life. The opposing sites, which listed statistics of women who had thrived postabortion and detailed the political fight to keep access available, were not much better. I was looking for direction and found the political-speak meaningless and unhelpful."
With permission, an anonymous email from a reader:
"Hi there, I just wanted to make sure you knew about this bill (and a petition for it) that would require doctors to give parents good information on their child's prenatal diagnosis and referrals to support groups, etc. I saw in your archives that you experienced the pressure to abort children with disabilities when your son was incorrectly diagnosed with Down Syndrome before he was born (that 2003 post is SO good by the way). This bill could help to stop that kind of pressure and reduce the horribly high abortion rate for children who are prenatally diagnosed with a disability. You can read about it here. (Some folks will want to have their signatures displayed as "anonymous" on the petition, because otherwise it shows signers' e-mails.) "
Noelle, the petition's sponsor, talks about the bill: