Disabled People Won’t Exist Some Day

Published: Oct 02, 2016

Disabled People Won’t Exist Some Day. And that’s okay.

I have cerebral palsy. It’s a broad term for a wide array of physical and mental disabilities caused by damage to the cerebral cortex (the part of the brain responsible for stuff like speech and motor control). It’s a birth defect and it will become rarer as science is able to prevent it by avoiding the underlying causes or through early detection and selective abortion.

And there’s nothing wrong with that.

I’ve seen a lot of posts lately that either try and spin people with disabilities as some sort of magical type of being with a unique perspective that greatly benefits the planet or they spin the right for a woman to abort a fetus with a birth defect as some kind of genocide.

Both sides are just beyond ridiculous. People with polio are becoming harder and harder to find as the polio vaccine gains greater traction around the world. I don’t think you could find a person with polio who would talk as if they’re being forced to go extinct because of the polio vaccine. They understand that no one should have to live with permanent disability and any means that prevents that is a positive thing. They would not treat the prevention or cure of their condition as an affront to their very existence.

Disabled people shouldn’t exist. We are not “handicapable” or “differently‐abled”. Storm and Cyclops from the X‐Men are differently‐abled. We are disabled. Our body’s abilities are limited by whatever the hell happens to be wrong with us. There’s nothing morally wrong with that.

What’s wrong is writing posts about how having a selective abortion is tantamount to “able‐bodied feminists privilege” while not taking into account the physical, emotional, and financial impact raising a disabled child has on a family.

What’s wrong is writing about how our perspective on life is special and unique compared to everyone else’s and to abort a disabled fetus is to steal something unique from the world while at the same time complaining about how we want to be treated like everyone else and how terrible inspiration‐porn is.

What’s wrong is filing all of this under some kind of privilege while forgetting just how privileged you are to have the cognitive and physical abilities that allow you to express these opinions online.

That’s likes saying civil wars shouldn’t be prevented because of all the inspirational people that happened to survive a civil war. It totally ignores the majority of war victims who end up dead or damaged instead of giving speeches behind a podium.

That’s some fucking privilege.

I will consider it a privilege if, when I die, the headline reads “last man diagnosed with cerebral palsy passes away”. No one should have to live with a disability and we, as the disabled community, should be the strongest and most positive voice for cure and prevention.