69-year-old Gillian Relf says she regrets having her 47-year-old son, Stephen, because he was born with Down’s Syndrome. Relf has grown weary of caring for her needy son over the years and worries about his life after after she passes away. Relf is so fervent in her desire to be rid of Stephen, that she says, “if I could go back in time, I would abort him in an instant.”
The mother of two wrote a lengthy article for the Daily Mail in which she tries quite hard to convince readers that the “92 per cent of women who choose to abort their babies after discovering they have Down’s Syndrome” are some kind of heroes, who should be worshipped for the brave murders of their own flesh and blood.
She challenges us all “to walk a mile in the shoes of mothers like me, saddled for life as I am, with a needy, difficult, exasperating child who will never grow up.” What she ignores is the fact that many selfless individuals have chosen to walk in those very same shoes by adopting children with disabilities.
Relf recounts a certain incident which occurred two years ago, when Stephen was 45. She is clearly still miffed over an outburst he had which ruined her vacation. She writes:
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.
And no, Stephen was not an obstreperous toddler when this happened. He was 45 years old. This embarrassing scene happened two years ago and the episode is just one of the many challenges we have faced since Stephen, our second child, was born with Down’s Syndrome.
I can imagine this was quite a frustrating situation. I’ve been there with a three-year-old and I admit that a 45-year-old’s tantrum would be much more difficult to handle. Still, this stressful ordeal is not by any means cause to wish you had murdered your child when you had the chance. It seems flying presents an issue for Stephen, so if Relf wishes to take him along on family vacations, there are other avenues to do so. And if from time to time she wants fly somewhere exotic, then by all means, she could do so without Stephen. She spends most of her time without him anyway, as he resides in a home for the mentally disabled.
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Life is always precious; there is no grey area when it comes down to this highly controversial topic. Stephen’s life is not less valuable because of his condition. Relf chooses to see the disability when she looks at her son, instead of the person behind it.
Additionally, Relf is so busy lamenting her son as the cross she must bear in this life, that she has forgotten something very important. Our time on Earth is not intended to be lived in the lap of luxury; frivolously enjoying our days without struggle or service to others. Our lives last for only the blink of an eye in comparison to the eternity we will encounter after we die. So many people choose happiness now with complete disregard to the affect our decisions will have on our souls for eternity.
It seems clear from Relf’s diatribe that she is not Christian, though her argument is off-base, even for someone who lacks a moral compass. Should a parent make the decision to kill their unborn child based on the difficulty level of raising that child? This prospect sounds utterly barbaric whether you’re religious or not.
Hopefully, Stephen is completely unaware of his mother’s selfish regret that she did not abort him 47 years ago. If you would like to read Gillian Relf’s entire appeal to mothers, you can do so here.
Do you think she is heartless for wishing she had never given birth to her son? Give us your take in the comments section.