Fully 80 percent of parents who receive a diagnosis of Down syndrome in their unborn children elect to abort. But it's not unusual at all among committed pro-lifers (to bring such a child to term). I have met many in the course of speaking to pro-life audiences. And for every couple that has chosen life for a handicapped child, there are thousands and perhaps millions more who have abjured prenatal testing because under no circumstances would they abort their children. I cannot count the times I've amazed pro-choice people with the news that there are even waiting lists of couples who stand ready to adopt Down syndrome babies. The example of people living their principles by embarking on the undeniably difficult path of raising a handicapped child is a hard one to dismiss. In fact, it's hard not to admire. Don't most of us, deep down, really think that the most humane and honorable thing is to treat all life as sacred? Even if you are not religious or have no belief in God -- doesn't it appeal to an enlightened humanism to give support and love to the handicapped? In fact, most pro-choice people probably treat the handicapped with terrific compassion and care. They doubtless support civil rights legislation like the Americans with Disabilities Act, additional school spending, and generous Social Security benefits. They'd be the first to hold the door for someone in a wheelchair, and they'd be friendly toward anyone with obvious mental retardation. But for themselves, they would abort. And there stands Sarah, Trig Palin in her arms, a beautiful ambassador for the path of humility, duty, honor, and grace. It's no wonder she was in their crosshairs from the get go.Not to split hairs, but I've heard the number of parents who choose to abort their unborn children after a Down syndrome diagnosis is over 90%. I suspect that even most pro-choice people would agree that this ghastly figure is a stain on our society. It's something that history will view with raw contempt. But why would Palin's choice so enrage the left? To best understand that, you need some experience wallowing in the left wing blogs. The favorite charge liberals like to hurl at conservatives is "Hypocrite!" Glenn Greenwald even wrote a tiresome book devoted to that single topic - how conservatives are a bunch of hypocrites. That's where the whole "chickenhawk" meme comes from. The problem liberals already faced in this election is that it's tough to call John McCain a chickenhawk. If as president John McCain ever had to order men into battle, it would be impossible to argue that he lacked the moral authority to do so. Even before Sarah Palin joined the ticket, liberals had to accustom themselves to a less target rich environment than they enjoyed in the Bush/Cheney years. Now along comes Sarah Palin, a social conservative. Unfortunately for the left, she has failed to live out their pre-ordained narrative regarding social conservatives. She hasn't done the equivalent of tap her toes in an airport restroom looking for gay sex or send salacious instant messages to teenage pages. Instead, she has done what the left senses is the equivalent of John McCain's Vietnam heroism - she has stuck to her principles even when doing so was difficult. The irony here is that only the pro-choice left views Palin's decision to bring Trig to term with awe and thus horror. Pro-life people figure she did the obvious right thing, and no medals are in order. For pro-life people who are serious about their convictions (and doubtlessly Palin herself), aborting Trig would never have been a consideration. For the left, the situation is different. Virtually everyone in society when confronted with the 90+% abortion rate of Down syndrome fetuses reacts with horror or at least dismay. How dare Sarah Palin, that moose-hunting rural rube, show herself to be the moral superior to our nation's sophisticates?
Required Reading: Why They Hate Her, Part 83
Charen offers an excellent contribution to the growing field of theories as to why the left has suffered such a complete meltdown over Sarah Palin: