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The following was written by Kathryn Jean Lopez for the National Review. To read the full article, click here.
I left the country the other day, and ever since I logged on across the pond, the talk of Facebook seems to be the new algorithms that limit the number of people you see on your news feed. But with all due respect to all the people I am missing, I can handle what I’ve been seeing most: nonstop images and videos of the new Gerber baby, Lucas Warren. He has Down syndrome, and with his smiling face he says more about life and love and hope than any words ever put together.
The Gerber-baby logo has existed since the 1920s, but the company introduced its annual photo contest in 2010. Lucas was one of 140,00 entrants this year, from Georgia. His mother, Cortney, told the Today Show that “he’s very outgoing and never meets a stranger.” And: “He loves to play, loves to laugh, and loves to make other people laugh.”
This little one’s smile seems instantaneous and contagious. It’s hard, knowing the hardship the world might see for him, not to look at him and think of all the pain he alleviates with one smile. It’s as if his message to the world is: Lighten up and love already! That’s my approach! I’m enjoying it! You should try it.
He has no idea how the world looks on him. That there are countries that would have had him eliminated before he had the chance to live. A few weeks ago I talked to Patricia Heaton, an actress in the ABC prime-time family series The Middle, who has been outspoken about the human rights of people with Down syndrome. Last summer she quickly rose to the role of fact-checker on Twitter in response to a news story about Iceland “eliminating” Down syndrome. As she told me in an interview for Angelus magazine: “They are not eliminating Down syndrome — you would have to have some kind of genetic maneuver in order to eliminate Down syndrome. What they are doing is eliminating people who happen to have Down syndrome. It’s a very different prospect. . . . We have to start telling the truth about what is happening, and not try to use semantics to deceive or sugarcoat what’s happening.”
To read the full article, click here.