Cosmopolitan magazine’s Internet properties are championing Madeline Stuart, a 19-year-old Australian model who has just won a contract to model bridalwear. Madeline has Down Syndrome, but that hasn’t stopped her. In fact, her mother says, part of her mission is to use her success to “change the way people discriminate against disability through gaining attention through social media. She wants people to know that Down Syndrome is a blessing, something to be celebrated.”
“Aside from this being a fantastic achievement for Madeline and her family,” says Cosmo Digital Fashion Editor Jess Edwards, “for other people with Down’s Syndrome and their families, her career is empowering and exciting. We can’t wait to see what she does next.”
That’s really weird, because Cosmo’s coverage of people with Down Syndrome over the years has included endorsing, defending, and giving greater visibility to mothers who say they want to abort or would have aborted their children with Down Syndrome (and other disabilities).
Defending Those Who Kill Downs Babies
In fact, the same day Cosmo published this “rah-rah, we love Madeline, look at how beautiful and worthy disabled people are” article, it torched an Indiana bill that would have prohibited mothers from discriminating against potentially disabled children in utero, including babies predicted to have Down Syndrome like Madeline.
“If House Bill 1337 is signed into law, abortions sought because a fetus has been diagnosed with a disability (such as Down syndrome) will be banned. Abortions sought over a fetus’s gender, nationality, race, or ancestry will also be banned. Providers who perform such abortions could be sued for wrongful death,” writes Cosmopolitan.com senior writer Prachi Gupta under the headline “Indiana Passes Anti-Abortion Bill So Egregious That Even Anti-Choice Republicans Are Outraged.”
Gupta editorializes: “The law will undoubtedly increase costs to women who have to travel long distances to abortion clinics or who have to pay for cremation or burial services, will emotionally burden women during their pregnancy, will impede honest communication between patients and their doctors, and will deter medical researchers from using or collecting fetal tissue for their work.”
She then, apparently with no self awareness or sense of irony, complains that Indiana lawmakers supporting the bill are “not thinking of the living and breathing women whose lives will be forever altered by these laws…” Right, like the living and breathing (babies breathe amniotic fluid in utero to prepare their lungs to breathe air right after they’re born) children inside these women, whom this bill would have prevented from being killed merely because they were women or had Down Syndrome? Babies develop lungs beginning in the third week of life after conception, and have rather well-developed lungs by week 16. It has lungs, it has a heart, it has a heartbeat. It’s a person.
If we want to talk about championing the rights of disabled people, of preventing discrimination against them and celebrating what they can do, preventing people from slating them for death merely because they are diagnosed as likely to have a disability seems like a great place to start.
Cosmopolitan has a long history of championing killing disabled children before they’re born. In 2014, Cosmo senior political writer Jill Filipovic torched Jessa Duggar as “deranged” for thinking of abortion while visiting the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. Because it’s crazy to see the widespread, systematic, legalized murder of millions of Jews and other “undesirables” and be reminded of the widespread, systematic, legalized killing of 57 million “undesirable” babies via abortion since 1973.
In 2013, Cosmopolitan’s Liz Welch relayed the story of Vanessa Riley, who told the Texas legislature of her decision to abort her child after he was diagnosed with spina bifida in utero (um, can’t have spina bifida if you’re not a person — unless you want to weirdly argue that beings with human DNA inside a human mother’s womb are instead animals or aliens). Lawmakers were considering a bill to prevent abortions at the point research has shown babies can feel pain. Like, you know, being cut to pieces, having their brains smushed, and being vacuumed out of their mothers’ wombs.
Apparently Cosmopolitan feels good about its cognitive dissonance of loving on Madeline Stuart and her expression of the full and beautiful lives disabled people can have, while fiercely defending any mother who wants to kill potential Madeline Stuarts. Between 67 and 85 percent of preborn Down Syndrome diagnoses end in abortion. Cosmopolitan thinks that’s okay.
Now, Cosmo writers can hold any view on abortion they wish, but if they’re going to support aborting people just because of a disability diagnosis they can’t run around pretending they love disabled people and hate anti-disabled discrimination. Because they’re perpetuating and amplifying the very discrimination they want you to believe they’re against.