A controversial comment about abortion on a popular Netflix dating show is leading to backlash from families who have children with disabilities including Down syndrome.
On the show “Love is Blind,” two people are talking about having children and what they would do if they learned an unborn child had a disability.
During an episode in season three, the couple Nancy Rodriguez and Bartise Bowden discuss having children when Rodriguez says she would likely get an abortion in that situation.
“For me, if I knew that I could try again and hope that the second time it’s better than I would go that route.”
Rodriguez is a speech pathologist who works with children with Down syndrome. She says in her experience children have difficult medical illnesses and she sees families break under the pressure of caring for a child with a disability.
But the comment does not sit well with many families who do lovingly care for children with disabilities.
Misty Coy Snyder recalls learning when she was 14 weeks pregnant that her second child would be born with Down syndrome.
“I was terrified and devastated and thought this was the end,” she recalls.
But her fears evaporated shortly after her son Jed’s birth.
“I thought what on Earth was I so afraid of? This is a baby, a beautiful baby I wanted, and I was excited for – and I let a diagnosis put a cloud over it all.”
Snyder has been working to change the narrative surrounding Down syndrome and disabilities through her Instagram account Happiness Is Down Syndrome which focuses on children and their families.
Orange County resident Amy Calacci also shares her six-year-old daughter Emmy’s journey in the hopes to dispel misconceptions about raising a child with special needs.
“It’s a normal life, with a few more doctor’s appointments.”
Both women were horrified by the comments on “Love is Blind.” In fact, thousands of families have spoken up against the episode.
Calacci worries the negative message is the only point of view the show’s fans will see.
“All the descriptions that she put out there were not accurate for my life, and they weren’t accurate for the majority of people that I know.”
Snyder wrote a letter to Netflix and its show creator asking for an apology and for more inclusive shows about people with disabilities.
“I think Netflix and the show itself, ‘Love is Blind,’ has more of a responsibility to try and make amends with us because they are the ones that had editing powers and the ability to say that is not what we put forth.”
Snyder has not heard back.
Eyewitness News also reached out to Netflix for a comment but has not received a response.
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