From a biological standpoint, infants are human beings who are transitioning between two stages: birth and puberty (Bogin 1990, p. 19). The term is often used interchangeably with the term minors, which refers to those who are under the majority age. It is important to remember that since children are traditionally under the age of majority and therefore unable to protect or champion their own interests, they are often confronted with a slew of social issues, for example, homelessness, poverty, dysfunctional families, lack of proper education, as well as, child labor. Childhood, on the other hand, is the age that ranges from the stage of birth to the stage of adolescence (James and Prout 2015). Scholars such as Piaget argue that childhood consists of 2 major stages and these are the ‘concrete operational stage and the preoperational stage. According to the field of developmental psychology, childhood is made up of a number of developmental stages namely; toddlerhood, early childhood, middle childhood, and adolescence. It is important to note that the concept of childhood was first given thought between the 18th and the 19th century and through the educational theories that were published in books of scholars, for example, Locke John, a lot was learned about children. Before these concepts was coined and widely adopted, children were only seen as adults that were not complete. The images of childhood can be defined as the expectations, as well as, the ideas of children and childhood. It is true to state that they are usually cultural ideologies or the perceptions of individuals in the society (Veerman 1992). By critically analyzing an article by the name’ (Dear future mom), advert banned due to the possibilities that it could affect the women who have had abortions’, this particular paper will consider how the images of childhood influence the rights of children 3 categories, namely offshore surrogacy, right to play, as well as, disability and education.
A critical analysis of the article
This particular article by Elizabeth Koh describes how an advertisement that was meant to be used for the ‘World’s Down Syndrome day’ was banned from being aired in the France. The advert was banned by the French Court on the allegations that it would cause disturbance to the women who have ever had abortions in their lives of which, according to the law, is a personal life choice. According to the article, the advert answered a woman’s questions after she discovers that her unborn child has Downs Syndrome (Koh 2016). The woman’s question was, “What kind of life will my child have?” (Koh 2016).
The woman’s question was answered by 15 different children, as well as, adults living with Downs Syndrome. According to the article (Koh 2016), the main message behind the reply to the question was that the child would have an ordinary life that is not at all different from that lived by those who that have not been diagnosed with the Downs Syndrome. According to Elizabeth Koh (2016), the country’s Council of State banned the putting of that particular advert on air stating that the advert would potentially hurt the women who had previously undergone an abortion. It is also important to the advert was banned on the allegation that it would have been part of a pro-life campaign (Koh 2016).
According to the CNN news, the broadcasting council of France ruled out the used of the advert on the French televisions. Despite several sponsors of the advert, for example, the Jerome Foundation appealing the decision made by the court. It is important to note that the Jerome Foundation deals with research that is focused on Downs Syndrome, as well as, other conditions that are similar to it. The Jerome Foundation insisted that the court’s decision to ban the use of the advert treated the phenomena of protecting life and abortion the same, however, it is important to note that the women who have chosen to give birth to children despite noticing that their fetuses have Downs Syndrome do not in any way regret choosing life (Koh 2016).
It is important to note that there are countries that have prohibited the payment of surrogates beyond the needed compensation for the medical procedures undertaken to carry, as well as, deliver the child, for example, Australia (Cuthbert and Fronek 2014, p. 55). It is important to note that the above-discussed article brings out a clear image of childhood in that the government through the court and its regulations can influence the decisions of parents on whether the child is to live, die, or whether the child is to be conceived and born outside the country from which the parents originate. According to the article, the banning of the advert by the French government through its court indicates shows the extent to which the government influences the perception in women that they have the right to choose death in case the child is discovered to have Downs Syndrome (Riggs 2015, p. 58). Offshore surrogacy is a clear way through which the government influences the parent’s decisions on where the child is to be conceived and born.
Right to play
It is important to note that children have a lot of rights as they are also human beings. ‘The Convention on the Rights of Children’ identifies a child as an individual that has not attained the age of 18 years. Some of the rights of children include the right to protection, care, and the right to play among many others (Davey and Lundy 2011 p. 7). The article by Havnes and Mogstad (2015, p. 105) brings out an image of childhood that indicates that the rights of a child can be overlooked if the parent chooses. All children have the right to live as they are equal human beings like any other despite not having been born. The image of childhood brought forth by this particular article not only overlooks the right to life for children but also all the other rights of the child, for example, the right to play (Fearn and Howard 2012, p. 460).
Disability and Education
A disability is a mental or physical challenge in an individual that limits the individual from living a fully functional life (World Health Organization 2011). It is important to note that disability impairs an individual’s abilities, as well as, senses. The article identified and discussed in this particular paper puts special emphasis on the Downs Syndrome and how a majority of women choose death over life because of the fear that if they give birth to children with Downs Syndrome, their children will not be able to live normal lives. The image of childhood brought forth here is the image that a child born with a physical or mental challenge cannot make it in life or cannot live a normal life. It is important to note that children born with various physical and mental challenges, for example, Downs Syndrome can have perfectly normal lives if only special attention is given to them. Good examples of this special attention are inclusive education and inclusion (Armstrong, Armstrong, and Spandagou 2011, p. 33; Farmer, Reinke, and Brooks 2014, p. 71; Wagner and Ruch 2015, p. 610). It is important to note that inclusive education helps countries, for example, Australia effectively reduce the burden of handling a diverse population of children and this not only includes children with disabilities but all children (Anderson and Boyle 2015, p. 18; Ford 2013, p. 96).
Children are referred to as human beings that have not reached the age of majority. It is important to note that the age of majority is widely considered to be 18 years, however, it may change depending on the jurisdiction. Childhood is the age between the period of birth and puberty or adolescence. The image of childhood can be referred to as the perceptions or ideas by the individuals of the society as a whole about the children and childhood. The article identified and discussed in this particular paper describes the banning of an advert in France that had the potential of hurting women that had ever engaged in the act of abortion. According to the article, the advert showed children answering a woman’s question of what kind of life the child she gives birth to will have having Downs Syndrome. This paper identifies the images of childhood that the article described in this particular paper brings forth and how this image of childhood influences the rights of children in the areas of offshore surrogacy, disability, as well as, education, and the right to play.
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