Chair McMorris Rodgers discusses Ruth Marcus op-ed, human dignity on Fox & Friends

Mar 14, 2018 | Communications •

“[My son] is a delight and he has huge potential and we should be celebrating the potential of every person in this country. We should be warriors for human dignity and human value.”

House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) joined Fox & Friends to share her family’s experience raising and cherishing a son with Down syndrome and push back on Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus’s offensive piece on abortion from earlier this week. In her column, Marcus says she would have aborted her children if she found out they had Down syndrome. She put it bluntly: “That was not the child I wanted.”

In response, Chair McMorris Rodgers wrote this tweet thread:

In today’s interview, Chair McMorris Rodgers also shared the work she is doing in the People’s House to help the disability community have better access to an education and the opportunity to work. Her legislation, ABLE to Work, was included in the final Tax Cuts & Jobs Act and further opens up the workforce for men and women with disabilities.

Here’s what you may have missed from this morning’s Fox & Friends:


“I did find the piece quite disturbing. The value of human life, that timeless principle is one that we must continue to cherish and I would submit that Ruth hasn’t spent enough time with kids that have Down syndrome. I want to invite her to come spend some time with Cole. Our son is ten years old, and yes, when we got that news it was tough news, it’s not what you expect, it’s not what you dream. But just because something is tough doesn’t mean that it’s not positive. And Cole has had a tremendous, positive impact on me, on our family, and everyone who meets him. He is a delight and he has huge potential and we should be celebrating the potential of every person in this country. We should be warriors for human dignity and human value. That’s my passion and that’s my message to Ruth.”


“To women that are in this position I know it’s a tough situation, it’s difficult news to receive and it’s overwhelming. I remember at the time that the doctors gave us a long list of everything that potentially could go wrong. That’s overwhelming, but it would be overwhelming to any parent upon the birth of their child that they’re given this long list of the potential of a car accident, or getting cancer, or whatever it may be. Becoming a parent can be overwhelming in and of itself. I would encourage them to also look and see this child as having huge potential. And they don’t understand, in that moment, how that child is going to positively impact their lives and this world. Here on Capitol Hill it has given me a whole new passion. I’m excited that in the tax bill we got the ABLE to Work provisions. This was legislation I had introduced to allow those with disabilities to explore work. Lets focus on their abilities, lets focus on what they have to offer. We live in an amazing time in history where we are not bound by the conditions of our birth.”


“There is a lot of support. There is more that needs to be done, but early on I was surrounded by a team of people, the social workers, as well as the doctors, the therapists. We have early intervention. That is very important, those early years, that early intervention. Cole now is in 5th grade, so for the kids that are in K-12 they’re mainstream, they are given the opportunity to learn, which not that long ago, they weren’t. Cole is reading, he loves math. Not too long ago they said ‘you can’t learn how to read.’ We need to stop putting limits on people. Lets focus on their ability, focus on what they can do. And the next frontier is really to open up that opportunity to work. Many with disabilities, now that have been through early intervention, been through our K-12 system, would love to have the opportunity to work and we as a culture need to give them that opportunity to see what they can do.”


“When Cole walks into the room he just lights it up. He is a very positive, enthusiastic little boy. He loves playing basketball, he loves being with other people, people are drawn to him. He is such a positive on our family but also on everyone who meets him and that’s what I want people to see and I think we should see that about every person. Lets focus on the ability, lets focus on what someone has to offer.”