Those who criticize Sarah Palin for deciding to give birth to a child with Down Syndrome should note the career of Andrea Fay Friedman.
Because Andrea was born with Down syndrome, the pediatrician told her parents to send her straight to an institution because she would not develop beyond the mental age of four or five. Her parents, Harold and Marjorie Friedman, ignored the doctor's advice, took Andrea home, loved her, taught her and worked to help her develop to her full potential.
In 1991, she auditioned for and won the continuing part of Amanda, Corky's (Chris Burke) girlfriend in the TV series "Life Goes On" and became a permanent member of the cast for two seasons.
In addition to "Life Goes On," Andrea has been a featured guest star on episodes of "Baywatch," "Touched By An Angel," "Chicago Hope," "Walker, Texas Ranger," "7th Heaven," "The Division," "Law and Order, SVU " and the star of her own Christmas special, "Smudge."
"So what", you say, "It takes no intelligence to be an actor." Well..., granted, but then there's this:
Andrea is often invited to be a motivational speaker and supporter of causes that help other challenged people. In October, 1994, she addressed the students and faculty at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education....
She lives independently in her own apartment, which she shares with her best friend. When she is not acting, she works in the accounting department of a major law firm. She drives her own car and manages her own schedule, budget, housekeeping and social life.
Granted, Andrea is unusual, but if the eugenicists had their way she would have been judged defective and never been born at all.