January Event-in-a-Box: Fetal Abnormalities:I have written and re-written this blog article a few times. It is hard to find the right words for this topic because so much of the information that I found is heartbreaking. Amid all the tragedy around the world, “more love less hate” is the chant of much of our society. Ironically, a certain population has been given a death sentence from society and is even the target of “killing off” their entire population. This demographic of individuals has the capacity to love and empathize in a way that I believe more of us need to learn.
Iceland’s attempt to eliminate an entire population of human beings- using abortion- that just so happen to be individuals with Down Syndrome is by no other word, wrong. News stories can be found with headlines such as “Iceland has practically eliminated Down Syndrome”. No, Iceland, you’ve eliminated people, you’ve eliminated future generations- without acknowledging the devastation that abortion can bring about. Does the word Holocaust come to mind?
In a report done by CBS, “Since prenatal screening tests were introduced in Iceland in the early 2000s, the vast majority of women -- close to 100 percent -- who received a positive test for Down syndrome terminated their pregnancy.” And the US is not far behind with a termination rate of 67 percent!
Let’s talk about these wonderful individuals that society has deemed “undeserving of life”.
Facts and mythsMyth: People with Down Syndrome won’t live long
Fact: Research has shown that individuals with Down’s can live to be 60 years old or even older- with proper medical guidance.
Myth: People with Down Syndrome cannot live a mainstream lifestyle.
Fact: Most people with Down syndrome learn to walk and talk, and many are now attending mainstream schools, passing exams and living full, semi-independent adult lives. Examples of this can be seen all over Hollywood!
Myth: Down Syndrome only occurs in pregnancies of women over 35 years old.
Fact: due to higher fertility rates in younger women, 80% of children with Down syndrome are born to women under 35 years of age.
I don’t think the issue lies in the access to abortion, which obviously plays a huge role in this crisis. Instead, I think the larger problem stems from society’s inability to recognize personhood and lack of knowledge of when human rights, more so when human life, begins. This issue does not just affect those with Down Syndrome, it is the way our culture reassures mothers that their child with a poor prenatal diagnosis, of any abnormality, is better left terminated. The problem lies in our culture not valuing every single life as unique and worthy.
January Event in a Box
This month we want to focus on how your group responds to the argument of fetal abnormalities and Human Rights. As a group, put together your objections to the fetal abnormality debate - here are SFLA’s objections:
The preborn child is a human being. As a human being, he or she deserves the right to Life that is protected by our constitutional law and promoted at large in society. To abort the child is to intentionallyend his/her life.
Even if the child is expected to die (during pregnancy or soon after), aborting the child will only add to the family’s grief. It forces the family to intentionally and violently end their child’s life. Instead, perinatal hospice allows parents to just be parents to their child, and enjoy the time they have with their child while providing specific comfort care to their baby.
Carrying the child to term and spending a few final moments with the child allows the mother and the family to come to terms with their child’s death and to spend a short-time with their child before his/her passing. This child’s short life will be filled with love rather than violently ended in the womb.
Have a discussion on your campus about the Iceland Down Syndrome crisis, how would you respond if the US started doing this? This will spark conversation about human rights and when life begins. RECRUITMENT!
In the Box
Fetal Abnormalities postcard
Down Syndrome Facts Flyer
Human Rights Tabletop Preview- ask your RC about bringing it to your campus
By: Chris Buerke, Students for Life of America’s 2012 Missionary for Life
Everywhere that you see blue or green on the map above, abortion is legal and on-demand, with little to no restraint. The remainder of the colors—excluding black, which indicates varying laws—correspond to the countries that hold abortion to be illegal except in certain circumstances. At this point, if you have not read up on your pro-life stats recently, you are probably saying to yourself, “Woah now, compadre. I have always been told that abortions are a necessity to society. You expect me to believe that countries can actually survive in this world when abortion isn’t completely legal? No way.”
The truth of the matter is this: 97 countries, about 39 percent of the population, have abortion laws that make it illegal according to the pro-abortion Center for Reproductive Law and Policy in New York. 54 countries allow abortion, which is about 61 percent of the world population, but in those countries where abortion is allowed, countless people are standing up for life. In Berlin; in Paris; in Canada; in Brazil; and of course, in the US. The list goes on. Though the world might be dominated by a vast majority of pro-abortion legislation, people are acting out against the issue for the sake of unborn life.
Unfortunately, the case for abortion goes far beyond the United States, though we do not often take the time to consider the social issues of other countries. Those who are passionately fighting in the pro-life movement are so bogged down by the battle that is taking place at home that even they forget to consider the fact that abortion occurs in places beyond their neighborhood Planned Parenthood—making it not a societal issue, but an international one. This isn’t to say that you should rise from your seat right now, put on a cape, and fly to Africa to fight injustice. However, you must take the time to consider the rest of the world and where they stand on this grave injustice. In order to fully comprehend the issue of abortion, you need to know where and why it exists. You need to know how it began and where it is likely to spread so that you might better know how to end it.