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
PRO-LIFE GROUP ANNOUNCES NEW FETAL PAIN CAMPUS TOUR
Students for Life of America’s new Fetal Pain Display going to campuses nationally
Fredericksburg, VA (March 23, 2015) – Students for Life of America launched their educational tour, the Fetal Pain Display, nearly two months to the day after the epic failure of the U.S. House of Representatives to vote on a bill to protect babies from abortion after 20 weeks. The vote was promised to take place on January 22nd, the day of the March for Life, when it was pulled because of protests from Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) and Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-IN).
“A majority of the U.S. House of Representatives are pro-life. It is an abject failure and disappointment that they have yet to allow a vote on a bill that not only protects babies in the womb that feel pain but is across-the-board supported by the American public,” said Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America. “Since Members of Congress, many of whom say they are pro-life, can’t seem to understand the inhumaneness of abortion, especially late-term abortions, SFLA will be touring campuses with an educational, simple display to start that conversation on late-term abortions.”
To see the diagrams used in the display, which are taken from medical textbooks, and a sample list of schools that will host the display, go here: /fetal-pain-display/.
Fifty-two percent of Millennials are in favor of banning abortions after 20 weeks gestation, according to National Journal. Sixty-four percent of Americans think abortion should be illegal in the second trimester and that number jumps to 80% for third trimester abortions, according to Gallup.
“There is common ground on this issue and using it educate the next generation of our nation’s leaders is going to be crucial for the trajectory the country takes in protecting innocent human life,” continued Hawkins.
According to the Guttmacher Institute, the research arm of Planned Parenthood, 42 states have banned abortions after a certain number of weeks of gestation and with varying exceptions. Some states have taken up bans on abortions after 20 weeks this year already including South Carolina and West Virginia.
Fact on fetal pain:
Pain receptors are present throughout the fetus’ entire body by no later than 16 weeks after fertilization, and nerves link these receptors to the brain’s thalamus and subcortical plate by no later than 20 weeks.
Scientifically proven that by 20 weeks, babies react to painful stimuli by jerking, recoiling and flinching.
Scientifically proven that by 20 weeks, fetuses that are exposed to painful stimuli during surgery have an increase in stress hormones if anesthesia is not applied.