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
UPDATED: Catholic school hosting PP doc, uses Rosary with IUD to advertise
UPDATE 7:30pm on Feb 25: Per the group’s Facebook page, they have postponed the event:
A school nursing group at a Jesuit Catholic school, Seattle University, is hosting an event tonight that is in direct opposition to Catholic teaching and where the image on the flyer borders on blasphemy.
The event is called “Catholicism and Full Spectrum Reproductive Healthcare: one provider’s perspective” and is being presented by Nursing Students for Sexual and Reproductive Health.
That “provider’s perspective” happens to be an abortionist from the largest abortion chain in the nation, Planned Parenthood. From the organization’s Facebook event, it looks like this is going to encompass a conversion to the gods of reproductive healthcare:
Dr. Pentlicky from Planned Parenthood of Seattle will be giving a presentation and discussing her experience of being raised Catholic and how she came to be a full spectrum reproductive healthcare provider. She will also be holding a Q&A for any and all questions related to her work and reproductive healthcare in general.
Check out the flyer though. It’s a Rosary with an IUD at the end of it, instead of a crucifix.
“So instead of educating students on the Catholic social teachings of reproduction and the profound Theology of the Body, Seattle University is allowing an event that is in direct opposition to Catholic teaching. They are allowing someone who rips apart tiny human beings every day onto their campus to speak from a position of authority,” said Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America. “By allowing events like this to happen and giving platforms to those who work daily against the very teachings of the Church and the beliefs of a majority of Americans, it’s no wonder so many Catholic students leave their faith when they go to college. How can we expect students to remain strong in their faith when their own schools, such as Seattle University, give conflicting messages and appear to endorse positions that are in direct conflict with Christianity? This is a real shame and these schools have no one to blame but themselves.”
We are asking pro-lifers of all faiths to respectfully call the President of Seattle University, Father Sundborg at 206-296-1891 or SUNDBORG@seattleu.edu and tell him to either cancel the event or make a public statement to all students that the university does not agree with Dr. Pentlicky’s message, reprimand the Nursing Students for Sexual and Reproductive Health group for promoting such a tasteless and offensive image, and work with the Students for Life club on campus to bring in a physician in good standing who can counter the lies of Planned Parenthood and speak about the Catholic perspective on women’s healthcare.