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
Student faces harassment because he wants to start a Students for Life group
Update April 11th:
Jacob had his first meeting and 35(!) students showed up. A girl even changed her mind from pro-choice to pro-life! Here is what Jacob told us:
The meeting was scheduled started at 7:00. At 6:55, there were about ten people. I was really nervous and embarrassed. However, when it got closer and closer, people started flooding through the door! We ended up having 35 people. We opened up with The Pledge of Allegiance, and then Sammi Hanson, the treasurer opened things up. After that, I spoke and showed a video of Anna Held [SFLA Great Lakes Regional Coordinator] introducing herself. Then, Randy Smith, from the Meigs County Tea Party (who sponsored $100 worth of food!) spoke. After that, the OSU Students spoke. We concluded with eating lots of food! It was a great night. Like I said, one person ended up converting because of the meeting.
Students for Life of America has grown at an amazing pace since its inception nearly ten years ago. Every year, we help students to start more and more pro-life clubs. Almost always, it’s not an easy task and our brave and courageous students confront significant opposition.
Ohio University freshman Jacob Hoback is starting a Students for Life club and this fearless man is encountering substantial hatred and harassment from abortion supporters who cannot stand the fact that he wants to be a voice for preborn children and mothers facing unplanned pregnancies.
He told The Post, the campus paper at the university, that his reasons for starting the club was because he “realized there was no speech for the pro-life activists on campus.”
Jacob, who is only 18-years-old, wants the club to “advocate against abortion, educate students and help pregnant women through fundraisers for items such as diapers and other necessities for infants.”
Helping pregnant moms is something that both the pro-life and pro-choice sides should be able to come together on, right? After all, a lot of our Students for Life clubs do work with the opposing sides on their campuses for this very purpose.
But at Ohio University, these are some of the messages that Jacob has received from people who are not happy about a pro-life group on campus (screenshots below).
If you’d like to send Jacob a message of support, go here.
Jacob has his first interest meeting next week and some pro-choice people have threatened to show up. We are supporting him with our staff and resources.
We are so proud of Jacob and cannot wait to see what he does with his new Students for Life group.