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
We’ve got some huge news from Students for Life of America! We announced today that we now serve more than 1,043 college, high school, law and medical school, and young professionals pro-life groups across the United States, 568 of which were started by our SFLA National Field Team.
This means that Students for Life campus pro-life groups now outnumber pro-abortion groups nearly 4 to 1, with Planned Parenthood’s last report boasting 275 campus groups.
“This enormous gap between pro-life and pro-choice students indicates that the pro-life message is resonating where it needs to the most, right where the abortion industry targets: college and high school campuses,” said Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America. “We are meeting students where they are, having passionate and constructive conversations on campus, and changing hearts and minds.
“The passion of our students is evidenced by the sheer number of pro-life students willing to sacrifice their time and energy on behalf of women facing unintended pregnancies and their babies verses the pro-choice student groups whose only recourse against us has been to yell and scream and vandalizepro-life displays,” continued Hawkins.
Since SFLA launched full-time just ten years ago, we’ve grown from a team of only one full-time staffer to over 29, including at least one person in every region of the country that works with area high school and college groups, and the number of student pro-life clubs has grown every single year, topping out in the 2015-2016 school year at over 1,040.
Every school year, SFLA tallies the number of current Students for Life groups, which are measured in terms of activity level. Activities include doing diaper drives and baby showers for pregnant moms on campus, bringing thought-provoking campus displays to the school, hosting qualified speakers, attending the annual March for Life and SFLA National Conference, and poll tabling, among other activities. All of the groups do at least one activity a semester but most do several and are positive forces on their campuses.
“Several years ago, NARAL president Nancy Keenan noted the high number of young people at the March for Life and was concerned about what she called the ‘intensity gap’ between young pro-life people and young pro-choice people,” said Hawkins. “Well, Ms. Keenan, your fears have been realized. The intensity gap is alive and well and pro-life students are motivated now, more than ever before, to show women that there are other options besides abortion, that they can succeed in school and in life with a child, which is more than the abortion industry wants to concede. The pro-life generation is here to stay.”