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
November Group of the Month: Texas Students for Life at UT-Austin
Texas Students for Life at University of Texas – Austin came into November with a lot of pro-life momentum after finishing October, where they planned and hosted the Life, Peace, Justice Conference as well as a separate event with Tim Brahm from the Equal Rights Institute.
While most student groups start to ease up on their activism due to the upcoming
holidays during November, Texas Students for Life went in the opposite direction.
Beginning on the very first day of November, Texas Students for Life hosted Students for Life’s Cycle of Corruption tour in an attempt to reveal the truth behind the corruption that exists between Planned Parenthood and the federal government. They then hosted guest speaker Michael Barba from the Texas Catholic Conference who spoke on end-of-life issues. They also held a screening of the 40 Film and hosted Abby Johnson for a question and answer session.
Throughout the month, the group organized several social events including a movie night and holding their annual Friendsgiving event. Because Texas Students for Life has two designated executive board positions focused solely on freshmen connection and involvement, the group held a Freshmen Roller Skating night where the freshmen in the group got together for a night of laughter and fun. The focus of this event was to build strong relationships in the group to ensure continued involvement.
Texas Students for Life at UT-Austin finished the month of November strong with their Doodle Diaries event. They asked students to submit stories stating why they are pro-life. With the stories, they created fun doodle videos and posted them on their Facebook page.
This consistent life ethic group is a perfect example of what it means to spread a powerful, positive message in an unfriendly environment. Despite opposition and challenges, this group constantly looks for new ways to support pregnant and parenting students as well as to educate their peers on the realities of abortion and other life issues. What a motivated, dedicated, and powerful group of students.
Congratulations to Texas Students for Life at University of Texas – Austin for your well-deserved award of Students for Life of America’s November group of the month!