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
Motivation. It comes in so many forms, especially when working in the pro-life movement. I see student groups motivated by exciting events like baby saves, a changed mind, or a successful campus display.
Last week I saw another form of motivation. I was meeting with a new high school pro-life club in the Northwest and they were extremely excited to change hearts and minds on their campus. While brainstorming how to do this they found out that a student had confided in a teacher that she was pregnant and planned to keep her baby.
Here was the perfect opportunity to provide love and support to a fellow student and introduce their club to the school! The students planned to throw the student a baby shower, and host a school-wide baby item drive just for her.
The student group and I walked down to the teacher’s classroom to get all the specific details, and to find out exactly what the girl needed. We were shocked as the teacher, holding back tears told us, that the girl’s mother had found out about the pregnancy over break, and had quickly taken her into Planned Parenthood for an abortion.
It felt like someone had punched me in the stomach. And looking around, I don’t think there was a dry eye in the room. The question in every one’s mind was, “If she had known there was a new club at her school that would support her and accept her, would she have been stronger in her resolve to keep her child? Would it have made a difference?”
Although it was a heart-breaking experience, it was incredibly motivating to this student group to find out that there are students in their school who desperately need their help, love and support. That they, as supportive peers can create a culture of life and acceptance which in turn will save the life of a preborn child and spare the mother from lifelong pain.
After this experience, the group is more determined than ever before to abolish abortion in their high school community and to make abortion absolutely unthinkable for their peers.
It goes to show how important Students for Life groups are on our high school campuses. These students are changing hearts and minds at their schools, and sometimes they are the only life-affirming support a young woman has when deciding whether to choose life for her child.
Please pray that this young woman will find healing, pray for her preborn child, and pray for this new student group, that they are successful in creating a culture of Life at their high school.