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
Former Abortionist Speaks to Colorado Med School and University
By Bethany Janzen, Rocky Mountain Regional Coordinator for Students for Life of America
While Congress and D.C. is in a raucous, students on campus aren’t being quiet either. Last week, Dr. Anthony Levatino’s presentations at a public university and med school in Colorado sparked controversy and conversation.
Dr. Levatino is a former abortionist who committed around 1,200 abortions – including some past 20 weeks – and had a change of heart. His story is captivating and compelling, which he shared with two schools of higher education last week.
At the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical School (CU Anschutz), 70 people attended Dr. Levatino’s lunch presentation “From Pro-Choice to Pro-Life.” In the evening, about 100-120 turned out to hear him address is “Is Abortion Women’s Healthcare?” at the University of Colorado Boulder (CU Boulder).
Leading up to the CU Boulder event, many of the posters which the Students for Life group on campus put up advertising the event were taken down. Also, some of their chalking was washed off, or defaced.
During the Q & A time at CU Boulder, one passionate African American student asked about how Dr. Levatino, as a white male, had the right to tell a woman what to do when he wasn’t fighting to stop Black Lives Matter, children dying in Syria, etc. His response? We can’t solve every crisis, but we can address a few important ones. It is sexist to say that just because I’m a male I can’t advocate for the lives of sons and daughters.
There were some other hostile questions as well, which Dr. Levatino answered with compassion, and though no protestors showed up, security stood by at both events.
At CU Anschutz, one of the three core leaders of the CU Anschutz Pro-Choice group and a leader in the Colorado Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice asked some questions about contraception and such from a pro-choice mindset. But afterwards she came up and talked to me.
We both realized that we had testified the day before on opposite sides of the same bill in the Colorado Senate Committee. She was kind and agreed that we needed to support pregnant and parenting students and was especially passionate about the need for lactation rooms on campus. It was great to find that common ground together.
She said that she thought it was good to consider other perspectives and so that’s why she wanted to attend Dr. Levatino’s presentation. She exchanged contact information with the president of the new CU Anschutz SFL group and he plans to get in touch with her.
At both events I had baby socks for the #Sockit2PP campaign that people could pin and then send the other one to Congress in efforts to defund Planned Parenthood. Lots of people participated!! 😊