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
Fellowship Weekend: “This generation will end abortion with love”
By Carson Macik, Reicher Catholic High School, Class of 2018.
A rising force to be reckoned with, the Millennial generation has made it clear that they are not in favor of abortion, rejecting it in all or most cases by 53%, according to the Institute for Pro-Life Advancement. High school and college students from Oregon to Maine represented the nationwide pro-life sentiment through the Thaddeus Stevens and William Wilberforce Fellowships weekend training and will be continuing to learn from pro-life leaders throughout this school year.
As a Stevens Fellow myself, I cannot express how much energy and passion I found in my newly-made friends towards the goal of abolishing abortion. Stories like Norvilia Etienne’s courageous stand against her college barring a pro-life club on her campus, or Marcos Sanchez starting his group in a little town in Oregon despite pushback from his high school, are inspirational to everyone in this ever-expanding movement!
With a plethora of different backgrounds, experiences, and talents, SFLA Fellows convened both Friday and Saturday mornings to begin seminars for the day covering a variety of topics from conversational suggestions with pro-choice advocates to leadership management strategies and techniques.
Perhaps the most intense and engaging of all seminar speakers, Kristan Hawkins, president of SFLA, made an appearance Saturday morning and spoke on the history of the pro-life movement, which was accompanied by an occasional burst of joyful laughter in response to her clear passion and dedication for the movement.
Fellows went from 9am to 8pm talking about revolutionary solutions to a myriad of obstacles and challenges within pro-life clubs, political organizations, and the movement as a whole.
All throughout the weekend, one thing was clear: my friends and Fellows are going to change America.
The leadership I saw and vigor I felt from every member cannot be summed up in an article. They truly possessed an unbridled joy for protecting human life that can only be divinely inspired; something so powerful and potent is truly going to move mountains.
Beside me in the conference room, I saw future pro-life presidents, CEOs, and government representatives. I saw artists, engineers, lawyers, and doctors. But, most of all, I saw hope. Before the Fellowships began, the future looked uncertain, unstable. Now, I know with certainty, that this generation will end abortion with love and compassion and conversation.
These students, my friends, are representative of a new voice that will ask “when”, not “if”, abortion is abolished and that will put abortion where it belongs – in the history books.
In summary, this convention of diverse and determined students from across the country has, in two days of planning, unraveled hundreds of years of myths surrounding abortion and planned its demise through a grassroots movement more impactful than any other social movement in history.
We millennials have spoken. Abortion has got to go and the process has already begun.