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
Roe v. Wade will be overturned in our lifetime, and when that happens our college campuses need to be prepared to help pregnant and parenting students. A fantastic example of what this would look like is at Central College, in Pella, Iowa.
Located in a city with cultural roots to the extremely pro-abortion Netherlands, it is a beautiful surprise to find such a deep-seeded culture of life flourishing within their community. Central College, a private college loosely affiliated with the Reformed Church of America, has a strong sense of tradition and community. When administration wanted to refer students to Planned Parenthood for health services, our students kindly reminded the college of their Christian roots. Noelle, their President, and Grace, their Pregnant on Campus Director, put together a training and resource binder for all Resident Advisors, and held a special meeting to train RAs on how to work with pregnant and parenting students.
In addition to this fantastic, loving activism, the group hosted the Stop the Violence Tour, having over 60 conversations with students, and received 15 new members in their group within just four hours. They have spent countless hours in trainings, either Plan Your Year, 5 Pillar Trainings, Equal Rights Institute Apologetics Trainings, or attending the Des Moines Leadership Workshop, and will soon be heading to Washington D.C. for the March for Life and the SFLA National Conference.
Central College Students for Life is a fantastic example of what it means to love both mother and child, ensuring resources are present for before, during, and after birth. They aren’t afraid to go onto campus and have the difficult conversations, dealing with controversy for the sake of justice. They are the #ProLifeGen.
Students for Life supports pregnant and parenting students on campus every day through our Pregnant on Campus Initiative. If you would like to learn more, please contact Beth Rahal at firstname.lastname@example.org