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
One of the biggest problems that student leaders face is an apathetic student body. As a passionate pro-lifer at your school and in your community, you know why you fight for an end to abortion. You know that abortion is the greatest human rights tragedy our nation has ever faced. But many of our peers block it out as just another political issue.
It is our duty as pro-lifers to expose the tragedy of abortion to our community. We must show the world that being pro-life is about caring about the whole person: body, mind, and soul. And for this to happen, we need all pro-life groups, those that focus on post-abortive healing, political advocacy, education, or helping women in crisis, unplanned pregnancies, we need them all to support and lift up one each other in how we each uniquely impact the culture for life because all share the same ultimate goal of ending abortion.
And sometimes, even you and other members of your pro-life group struggle with burnout, exhaustion and feelings that you aren’t making a difference. But we want to encourage you to start thinking today how you can break through the apathy by creating unique events and engage new audiences and how you can redefine social justice and show people at your school what it really means.
And even when we think there is nothing we can do to end this global tragedy of abortion, that no one is coming to our events or reading our flyers, remember this quote from Holocaust survivor, Elie Wiesel, “There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time we fail to protest.”
Everyday, over 3,300 pre-born babies perish from abortion. So each day ask yourself what can you to help end abortion, right where you are. Take this global problem of abortion and break it down to one person. Who can you help today? Who can you build a relationship with today?
And take heart knowing that we are the pro-life generation. We are the ones who are going to help usher an end to abortion in America.
For more information, watch this video from the 2010 SFLA National Conference on ideas for how to break through the student apathy at your school and get people talking about abortion. And request a FREE training from the SFLA Field Team here.