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
I’ve mentioned before how much I love hearing from former SFL students and leaders who have made a difference in the lives of others, or from someone directly affected by what a Students for Life group has done for them.
Recently, I was in touch with Kelsey Hazzard, a former Students for Life leader and founder of Secular pro-life, a group she started in 2009 to combat pro-abortion initiative across the spectrum of faith. This is her story:
“I became involved in the pro-life movement while I was pursuing my Bachelor’s degree at the University of Miami. When I realized that my college had a VOX group (Planned Parenthood’s student chapter), and no pro-life group to counter them, I knew I had to do something. Coincidentally, a Students for Life of America field agent arrived on campus just a couple of weeks later! I served as the first president of University of Miami Respect Life, which quickly became far more active than VOX and is still going strong two years after my graduation.
By now, everyone has gotten wind of the “not guilty” verdict handed to Casey Anthony just last week. This coming after she spent the last three years in an Orange County, Florida Jail awaiting trial to determine whether or not she murdered her two-year-old daughter, Caylee.
No matter what your opinion of whether or not Casey Anthony should be free or serve a life sentence – or something more severe – the tragedy surrounding the loss of this beautiful little girl cuts to the heart of everyone. No two-year-old should become a household name because of a murder trial. No toddler should meet such a horrific end, no matter what the circumstances.
It seems like the only heart wrenching truth we’re able to take from this story is the inconsistency of public opinion. A two-year-old girl is gone, and the public is still mourning the loss; rightly so. But thousands of children are murdered every day in our country and the public stays silent. Why is the murder of a young girl met with national media attention and outrage while the murder of a preborn baby is met with indifference and, sometimes, defensiveness? How is the topic of abortion any less of a murder than what was examined in the Casey Anthony trial?
I am always excited when a supporter reaches out and lets me know that they’ve been touched or helped directly by our pro-life efforts. Recently, a young woman wrote to me to tell me that one of our groups supported her during her pregnancy and encouraged her to carry full-term. Now, because of the help of one campus group, she is the proud mother of two beautiful twin boys!
She now shares her story with the hope that she can pass on the love and support she received from a Students for Life group in her time of need. This is her story:
“In college, I was able to meet a wonderful student who was considering becoming a part of UWF Students for Life. While studying, we began to discuss abortion and I mentioned that I honestly didn’t have an opinion on being for or against the issue. He convinced me to go to the meeting on campus, and I was moved by the negative things I learned about abortion. At the meeting, 40 Days for Life was mentioned and a fellow classmate and I decided to get involved.
This week, the FDA announced new restrictions on cigarette packages, forcing manufacturers to feature prominent graphic images on the front of every cigarette package to warn smokers of harmful effects that smoking can have on their health and those around them.
When picking up their cigarette packages, smokers will see pictures of a man blowing smoke out of a hole in his neck, a smoker’s mouth riddled with cancer, a baby under a cloud of smoke, and a deceased man, among other colored graphics.
The nine new graphics, which will include phrases like “Warning: Cigarettes are addictive”, “Warning: Tobacco smoke causes fatal lung disease in non-smokers”, and “Warning: Smoking During Pregnancy Can Harm Your Baby”, are due to appear on all cigarette packages by October 2012.
There’s a lot to be said for the power that social media holds when spreading the pro-life message, and Students for Life of America is no stranger to the benefits of expanding online. We build petitions through various websites, host online training and networking webcasts, and create numerous blog posts all to reach out and engage people in our message. But how effective are social media tools when it comes to saving lives directly? What impact do online resources have on significantly enhancing the pro-life movement?
Well, as it turns out, quite a bit. One of the benefits of using online resources like social media sites is that they allow small organizations with little to no full-time staff to make a difference simply by having an effective message to post and making a few smart decisions. Efforts like these have led to women changing their minds and deciding to carry their children full-term. Take, for instance, a story one of our 2011 Missionaries recently told us. After posting a string of pro-life Facebook statuses, she received a call from someone who had a friend contemplating abortion. Amazingly enough, our Missionary had never met the young man who decided to call her for help that night, but he was moved by the strength in her posts and was confident that she would be able to suggest how to approach his friend and refer her to local resources. Ultimately, the young woman felt supported and confident enough to carry to term and is now excitedly awaiting the arrival of her child!
June is unofficially the month of men. Father’s Day falls on June 19th this year. The release of X-Men: First Class last week helped to begin the month with a testosterone-infused rush to the box office. Like similar holidays, we take time this month to celebrate those whom we love, those who have loved us from the start, and sometimes, those we may not see as often as we wish.
Men play an intrinsically different role in our lives than women do. From an early age, we’re taught the idiosyncrasies that make men who they are, and similarly, that make women equally as unique. Baby boys get blue painted rooms and toy trucks after their first sonogram; little girls will wear pink ruffles and decide to cut their Barbie’s hair themselves. Boys scrape their knees climbing trees and girls will discover early on that a slumber party with best friends beats the outdoors any day. Men are categorized for their power and strength; women for their gentle, nurturing souls. The question, after the aforementioned and established cultural deliberation, is this: when did it become acceptable to remove men from the topic of abortion?
By: Sofia Resnick
Originally posted on The American Independent
In April, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed a bill that makes it illegal for state colleges to fund medical residency programs that offer abortion training with state or federal money, including money paid by students as part of tuition or fees.
But what began as a rare seed in a nationwide garden of abortion-defunding measures has blossomed into a national movement to reduce the number of medical professionals who are trained to provide abortions. Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a measure that would ban health centers from using federal funds for comprehensive medical training that includes instruction of abortion procedures.
During the past two years, Americans have seen the expansion of the federal government into sectors of their economy and personal life as never before. And earlier this year, the Obama administration quietly moved into a new area of American life, one of its most intimate, the patient-doctor relationship.
Like the Obama takeovers of the automobile industry, the banking industry and then the health care industry, the new conscience-rights assault is the administration’s latest attempt to fundamentally change our nation as we know it.
In February, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the rescission of most of the Bush administration’s 2008 conscience protections, removing the rights of doctors, pharmacists and other medical professionals to object to prescribing or dispensing known abortifacient drugs such as Plan B and ella.
Arlington, VA- Students for Life and the Cardinal Newman Society sent a letter to Father Peter Donohue, President of Villanova University, asking him to reconsider the University’s decision to host and honor Senator Bob Casey because of his public opposition to Church teaching and his pro-abortion record in the U.S. Senate.
As announced yesterday, Villanova University will be hosting and honoring Senator Bob Casey at the 2011 Commencement Ceremony this Sunday. Senator Casey has a record of supporting pro-abortion legislation such as Obamacare and federal funding of international pro-abortion organizations, while also voting to place Justice Kagan on the Supreme Court.
Arlington, VA- Students for Life of America launched a petition today asking Villanova University, an Augustinian university*, not to host or honor Senator Bob Casey at their upcoming 2011 Commencement exercises.
Villanova University will be honoring Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey with the degree of Doctor of Letters, honoris causa and have asked him to deliver the Commencement Address for the Class of 2011.
Upon releasing the petition, Kristan Hawkins, Executive Director of Students for Life of America commented, “A Catholic university should not be honoring a man who has not only voted for pro-abortion Obamacare and to increase taxpayer spending on abortions overseas, but also voted to place Elena Kagan, one of the most radical, pro-abortion justices , on the Supreme Court for life. When a Catholic institution honors and hosts an individual who publicly