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
While many individuals have passion for the pro-life cause, passion does not necessarily qualify them for a leadership position. Leaders are indeed passionate, and this is a reason why many are drawn to their cause. However, they also exhibit other qualities that make them influential and successful.
Vision: Leaders have goals for the future, and they see the big picture. They know where they are, and they know where they want to be. Leaders direct and navigate the course to achieving their vision. They know what steps need to be taken, and then they direct their peers to follow this path.
Ability: Through experience and knowledge, the leader has formed a foundation for success. They are capable of handling the expectations and challenges of their position. Their abilities are displayed in their success in building relationships, meeting their goals, and influencing their environment.
Confidence: Leaders are sure of themselves and of their group. They express a positive attitude towards their future because they confident that they can achieve their vision. Their “can do” spirit inspires others to join their mission.
Perseverance: Leaders accept challenges and work to overcome them. They do not give up in the face of adversity. They work through problems and promptly address challenges.
Focus: Leaders pursue their vision with purpose and direction. They have organized manner of addressing their members, their projects, and their progress. They have clear plans to achieve their goals, and they have a timeline for these plans.
Communication: Leaders clearly express their goals, needs, and plans. They are also good listeners- allowing for others to contribute ideas, advice, and influence. Their ability to communicate allows for successful delegation and solid relationships.
Accountability: Leaders recognize their responsibilities, and they take ownership of them. They do not ask others to do what they themselves would not do, and they do not shirk their duties. They know the expectations of their position and do their best to meet these expectations.
Teachability: Leaders acknowledge that they do not have all the answers and that there is always room for growth. They learn from experience and from correction. They are willing to sacrifice and adjust as needed. Through each success and failure, leaders are constantly striving to be better and to do better.
Humility: Leaders recognize that they are not the sole reason for their group’s success. They are part of a team of players, and they acknowledge the abilities and contributions of their peers. Leaders realize that they are part of something bigger than themselves. They do not seek praise, but rather the satisfaction of the success of their group and the fulfillment of their vision.
Becoming a better leader takes time and practice. What do you need to work on?