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
Prepare for a great year by budgeting out all your expenses so that your group can have as big of an impact as possible!
1. Budgeting and fundraising are the only two ways you can ensure that there will be money to do important events throughout the year. The key to budgeting is to plan ahead. Create a group calendar for the school year and make sure to list all the events you are hosting, want to host, or that your group will be attending. In order to receive funding from your student government you will more than likely have to submit your budget and be prepared to defend it. Check with your student government about the necessary paperwork and deadlines. It is very important to submit your budget on time. You may also have to support your budget with a line item budget, such as the price of every binder bought for a retreat.
2. When budgeting, write down the projected costs for each event. For example,
Attend SFLA Conference and March for Life in Washington DC with 10 People
Leadership Retreat with other
Life Display for SWC
Cemetery of the Innocents Display
Trip to State Capitol to Lobby for Pro-Life Bill
Overestimate costs for the year to be prepared for unexpected expenses. Don’t be left without money in your budget when something important comes up during the year.
3. You may want to check with the other pro-life groups in your area to get an idea of what they generally spend per year on certain items. If other pro-life groups aren’t available, you can even compare with other clubs at your school. If they’re active, chances are you would spend about the same in terms of advertisements, event promotions, and the like.
4. At the beginning of the year, especially if you are a newly established club, you may need to do a lot of fundraising in order to have money to budget with. After the first year or two, however, you should be able to end the school year with enough money to last through the next school year. Then, all the fundraising you do one year will go towards either next year’s budget. This way, if for some reason your group has a bad fundraiser or the money just isn’t coming in, it won’t affect your plans for that year and hopefully by the next year you’ll have had time to make up for that fundraiser, or in the worst case, you’ll have to slim down what you do the following year.
5. Throughout the year it is very important to refer to your budget before and after every event you host. If it is your first year, it may be hard initially to make a budget and stick to it, but it is important to at least record everything you spend and what you spent it on so that the following year you will have a much better idea of how much to budget for each event.