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
To be a good leader, you have to practice daily and learn as much as you can. Read books about leadership and influence to develop your leadership skills. Your club will be significantly more effective and impactful if you can expand your leadership skills.
Some people will try to be a leader and others will just emerge – how does this happen? Here are a few factors or traits you can look for in real leaders and that you can develop to become a better leader:
Character – Who You Are
True leadership begins with the inner person. People can sense the depth of character.
Relationships –Who You Know
You’re a leader only if you have followers, and that always requires the development of relationship – the deeper the relationships, the stronger the potential for leadership.
Knowledge – What You Know
Information is vital to a leader. You need a grasp of the facts, an understanding of dynamic factors and timing, and a vision for the future. Knowledge itself won’t make you a leader, but you can’t become a leader without it.
Intuition – What You Feel
Leadership requires more than just a command of data. It demands an ability to deal with numerous intangibles, One of the main differences between manager and leaders is this very factor. Leaders seek to recognize and influence intangibles such as energy, morale, timing, and momentum.
Experience – Where You’ve Been
The greater the challenges you’ve faced as a leader in the past, the more likely followers are to give you a chance in the present. Experience doesn’t guarantee credibility, but it encourages people to give you a chance to prove that you are capable.
Past Success –What You’ve Done
Nothing speaks to followers like a good track record. As a first-time leader, you may not have much of a track record, but extend yourself at every opportunity and provide more reasons for others to trust your leadership ability.
Ability – What You Can Do
Followers want to know what you are capable of. They want to know if you can lead them to victory – that’s the reason they will listen to you and acknowledge you as their leader. When they believe you no longer can do that, they will stop listening.