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
Organizing and activating a pro-life group can at times be a daunting task. Even in a conservative community, you will face challenges to the truth that you share. Moreover, you may find that it is the simplest tasks that you struggle with, such as running a meeting or delegating responsibilities. Need some quick advice?
Here are a few helpful tips for your group!
Have a schedule, and stick to it! You want your group to develop a reputation for being consistent and reliable. For example, set the times and location of your meetings as a regular, unchanging event. Do not simply call a meeting every time you feel like it! These meetings should be predictable so that your members are prepared to attend.
Your group should not be relying on two or three people to do all the work. If your group has many members, create committees to handle certain responsibilities and events. If your numbers are smaller, assign persons to specific tasks. By delegating these responsibilities, there will be less burden on just a few members, and people will be less apt to forget the details! More importantly, everyone will feel like they are invested in your group and its mission.
In order to attract more members and to further spread your message, people need to know that you exist! Flyer your school on a regular basis with meeting details, educational information, or event information. Set up a table once a week to share information about your group and about the pro-life cause. Organize bold displays that get your group noticed! Whether it be a “Cemetery of the Innocents” or a display of graphic images, be bold in showing your message to your community. This will then attract the attention of your peers- and maybe the media!
You want your group members and the community to be aware of what your pro-life group is doing. Use social media outlets, like Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube, to share pictures, videos, event information, and event details. Tech savvy? Create a website or blog about your group’s work. SFLA can even host a website for you! Email us for details. Regularly update your group members on changes to the schedule, and always alert the public of upcoming events!