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
“The Wilberforce Fellowship is a great opportunity to experience what is going on in our Movement. It provides an excellent “behind-the-scenes” look at the effort that many good-willed people are putting forth in an attempt to achieve justice for preborn children. You will have the opportunity to influence and be influenced by people of all ages, while focusing on the improvement of your leadership skills. I am thankful for my Wilberforce experience, and suggest that justice-seeking students seriously consider applying for it. ”
– Shea Hasenauer, 2010-2011 SFLA Wilberforce Leadership Fellow
Are you a leader or officer in your campus pro-life group?
Do you aspire to work in the pro-life movement full-time?
Do you want to be mentored by a national pro-life leader?
If you answered “Yes” to all of these questions, then you should consider applying for the SFLA Wilberforce Leadership Fellowship!
The mission of the Students for Life of America Wilberforce Leadership Fellowship is to raise up the next generation of pro-life leaders. We want to train student pro-life activists to be leaders on campus and beyond and network those student leaders with their counterparts in the national pro-life movement to help further develop their skills. Simply put, the SFLA Wilberforce Leadership Fellowship is the training you need for a career in the pro-life movement!
What SFLA Wilberforce Fellows Will Do During the 2013-2014 Academic Year
Learning what it takes to be a leader by reviewing various books and publications and participating in bi-weekly webcasts for discussion and guest speaker lectures
Applying the skills they learn to their campus pro-life groups by organizing at least 2 activism/educational events and 1 training event
Assisting Students for Life of America in its mission of equipping the pro-life generation
Working with their National Wilberforce Mentor (a leader of an existing national pro-life organization) who will help network them with the national pro-life movement and assist in completion on their Fellowship Projects
The fellowship will consume a couple of hours a week; no financial stipends are available.
On July 19-21, 2013, all SFLA Wilberforce Leadership Fellows will be flown to Washington, D.C. for the kick-off weekend training retreat including day long training with apologetics pro Scott Klusendorf. Flights, housing, and meals in the D.C. area will be covered by SFLA.
Who is Eligible to Apply
Any undergraduate, graduate, law, or med students may apply
Must be a current leader in a pro-life organization
Must be interested in pursuing a full-time career in the pro-life movement