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
There are many causes today in which young people can and should be involved. However, the issue of abortion deserves our utmost attention.
In 1973, our country advanced the legalization of abortion on demand in all 9 months of pregnancy. Since this time, over 54 million pre-born children have been killed. Some were killed early on in their development and others moments before they could have been born. Some were killed because their mothers feared that they would not be able to take proper care of them. The majority of abortions (64%) are performed simply because the father does not want the baby or the woman is coerced by others. The reasons vary, but the end result is the same. The life of an innocent child is ended.
However, there is even greater cause to be concerned. Abortion does not kill only children; it also kills women. Women have died of legal and illegal abortions. Moreover, over 347 women have died from supposedly “safe and legal” abortions. For the most part, abortions today are medically “safe” for women. However, these procedures do have the potential to cause great trauma to the women. Many women who have had abortions say they regret them and suffer from Post-Abortion Syndrome. Regardless of safety and legality, abortions are always deadly for the child.
Abortion is not a women’s rights or reproductive rights issue. It is a human rights issue. This issue challenges our society to determine the values and rights of the most vulnerable among us. When we recognize abortion as a social justice issue, the discussion boils down to one question: Does a pre-born human being have the right to be born or not?
We believe that the pre-born human being is a person deserving the full legal protection of the law- just like you and I. He or she is a whole, living being who is intrinsically valuable. We believe that size, level of development, environment, and degree of dependency do not determine your personhood. You are a person because you are a living human being. You became a person the moment you were created- when your father’s sperm and mother’s ovum united.
Abortion is the greatest genocide that our world and our nation have ever known. We believe that a new generation of pro-life leaders must be educated, trained, and equipped with the tools that they need to abolish abortion once and for all. Our generation is the first since the handing down of the Supreme Court cases Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, which legalized abortion on demand in 1973. We are among the first to know that abortion kills a human person. We must continue this momentum to turn the tide in our lifetime, and that starts with you.