How I Overcame the Fear of a Down Syndrome Diagnosis

 

Guest Blog Post by Jessica Whitsitt

In case you haven’t heard, CBS News is reporting that Iceland is “eliminating Down Syndrome.” When you dig a little deeper, you realize that they are actually aborting almost 100% of children with Down Syndrome.

>>> Click to learn more about March for Life’s response to the story:

As a mother of a sweet perfect boy, who also just happens to have an extra copy of his 21st chromosome, it breaks my heart that many people believe a baby like mine is unworthy of life. Why do babies with Down Syndrome not deserve life? Is it because they are not typical? Because their life can have more challenges that are not their fault or that they can’t control?

This is why I believe children with Down Syndrome are being aborted – fear of the unknown. And unfortunately, the medical community does not provide adequate information for parents facing a diagnosis, and often offer abortion as a first option. To counteract this fear, allow me to share what it is like having a child with Down Syndrome.

Your first emotion is fierce protection over them. You want to protect them from the cruel world and pray that they will not come across someone who will make fun of them for who they are and what they cannot control.

The second emotion you will feel is fear, because you don’t know what to expect.  Down Syndrome comes in a wide spectrum. Some children are high functioning and they can drive, hold down jobs and live on their own. Some may have heart problems, or not be able to take care of themselves. But all of these symptoms are manageable and our society has greatly advanced in the care and opportunities available for children and individuals with disabilities.

Now we have been very, very lucky. Our son is the healthiest boy I’ve ever seen. He is almost one and never been sick. He seems to be on the high functioning side, but that doesn’t mean there are not challenges. He doesn’t crawl yet. He has not gotten his first tooth. He refuses to eat anything but puréed food. He only started sitting up last week. But so what? He’s going at his own pace and I want him to.

I truly believe Down syndrome children, as well as others with disabilities, can teach us more than we can ever teach them. From them, we can learn compassion, love, and patience. These beautiful souls like my son are the most loving people. They have an appreciation for life that others tend to forget; they do not mourn some life they wish they had.

It is us, those “normal” people, that are the ones who forget to stop and smell the roses, that get caught up in comparing ourselves with our friends and family.  Since my son was born, I no longer see the world through just my own eyes, I see them through his.

I want my son to know every day that he’s loved, adored, celebrated and that it is ok to be different. Isn’t that what life is all about? How boring if we were all the same! The richness of life is in learning, growing, and becoming a better person. I strive to be a better person every day for my son. He deserves it. Not because he has the perfect amount of chromosomes, but because he is a person with inherent value and dignity, not so different from you and me.

>>>> For more information on Down Syndrome and other chromosomal disabilities, click HERE.

Commemorating Nellie Gray’s Work

 

The pro-life movement is indebted to the legacy of Nellie Gray, champion of the unborn, and founder of and president of the March for Life for 39 years. We remember and honor Nellie on the five year anniversary of her death.

Nellie was born in Texas and served in World War II in the Women’s Army Corps, following that she went on to work for the State Department in Germany.  When Nellie Gray heard about the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade / Doe v. Bolton decision to invalidate all state abortion laws, she was working as a lawyer for the federal government in Washington, D.C.

Fearing that January 22 would come and go with no recognition by the public, Nellie and a group of pro-life advocates gathered at her home in Washington to discuss ways to commemorate the anniversary of Roe v. Wade and the thousands of lives lost that year. In hopes that the decision would soon be overturned, they organized a one-time march around the U.S. Capitol, which drew an estimated 20,000 people.

When it was clear that Roe v. Wade was not going to be easily overturned, the March for Life was incorporated as a non-profit, non-sectarian organization, committed to a culture of life. Nellie quit her job to work as the full-time volunteer president of the organization and principal organizer of the event.

Apart from organizing the annual March for Life, Nellie and the early March for Life Committee, lobbied on behalf of the unborn on Capitol Hill, advocating for a “Human Life Amendment”. They organized “mini-marches” encouraging citizen lobbying, as well as marches in cities around the country from New York to Washington State. Sometimes referred to as the “Joan of Arc of the pro-life movement,” Nellie was known for her unwavering commitment to life and for her rallying cry of “no exceptions, no compromise” on the taking of innocent human life. Nellie was committed to protecting life regardless of the circumstances.

For 44 years, thanks to the dedication of Nellie Gray, who passed away on August 13 of 2012, the March for Life has taken place in Washington, D.C. every January, even in several feet of snow. As Nellie once said, “We will be here until we overturn Roe v. Wade, and believe me, we are going to overturn Roe v. Wade.”  Today, the March for Life draws hundreds of thousands, young and old alike, to Washington D.C. to protest abortion in America, and to celebrate the right to life.

Watch this inspiring video about the legacy of Nellie Gray:

 

 

Abortion is Profoundly Anti-Women

 

March for Life President Jeanne Mancini offered her thoughts on Twitter about the recent news that the Democrat Party would be open to funding pro-life candidates and the ensuing push-back from pro-abortion advocates:

Hundreds of Abortion Workers Leaving the Industry

 

Abby Johnson is the epitome of “the power of one.”

At the 2017 March for Life, Abby shared her story of quitting her job as director of a Planned Parenthood and going on to start a pro-life organization, And Then There Were None (ATTWN).

“I stand in front of you today as a woman who spent 8 years of her life working and running a Planned Parenthood facility but because of the power of conversion…I stand in front of you, as a woman who has been redeemed from her past.”

ATTWN has helped 330 abortion clinic workers and seven full-time abortion doctors leave the abortion industry. In fact, many of these “quitters,” as she affectionately calls them, stood with her on stage at the March for Life.

Abby relates the “power of one” to each of the “quitters” standing with her. “Almost every woman standing here today was touched by one person. For a client named Annette, it was some someone who slipped our website [brochure] under her windshield.” She goes on to say, “For me, it was a 13 week baby in the womb who changed my life.”

In 2010, the year after she quit her job at Planned Parenthood, Abby published, “Unplanned: The Dramatic True Story of a Former Planned Parenthood Leader’s Eye-Opening Journey across the Life Line.” In the memoir, Abby tells the story of assisting in an actual abortion procedure – of a 13-week baby in the womb – and being hit by the realization of what was happening. That dramatic moment led her to quit her job and walk out of the abortion industry forever.

>>>> Many March for Life participants had a chance to meet with Abby and purchase copies of “UnPlanned” at a book signing at the March for Life Conference and Expo. You can also purchase the book from Amazon.

Abby concluded her 2017 March for Life remarks with these encouraging and bold words, urging participants to dig down and realize the “power of one” in each of us, which collectively becomes an unstoppable force.

“Now is the time to be unabashedly pro-life; to be bold in our defense of the unborn and their mothers. Through the power of all of us, we will not only work to make abortion illegal but we will see a day when abortion is truly unthinkable in this country.”

>>>> Learn more about And Then There Were None.

>>>> Watch Abby Johnson’s full remarks at the 2017 March for Life.

March for Life Statement on Charlie Gard’s Passing

 

“We are deeply saddened by the news of Charlie Gard’s passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with Charlie’s family, whose admirable fight for their child’s right to life has had a profound and lasting impact on the entire world. Though his life here on earth was cut short, Charlie’s spirit will continue to inspire an international fight to ensure that the sanctity of every human life is upheld.”

– Jeanne Mancini, March for LIfe President

“We are the Pro-Life Generation”

 

Guest Blog Post by Corinne Zay, March for Life intern

“I believe we [the millennial generation] are just constantly looking for our purpose in life and we will be happiest when we find that.” –Today Show Video

“We are the pro-life generation!” is chanted by thousands of young people each year at the annual March for Life. If you attend the March, you can tell by the number of youth that this generation, the millennial generation, is significantly pro-life. In fact, the majority of people that attend the March for Life are America’s youth.

Not only is the March for Life a symbol of great hope for an abortion-free America, but several polls show how the millennial generation is positively influencing a culture of life in the United States.

USA Today did a headline article on the youth of America and how they are changing abortion demographics in the United States. Here is what you need to know:

  1. According to Barna Group polling, 53% Millennials think abortion should be illegal in all or most circumstances. Not surprisingly, the pro-abortion movement often uses “Fight Back” as their slogan.
  2. The “intensity gap” between the pro-life and pro-choice movement is something to rejoice over. Of pro-lifers, 51% see abortion as a very important issue in our country, whereas only 20% of people in the pro-choice movement see abortion as significant. The lack of passion that comes from the pro-choice movement is significant.
  3. According to Students for Life of America polls, only 17% of millennials believe abortion should be legal for any reason and for the entire duration of pregnancy.

The millennial generation brings so much hope for the pro-life movement: there is a future of an America without abortion, the killing of innocent lives. With this hope found in pro-life America, it is also important to remember the people that are not a part of the millennial generation that contributed to this culture of life. In fact, many generations have helped to create and foster a culture of life in America’s youth.

Thank you to the pro-life leaders, to the generations before millennials, and to the parents who chose life for such a brave youth who will continue to fight for life! Together we are the “Pro-Life GenerationS”!

March for Life Statement on Motion to Repeal & BCRA

 

The March for Life supports the motion to proceed on the 2015 repeal bill, which would repeal the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare. The language from the 2015 repeal bill would prohibit tax dollars from going to abortion providers, and it would end the Obamacare tax scheme that allows taxpayer funds to pay directly for insurance plans that cover abortions. Should the motion fail, and the Senate then proceeds to the Better Care Act, the March for Life’s statement is as follows:

“March for Life Action applauds the work of the Administration, the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate in their efforts to ensure pro-life protections are included in the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017. We praise the major pro-life victories within the bill, including the creation of the Stability Fund with pro-life protections and very significantly, redirecting taxpayer funding away from organizations that provide abortions to federally qualified health centers.

Yet, we have concerns. It is unfortunate that pro-life protections on the refundable tax credit portion of the bill will not survive the procedural requirements of the reconciliation process, thus resulting in the continuation of one of the most harmful abortion-related aspects of Obamacare. We urge the Congress and the Administration to do all they can to include these pro-life protections in future legislation.

We are grateful to the Congress and the Administration for the pro-life advances that are included in this bill. Our message will remain the same – abortion is not health care. We have worked from that principle in this healthcare debate and are committed to doing so in the future.”

– Tom McClusky, President March for Life Action

March for Life Statement on Charlie Gard

 

“In wake of today’s announcement, our hearts go out to Connie Yates and Chris Gard, the courageous parents of little Charlie Gard. Connie and Chris were forced to make the agonizing decision to end the legal battle for Charlie’s life, after this court-instigated eight-month process prevented him from receiving the life-affirming treatment he rightly deserved. It is our hope that Charlie’s family know that the global outpouring of love and support exhibited during his fight remains as steadfast ever as they say goodbye to their son. We continue to stand with Charlie, and with those just like him around the world, in hopes that no parent ever be denied the right to choose the gift of life for their child again.”

– Jeanne Mancini, March for Life President