Saturday, October 24, 2009

We have a friend out there; Archbishop Chaput

We have an articulate advocate out there; Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver. Last week, at an October 16 meeting of the Phoenix Catholic Physicians Guild, Archbishop Chaput had a lot to say about the importance of doctors supporting mothers who are expecting children with Down syndrome.
"In practice, medical professionals now can steer an expectant mother toward abortion simply by hinting at a list of the child’s possible defects. The most debased thing about this kind of pressure is that doctors know better than anyone else how vulnerable a woman can be when she hears potentially tragic news about her unborn baby.I’m not suggesting that doctors should hold back vital knowledge from parents. Nor should doctors paint an implausibly upbeat picture of life with a child who has disabilities. But doctors, genetic counselors, and medical school professors should have on staff—or at least on speed dial—experts of a different sort.
Parents of children with special needs, special education teachers and therapists, and pediatricians who have treated children with disabilities often have a hugely life-affirming perspective. Unlike prenatal caregivers, these professionals have direct knowledge of persons with special needs. They know their potential. They’ve seen their accomplishments. They can testify to the benefits of parental love and faith. Expectant parents deserve to know that a child with Down syndrome can love, laugh, learn, work, feel hope and excitement, make friends, and create joy for others. These things are beautiful precisely because they transcend what we expect. They witness to the truth that every child with special needs has a value that matters eternally."

Read his entire column at First Things.

We applaud this and hope that more doctors will look for those of us who love special needs children to be advocates for mothers under great pressure to abort their children. We know how much difference a bit of support can make at this crucial moment in their lives, this is the reason we formed KIDS.
It's nice to know we have a friend.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

KIDS featured on the Among Women podcast

Catholic Exchange columnist Pat Gohn interviewed me on her award winning Among Women podcast this week. It's number 30.
We discussed how I became active in the pro-life movement, and how having a daughter with Down syndrome made me create KIDS last year with Eileen.

Thank you Representative Chris Smith (R NJ)

For recognizing the Appreciation Award from Keep Infants with Down Syndrome on your website.

You are an outstanding advocate for all unborn children, typical or disabled and we are proud to call you our friend.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A photo essay of our first March for Life January 2009

Here are some photos we took in Washington last January 22, our first March for Life.

Top to bottom:
KIDS members meet our champion, Rep Cathy McMorris Rogers (R-WA) founding member of the Congressional Down Syndrome Caucus. She is pro-life and promised to work with us to promote good legislation in Congress for our children. She has already succeeded in getting additional National Institute of Health funding for Down syndrome research.
Those in the photo are Anita Setran, Rep McMorris Rogers, Leticia (with Christina) and Eileen with Sadie.
Second from top; KIDS in the March for Life, on Constitution Avenue, heading towards the Capitol Building.

Third from top; more photos of us marching, didn't Eileen come up with a great logo? She also chose the blue and yellow starred scarves we are all wearing.

Fourth from top; Rep McMorris Rogers greets Sadie, Eileen's daughter at Blogs for Life at the Family Research Council Jan 22, 2009

Bottom photo; Senator Brownback whom I write about here and here greets my daughter Christina at Blogs for Life 2009. We gave both Senator Brownback and Rep McMorris Rogers KIDS appreciation awards for their speaking out for the unborn who have Down syndrome. Senator Brownback sponsored the "Prenatally Diagnosed Conditions Awareness Act" providing education on Down syndrome, and referrals to adoption agencies and support groups for pregnant moms faced with a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome or other disability.
We met our fellow KIDS members at the National Right to Life Center downtown Washington, DC. Click here for an article and photo in National Right to Life News.

Welcome to KIDS!

Welcome to our KIDS (Keep Infants with Down Syndrome) blog!  Leticia Velasquez and I, both mothers of daughters with Down syndrome, formed KIDS last year so that families of children with Down syndrome could meet and walk together in the 2009 March for Life. 

Our purpose was to raise awareness of the high incidence of abortion after a positive diagnosis of Down syndrome.  It is estimated that about 90% of babies diagnosed with Down syndrome in utero are aborted. 

We had a great reasponse to our event, and we plan on attending  the March for Life in D.C. in 2010.  In the meantime, Leticia and I are working toward making this an official organization so that we can advocate for all individuals with Down sydnrome, both born and unborn.