By J.M. Glover:

World Down Syndrome Day: One mother’s story

Ten years ago, Natalie Wood, a British pregnant mom, was faced with the diagnosis that her unborn baby had Down Syndrome. Her husband, and medical professionals, pressured her to get an abortion, going so far as to book her into an abortion facility. She says that she was shocked that everyone around her had created a path for her child to be terminated. “No one seemed to consider that I might want him to live.” When her husband realized that Natalie would not only give birth, but would keep the baby, he relented and said: “Can I call him Woody,” after American folk singer Woody Guthrie. She said “Yes.” Natalie says, “it is a joy to raise someone who is different and who makes us see the world in a different way.” Each morning, he greets his mom with “You’re beautiful, Mummy, I love you.” When Brentwood FC, a soccer team, heard that Woodie, age 5, was rejected from playing soccer at the local little kid’s club, they invited Woody to lead their team on to the field at their next match. And so, a wonderful relationship has arisen between Woody and a professional British soccer team. At a recent match where Brentwood beat Arsenal, the Brentwood head coach ran over to where Woody was sitting to share the celebration with the lad. Evey year on March 21, World Down Syndrome Day is celebrated. About one in every 800 babies will be born with Down Syndrome, a condition in which a person has an extra chromosome. It occurs naturally but there is no known cause. For more information, go to the Canadian Down Syndrome Society website which includes a number of short videos of Down Syndrome children answering questions like: can a Down Syndrome person ride a bike, get a job, read, get married?

Ireland rejects anti-family and anti-mother constitutional amendments

The 1937 Irish Constitution includes the following: “In the name of the Most Holy Trinity, from Whom is all authority, And to Whom, as our final end, all actions both of men and States must be referred, We, the people of Eire Humbly acknowledge all our obligations to our Divine Lord, Jesus Christ, Who sustained our fathers through centuries of trial.” On March 8, Irish voters went to the polls to cast their ballot in two referenda that would broaden the definition of family and remove language about the social value of women in the home. The first so-called “Family Amendment” would remove a clause about the importance of marriage and family to society, and redefine family as either “founded on marriage or other durable relationships.” The proposed “Care Amendment” would remove the clause that “the state recognizes that by her life within the home, woman gives to the state a support without which the common good cannot be achieved.” The week before the vote, a Yes-Yes result was predicted, and polls indicated that “a substantial majority of the population” favoured the propositions being put to them by the government. But the progressive policies of the government, led by Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar – who has since resigned — were both defeated thus maintaining the traditional wording of the Constitution with respect to the role of women and family life in Ireland. Nearly 68 per cent of voters rejected the Family Amendment, and 74 per cent rejected the Care Amendment. Exit polls indicated that 77 per cent of voters under the age of 45 rejected both amendments. Family Solidarity, an Irish conservative advocacy group said, “this victory … is a declaration by the people of Ireland that the core unit of society—the family based on marriage—must remain protected and cherished … a collective desire to maintain the integrity of societal values that have long been the bedrock of our nation.” And, as noted in The Catholic Herald (March 13): “If nothing else, what may have changed in Ireland is that there may now be more reticence when it comes to eviscerating the Constitution of Ireland and its Catholic and Christian heritage.”

Pro-life university students threatened

In 2021, the Alliance for Pro-Life Students (UK) released a poll showing that more than 70 per cent of pro-life students were unable to share their views on English university campuses with nearly 25 per cent of those polled saying that they had been threatened because they belonged to a pro-life group. The results were submitted to a Parliamentary Joint Commission studying freedom of expression, In May 2023, the Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Act became law in England. It requires universities, colleges, and student unions to take steps to ensure lawful freedom of speech on campus. Fines could be imposed. The Manchester Pro-Life Society at the University of Manchester was officially affiliated by the Manchester Student Union on Jan. 11, 2024. The aim of the pro-life group is “to create a pro-life culture on campus and support the dignity of every human life from conception … We exist to encourage students to think critically about the way we define and value human life.” On Feb. 9, the group announced its executive of three men. Following howls of protest, two female committee members were added. However, the pro-abortionists noted that there were more men than women members of the pro-life society, and, again protested that men were trying to tell women what to do with their bodies. This resulted in more than 18,000 people signing a petition for its dissolution. The petition cites that the pro-life organization “adds to an already prevalent stigma surrounding abortion,” believing women at the university “should not have to face additional pressure or judgement on such personal matters.” On Feb. 29, following the initial meeting on campus, the pro-life group of about 30 students had to be given a police escort out of the Student Union building which was surrounded by 300 aggressive demonstrators. On March 11, Manchester University and the Student Union issued a statement encouraging the students to “engage in lawful debate … All forms of harassment, intimidation and abuse have no place in our community.”

“A statue honouring child sacrifice
has no place in Texas”

Texas Right to Life describes the statue named Witness as an “18-foot- tall naked female figure with braids shaped like goat horns and arms like tentacles. … The woman also wears a hooped skirt with mosaic details and a distinctive collar worn by late U.S. Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg.” The sculpture, which normally resides in New York City is on loan to the University of Houston until the end of October. Although pro-lifers managed to have the installation ceremony cancelled, the idol itself was put up. The artist has admitted that her so-called work of art was a protest over the overturn of Roe v. Wade “which guaranteed the constitutional right to abortion.” Inscribed in the sculpture is the word “havah,” meaning Eve in Arabic and Hebrew; the sculptor comments that “Eve was the ‘first lawbreaker’.” Texas Right to Life has responded that “Disobedience to God certainly should not be esteemed by society, much less lauded with a statute … art should reflect truth, goodness and beauty: three timeless values that reveal the nature of God … A statue honouring child sacrifice has no place in Texas.” The pro-life community of Houston organized protests, objecting that the sculpture displays satanic imagery promoting abortion rights. A spokesman for a campus pro-life group stated: “The pro-life movement persisted under Roe v. Wade and we will persist even with the erection of this statue on our doorstep.” Students for Life of America continue to place small pink crosses on the University of Houston’s “Cemetery of the Innocents,” a patch of ground on the campus which is a physical reminder of the number of lives lost to abortion each day.

Two moms honour their preborn babies

“He’s dying, but he’s fighting.” These were words of hope to Stephanie Houser, a mom of four from Colorado, from the doctor treating her 23-week-old baby that she had just delivered. Stephanie was found with an infection in her uterus and had to give birth immediately. Since the hospital where she and her husband went did not have the facilities to support a baby at 23 weeks’ gestation, she had to be airlifted to another hospital. When she gave birth, baby Zev cried, although his lungs weren’t developed enough, causing the doctor to utter the words above. At around two weeks, Zev’s condition worsened, and even though he might live, the doctors predicted he would never walk, breathe, or eat on his own. Zev faced down multiple crises, including brain bleeds, lung collapses, and strokes. Today, other than an inhaler for his lungs and glasses for retinopathy prematurity—an eye disease common for premature babies—Zev is a healthy 4-year-old. His mom has completed a 147-mile run over 48 hours—one mile for every day her son spent in neonatal intensive care. Funds raised will be used by Zev’s parents to build a community for premature babies and their families. As for Zev, he ran with his mom for a brief stretch of her run. A similar story comes from West Sussex, England by way of Boston, Massachusetts, where a woman named Kerry, visiting the U.S., suffered a placental abruption at 26 weeks of pregnancy. She was monitored in hospital for 17 days, preparing to fly back to England to complete her pregnancy. However, her preborn son, Alfie, had other plans. He was born weighing just 964 grams and remained in hospital in Boston more than three months and then flew with his mom back to England for a further two weeks in hospital. Kerry relates: “Having a premature baby is incredibly scary and lonely in itself, but going through it in a different country, followed by a global pandemic, has without doubt been the hardest experience of my life.” Kerry is running 26 km—to represent Alfie’s 26 weeks’ gestation. Money raised will be donated to help other neonatal babies and their parents.