Dear future mom….

Yesterday as I was reading over a few of my favorite blogs, I came across a video clip under the title of “Slouching toward tyranny” on the blog Dover Beach.

My curiosity was piqued as I wondered what slouching, as in drooping, toward tyranny
and a smiling young lady with Down Syndrome had in common with one another.

It was soon very evident what brought these two seemingly polar opposite entities
catastrophically crashing into one another.

I’ll let you click on the brief French Television advert that never was…
before I continue our conversation….

“Slouching toward tyranny.
25 NOVEMBER 2016

“This is how a free people slouch toward tyranny. Here is an excerpt from a Catholic News Agency article. The short commercial mentioned in the article is below.

“On Nov. 10, the French Council of State, a body of the French government, ruled that the short video was inappropriate for broadcast on French television as a commercial.

In a decision upholding the French Broadcasting Council’s earlier ban of the video, the Council of State said it failed to meet the criteria for a public service announcement. In its reasoning, it pointed out that the happiness of the children shown in the video was “likely to disturb the conscience of women who had lawfully made different personal life choices.””

If you are like me, after watching this clip, there are probably tears flowing down your cheeks.
Tears of joy and tenderness and hope…
always hope…

I taught high school art for 31 years before retiring 4 years ago.
During the course of three decades, I had the pleasure of working with all kinds of kids.
I taught in a public city school system for my entire tenure.
I worked with every color of kid you can imagine and a myriad of nationalities–
and yes, even illegal immigrants…
I taught kids with all levels of intellect…
those who were considered and tested gifted as well as those kids with both
physical and cognitive disabilities and deficiencies.
All mixed in within one class…
no separation, no division, no segregating, no distinction.
Simply kids…

This is not the first encounter I’ve had in recent weeks with an article or
video clip highlighting Down Syndrome children and the alarmingly and rapidly
growing cultural clamoring over the rising questions of should such pregnancies,
where by various testings an at risk child in utero has been identified,
should that pregnancy be allowed to come to term or should such a pregnancy be terminated,
as in aborted…

Sally Phillips is a British actress and a woman of deep Christian Faith.
She is featured in a documentary on the BBC raising the question about a world without Down Syndrome.

If you do not already know, I am the product of adoption.
I was adopted during a time when abortions, all though preformed were done so very clandestinely.
It was a very taboo back ally sort of affair…so adoption was much more prevalent,
as homes for unwed mothers were numerous.

There are those who would then take that notion and use it as a rallying cry for the legality of such, keeping it from being back ally clandestine.
But I would disagree.
There is no justification for itemized death.

I have very strong feelings about pregnancies and the bigger picture that far transcends
that initial act of sex–
For you see I don’t look at sex as merely sex,
as an act of satisfaction…
but rather always as, depending upon age and health,
the potential act of procreation.

And how our culture has disregarded such an intimate union of two individuals as something as trite,
the fulfilling of the physical, something causal or even wanton is beyond my soul.

And now we enter a new arena—where man enters the realm of God—
deeming who may live and who may not…

I have problems with that.

Shame on the French for deciding not run that advert letting both women and men
know that it’s ok to see the pregnancy of a child with Down Syndrome to completion.
The fact that they felt the showing of such an ad would trouble the conscious of those
women who had opted to “lawfully” abort their babies,
is one more reminder that we have ferried ourselves across the river Styx as we have
left the realm of the living opting to cross the river while embracing the realm of death…

“Choices once unanimously considered criminal and rejected by the common moral sense are gradually becoming socially acceptable,”
Pope John Paul II

“Many people are concerned with children of India, with the children of Africa where quite a few die of hunger, and so on. Many people are also concerned about the violence in this great country of the United States. These concerns are very good. But often these same people are not concerned with the millions being killed by the deliberate decision of their own mothers. And this is the greatest destroyer of peace today- abortion which brings people to such blindness.”
Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta

22 comments on “Dear future mom….

  1. Sarah says:

    Hi Julie, when I first moved to Ireland I was surprised by how positively the Irish people embraced Down’s Syndrome. I would never see a mum being commiserated with, but there would be a celebratory kind of remark. “One of God’s special children, how lucky you are!”; that kind of thing. I was bowled over by it, I have to say. The UK culture is not so accepting. Women there are afraid to get pregnant later in life because of the increased risk of having a baby with Down’s Sydrome. God bless the Irish people! I hope they don’t change this attitude in the same way they’ve changed their attitude to other things in recent years.
    By the way, have you seen Mother Teresa’s Nobel prize acceptance speech? It may even be where your quote comes from. It had the high-powered big-wigs in the audience squirming in their seats. 🙂

    • Hi Sarah– I have indeed seen that speech but it has been a while and I think you’re right–that that is where the quote originated — the truth always seems to have a way of ruffling the powers that be feathers! And truly that is indeed a joy of the Irish and you you are wise noting a shift as there are current protests underway over the issue of abortion–
      I grow weary over the cry of “it’s my body, it’s my right” what about “it’s my responsibility?”

      • Sarah says:

        Yes, they want to change the Eighth Amendment of the Irish Constitution that effectively outlaws abortion because of the rights of the unborn child. A lot of Irish women travel to Britain to get an abortion but this gives some of them time to change their minds. The pro-choice lobby is very loud but the pro-life lobby is not standing idly by either.
        Got to go…

  2. atimetoshare.me says:

    Amen, Julie. I too have worked with all kinds of kids over the years and especially love special needs children. If society continues on its current trend, there will be no limit to what will happen. Very soon, elderly folks will having e a “choice” to end lives which they believe to serve no more purpose. Eventually no life will be safe. All in the name of personal choice. Responsibility will no longer have a place in our vocabulary. In fact we’re already there.

  3. dawnlizjones says:

    I believe it was C. Everett Koop in his article entitled “the slide to Auschwitz” that made me relate to the slouching concept. The fall isn’t immediate; it’s gradual, and slippery. Thanks for this! Retweeted!

    • I too now recall Koop’s comments—it is a dangerous slope of which we are now finding ourselves Dawn—thank you for the retweet—I don’t do Facebook or twitter, but I greatly appreciate you sharing

  4. Isn’t that sad? I have been so blessed by some people with Down’s and they have taught me some wonderful things. For one, look at those smiles! Some are cranky of course, but for the most part they are absolute masters at gratitude and joy, two things that often elude me.

    A couple of years ago I had to do some CE credits and the teacher was speaking of identifying Downs in utero and how someday we might live in a world where no one ever had to be born with a disability and I just suddenly started crying. My mind was thinking of eugenics and the grief of never having the opportunity to love people that didn’t meet our standards for human.

    It’s quite an embarrassing ninja trick to burst into tears in the middle of a class, but at least I managed to spark a discussion and get some people thinking.

    • Watching the Sally Phillips video left in tears– angry, sad, mad, frightened– in Iceland 100% of screened pregnancies that are Downs positive are terminated– that is mind blowing to me. I so dislike our world today 😔

  5. Wally Fry says:

    HI Julie

    Just beautiful and thank you.

    This debate is not about “rights” It’s about starting down the slippery slope to ridding ourselves of those who are a pain in our butts. First, it’s challenged babies in the womb. Next, just kill them when they are young, before we really like them. Then..what the heck, let’s kill the useless adults. Then what? Old people? People who aren’t as smart as us? People who look different? Oh my….let’s just kill the ones who disagree!

    Ok rant over.

    Thanks for the space.

  6. SLIMJIM says:

    Very powerful post. Very powerful video. Shame on the French government

    • when you have time, you need to watch the longer of the two video pieces—the Sally Phillips documentary—it is very chilling as it reveals a place to which we have come that is almost unimaginable…it left me upset most of the day…one of those things when you want to just stand on a roof top somewhere shouting to mankind…”THIS IS WRONG!!!”
      For not 100% of screened pregnancies in Iceland that reveal the risk of delivering a child with Downs Syndrome is terminated…we are screening out an entire type of human that we have deemed undesirable….the implications are frightening….

      • SLIMJIM says:

        I shall save this as “after Sunday service” lists of things to do.

      • it’s an hour long—but keeps your attention to entire time. I had put it off for weeks as I didn’t know when I could find an hour of being able to just sit uninterrupted. I even sent it to friends who have watched it before me…I finally found that time yesterday–and it moved me beyond imagine….

  7. JoAnna says:

    When I was 36, I had what I believed to be an irrational urge to have a second child. While researching statistical risks, I saw a boy with Down Syndrome with his ?mom at the library. I watched them having fun together and decided it was worth the risk. I did not risk amniocentesis, because the knowledge was not worth the tiny risk of miscarriage. 23 years ago, I had my daughter when I was 37 and she did not have DS. She has had depression and anxiety issues and ADD, reinforcing the reality that parenting can difficult for so many reasons. My grandson has been diagnosed with autism. Some day, we might be able to screen for those differences during pregnancy. Children with special needs, children who are different, can teach us compassion. The only thing I’d change about the first video is that I’d substitute she’ll for he’ll a few times. Still listening to the second.

    • Thank you JoAnna for your input—I was 30 when my son was born. It was a normal pregnancy and I did all the right things. I did not ask to know the sex as that was just becoming popular—I still wouldn’t want to know today preferring finding out at birth. I fretted about the amnio test as the risk of miscarriage was increased opting not to do it….my son was born a week early, a bit low on the birth scale, he had an ulcerated esophagus that required hospitalization at 3 mos. and special meds and formula. He was diagnosed at 5 with a learning disability and later at 6 with ADD—ideal pregnancy yet he came into the world with a bag of life long hurdles that at 28 still plague him….so any pregnancy, any birth can bring its share of lifelong and unique sets of little issues or big issues—men go to the moon while pregnancy still has its mysteries—as does the union of sperm and egg—for some it is prolific, for others sadly elusive—Yet God’s hand is deeply involved with each and every pregnancy or lack thereof.

      Had I been told that my son would have real trouble in school and his ability to learn which would in turn effect every aspect of his growing and life I never would have even considered not having him.
      Each birth bring forth an individual—plain and simple.

      The second video is the more powerful of the two.
      Science, the medical field and even the educational field can certainly all weigh in on the “wonders” of being able to identify “trouble” before it is born, allowing us to “nip trouble in the bud” as it were as doing so will cut down on medical costs, heartbreak, educational needs or the lack of success….but when we turn ourselves into God, deeming who should be born and who should not be born as they could become a costly burden to society…then I don’t think I want any part of that kind of society…..

      • JoAnna says:

        So thoughtful. God gives us what we need to be parents, one day at a time. Certainly my children’s challenges have brought me closer to God’s power and love.

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