I finally finished writing my speech for the Rosary for Life event at the Rhode Island State House.
For the two years since our son's birth, I have talked and written quite a bit about our experiences with a false positive prenatal screening result for Down syndrome (aka a blood test I took when pregnant with our son which told us he had a high "risk" of Down syndrome. He ended up not having Down syndrome but we spent almost six months in fear.)
Now, for some reason, having put the words on paper that I will be speaking from in a public setting has brought back some real, raw and uncomfortable emotions that I thought were neatly tucked away in hopes that they would never be heard from again.
While I don't think I will ever be fully healed from our experience, it radically changed my views on abortion. So for this event, I have used these emotions to (hopefully) convey the message that:
1. It is never okay to abort a baby because of Down syndrome.
2. It is never okay to abort any baby.
As humans, we all have moments of fear. Whether they are little fears, like I think I dropped my phone and shattered the screen or bigger fears, like there may be something wrong with my baby's health. Regardless of the magnitude of the fear, the bible tells us to not be afraid 365 times. In fact, God commands us to be not afraid, to never despair and to never lose hope. He doesn’t ask us, he commands us.
The evil one wants us to stay in fear and act out of it. The evil one does not want us to face our fears. The evil one does not want us to use our fears, sorrows and obstacles to become stronger.
While we were fearful for our son, his health and future, we clung to Saint Pope John Paul II’s words “do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song." Despite our fear, we chose life. For us, it was the only choice.
When I was pregnant, I was afraid that if our son did have Down syndrome, that he may have serious health effects that sometimes come with Down syndrome; that he would live a difficult life; that others would treat him without love and compassion; that he would suffer.
But each time I celebrated Mass and would look upon our Lord hanging from the Cross while our son was growing in my womb, I was reminded that it is not our choice to decide what cross we carry in this life. Even as parents, we can't decide what struggles our children will endure. The only thing that we can do is to support and love our children and do the best we can for them.
Had we "chosen" to abort our son, we would not have taken his cross away from him. We would have killed him. How is that better? (Hint: it isn't.)
Abortion drives the nails further and deeper in our Lord's hands and feet on the Cross. If we had aborted our son, it would be as if we were saying to God: "you don't know what you're doing. But we do."
God knows what He is doing.
God knows we are a fearful people. Look at St. Peter who started sinking in the water the moment he took his eyes off Jesus. (Matthew 14:22-33) Instead, we need to gain strength from our fears and crosses. In order to do this we must keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and not let the fears of this world, whether they are big or small, get in the way of our path and our children’s path to salvation.
I pray that you will be able to join us at the Rhode Island State House. If you are unable to, would you please pray along with us? We will be praying the luminous mysteries of the Holy Rosary. You can learn how to pray the Rosary (or get a refresher) here.
As always, thank you for reading. God bless you and may the Blessed Virgin Mary be with you always!
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