I could watch TV home improvement shows practically all day long.
I adore the transformations–the Cinderella stories of houses being renewed with granite countertops, glorious new light fixtures, and amazingly enlarged closets.
So I was excited to pick up the “Magnolia Journal,” a magazine produced by the husband-and-wife stars of HGTV’s “Fixer Upper.”
Chip and Joanna Gaines did not disappoint, with features on mantels and hearths, cozy textiles, and expert gardening tips.
But I was pleasantly surprised to find an article entitled, “People Who Inspire: Kelle Hampton.” The piece tantalizingly promised “an unexpected gift this mom never thought she wanted.”
The gift was a child with Down syndrome.
Kelle speaks honestly of her sadness when she first learned her daughter Nella had Down syndrome: “I began the grief process for the dream of the child I had imagined.”
But then something else happened–she experienced real gratitude. She writes, “I get both the challenge and the privilege of raising a child to believe that she is so much more than a diagnosis or an arrangement of chromosomes.”
Sadly, an estimated 90 percent of American parents who receive a Down syndrome diagnosis for their preborn child choose abortion.
But there is hope in improving the odds–through stories such as Kelle’s…and through laws that require parents to be offered resources and educational materials when Down is suspected in utero.
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The high pre-birth death toll for children with Down syndrome represents fear, lack of understanding, and discrimination against one of our nation’s most vulnerable populations. However, this lethal trend can and must be reversed. Too many families are missing out on the joys of a Down syndrome child.
Our larger American family is suffering from the lack of compassion that makes the extermination of Down syndrome children possible. We owe it to our nation to open up our hearts to the unexpected and priceless treasures represented by babies with an extra chromosome.
LifeNews.com Note: Maria Gallagher is the Legislative Director and Political Action Committee Director for the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation and Vitale has written and reported for various broadcast and print media outlets, including National Public Radio, CBS Radio, and AP Radio.