Late last Spring I became increasingly convinced that a major area not tackled by the pro-life movement in any coordinated fashion is the new eugenics movement in fetal medicine. Specifically, increasing numbers of physicians are advising, demanding, and even coercing women to abort babies diagnosed with what have become known collectively as “Poor Prenatal Diagnoses.” Such conditions as Down Syndrome, Trisomy 18, Trisomy 13, Anencephaly, Spina Bifida, etc… constitute this constellation.
Over the past two years, I have heard dozens of women tell me their personal horror stories, many of whom refusing to abort and then going on to have a perfectly normal child. We hear of countries in Europe who are boasting that they will have eradicated Down Syndrome in a few short years, not by eliminating the ongoing occurrence of trisomy 21, but by a 100% abortion rate as the diagnoses come in.
I contacted Chris Gacek of the Family Research Council, who put me in touch with Jeanne Monahan, the Director of FRC’s Center for Human Dignity. Together with Jeanne, and with the advice of Peg Kolm of the Archdiocese of Washington, DC, and my good friend Leticia Velasquez who co-founded KIDS (Keep Infants with Down Syndrome), a working group formed around the idea of having a full day medical conference for medical professionals and the public alike. What emerged from this group is the Council on Poor Prenatal Diagnoses and Therapeutic Interventions.
And here we are.
The conference on Saturday will be live webcast from FRC Headquarters in Washington, and is free to sign up and watch. Just follow this link to register. (We’re pretty near our limit for in-person attendance)
Conference main speakers include:
John Bruchalski, M.D.
Byron Calhoun, M.D.
Alberto Costa, M.D., Ph.D.
Jeanne Monahan, M.A.
Gerard Nadal, Ph.D.
David Prentice, Ph.D.
Laura Toso, M.D.
In addition, we’ll be hearing the witness of Samuel Armas, the little baby who had fetal surgery for Spina Bifida, and whose hand was photographed reaching out from the womb and holding the finger of his surgeon. He’ll be there with his mother, Julie.
We’re also going to have a panel discussion and presentations by:
Melinda Delahoyde, Care Net
Leticia Velasquez, Kids
Christopher Bell, Good Counsel Homes
Nancy Mayer Whittington, Isaiah’s Promise
Mary Kellett, Prenatal Partners for Life
Kristan Hawkins, Students for Life
Paper Presentations by medical students.
Documentary preview and discussion by In Altum Productions Filmmakers
Jordan Allott and Daniel Allott.
The conference begins at 8:30 A.M. and ends at 5:00 P.M.
The good news is that there is a group of physicians here in New York who have been thinking along the same lines, as well as pro-life medical professionals around the country who have all come up with the same concern and the same resolve to effect a change. It’s the leading of the Holy Spirit.
So, starting this coming Saturday, The Council on Poor Prenatal Diagnoses and Therapeutic Interventions is kicking off A Year of Hope and Healing, which will see more conferences and coordinated activity in bringing to the fore the many support and advocacy groups, more physicians, scientists, and ethicists.
Please join us this coming Saturday for the live webcast, and spread the good word!