New Pro-Life Film “Where Hope Grows” Could Shatter Stereotypes About Down Syndrome

National   |   Sarah Zagorski   |   Apr 10, 2015   |   6:19PM   |   Washington, DC

On May 15, the life-affirming film “Where Hope Grows” will be in theaters everywhere and features actors Kris Polaha and David DeSanctis. The film follows the life of a man with Down syndrome and the impact he has on others. Polaha told the Christian Post more about the film. He said, “There are a few projects in an artist’s life that remind him of why he wanted to be an artist in the first place. With ‘Where Hope Grows,’ it was whole new experience on a personal level – I was going through a prayerful time [while filming], I was fasting. On a spiritual level, it was a cool moment.”

During the filming of the movie, Polaha worked closely with co-star DeSanctis, who has Down syndrome in real life. Polaha said, “Meeting David, getting to work with him, getting to know his family, and knowing someone with [Down syndrome] was the most life-changing experience I think I’ve ever had, and that will last longer than the artistic thing. This was on a deep human level. I didn’t know anyone with [Down syndrome].”

Unfortunately, in our society many people view children with Down syndrome as a burden or as people who will never reach the potential of other human beings. This is because some have medical hurdles to jump, educational mountains to climb, and daily living skills to learn that are a little different than everyone else. However, their lives are fraught with meaning.

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According to Polaha, DeSanctis shattered his perception of people with the condition. He said, “I always assumed you heard their life span was 20 to 25 years, I heard they were incapable, it was based on everything I heard. David was the most attentive, best listener, and meeting his family – I asked [David’s father], “If you could wave a magic wand, would you want to have David without the [Down syndrome]?’ And he said, ‘Absolutely not, our lives are so much richer with him.'”

Polaha concluded, “It is interesting, with modern science, you can find out if you’re having a baby with [Down syndrome] and make a decision based on viable life. The film shows that it’s beyond viable. If there was a woman out there who was having a baby with [Down syndrome], it could save a life.”

Tragically, 90% of women who receive the prenatal diagnosis that their child will have Down syndrome end their life through abortion. As LifeNews previously reported, a recent study revealed why some of these mothers chose abortion. One mother said, “I just couldn’t do it, couldn’t be that kind of mother who accepts everything, loves her kid no matter what. What about me? Maybe it’s selfish, I don’t know. But I just didn’t want all those problems in my life.”


Another said, “If he can’t grow up to have a shot at becoming the president, we don’t want him.” and another, “The bottom line is what my neighbor said to me: ‘Having a “tard,” that’s a bummer for life.’”

As cruel and untrue as these statements are, they should remind pro-lifers that our work in protecting the disabled is not finished. It is critical that we pass legislation to protect unborn babies with Down syndrome, as well as children with other disorders.