Pope Francis Blesses Rick Santorum’s Daughter Bella, Who has Survived the Odds With Trisomy 18

National   |   Sarah Zagorski   |   Sep 28, 2015   |   7:21PM   |   Washington, DC

In a post on Twitter, presidential hopeful Rick Santorum shared a picture of his daughter Bella being blessed by Pope Francis. Bella suffers from a chromosomal condition called Trisomy 18, also known as Edwards’s syndrome. According to the Trisomy 18 Foundation, the condition is extremely rare and occurs in only 1 out of every 2500 pregnancies in the United States and about 1 in 6000 live births. Tragically, the one-year survival rate for Trisomy 18 is 1%.

However, miraculously Bella turned seven in February and the Santorum’s released a new book called, Bella’s Gift, about their family’s journey with their daughter’s condition. The book discusses the morality of abortion as it relates to children with disabilities, especially for children diagnosed with Trisomy 18. Both Karen and Rick wrote the book and their chapters were written separately.

As LifeNews previously reported, last week Pope Francis arrived in Washington D.C. to address Congress and the United Nations. Before Congress, he said, “The Golden Rule also reminds us of our responsibility to protect and defend human life at every stage of its development. I am convinced that this way is the best, since every life is sacred, every human person is endowed with an inalienable dignity.”

Additionally, at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle, he encouraged Catholics to remain vigilant in their opposition to abortion and listed unborn children among innocent people who the bishops must keep at the top of the priority list of people who deserve protection. He also said his primary reason for his visit to America was for the cause of life. “I appreciate the unfailing commitment of the Church in America to the cause of life and that of the family, which is the primary reason for my present visit,” the pontiff said.

View the picture of Pope Francis and Bella in the Twitter post below.

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