A Florida mother of two children with microcephaly made an emotional plea last week for the babies who are being targeted for abortion because of the Zika virus.
Haneefa De Clercq has two adult children who were born with microcephaly, a brain disorder that has been linked to the Zika virus, WPBF 25 News reports. The Florida mother said her children have mental and physical disabilities because of microcephaly, but they continue to amaze her and bring joy to their family every day.
Microcephaly is not typically fatal but can cause health problems throughout the child’s life. Abortion advocates have been using the virus and the link to microcephaly as an excuse to push for more abortions on babies with disabilities. Some pro-abortion groups even have been scaring women into aborting their unborn babies without knowing if they have Zika or if their unborn baby has a disability.
There is heightened concern about Zika in De Clercq’s home state of Florida. She told WPBF that she hopes her family’s story will help others to recognize the value of children who have disabilities.
“That’s what I want those mothers to know, that it’s not the end of the world because you have these kids,” the Florida mother said. “They will teach them so much. They’ll teach them how to love, they will teach them patience. Everything is in God’s time, and if we have the patience to go through that, the rewards are so much greater, and my kids are the greatest gift. They’re the greatest gift God has ever given me.”
In an emotional interview, De Clercq described how much joy her children bring to her life:
[Andrea’s] now 37 years old, and her brother, Robbie, is 33 years old. Though Andrea’s mind is that of a 3-year-old, and her brother’s that of a 7-year-old, De Clercq says they dazzle her every day. De Clercq believes they both have a photographic memory. Andrea excels at computers and technology, while Robbie takes to the arts. His paintings hang throughout De Clercq’s home.
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“I never expected that I could give them an instruction and that they would follow that instruction and do it properly,” De Clercq admits. “I see the love between them and it gives me tears of joy.”
She’s hopeful as more cases of microcephaly are identified, more research will be done to find a way to fight it, though De Clercq has another message as well, a message for all those to be mothers that are now infected with the Zika virus.
De Clercq is one of a growing number of families who are speaking out against the eugenic push to abort unborn babies with microcephaly. Another is a young Brazilian journalist who was born with the disorder. The fact that abortion activists are targeting people with disabilities like microcephaly for abortion also is concerning disability rights advocates, even some who identify as pro-choice.
Currently, the Centers for Disease Control reports at least 510 pregnant women have been infected with Zika in the U.S. Five of their unborn babies died in miscarriages or abortions, while 16 other babies were born with birth defects, the CDC reports. Experts predict that southern states in the U.S. will see more cases this summer.
Researchers estimate that between 1 percent and 15 percent of pregnant women who contract Zika in the first trimester will have babies with birth defects, according to the Associated Press. The risk appears to be much lower among women who contract the virus in the second and third trimesters, according to researchers.
Research into the virus and the link to birth defects is on-going. Scientists also are working to develop a vaccine.