Catherine Daub, from the United States, has said that her eighth living child, William, who has Down’s syndrome, is her “greatest pro-life work”. Raising him has dispelled the negative assumptions about the condition that society and the media have imposed on the West.
William was a surprise for Catherine and her family. Having seven living children already, and having also suffered nine miscarriages, Catherine believed that she would have no more children.
Then, in 2019, the blessing of William happened – Catherine was pregnant once more, at the age of 49.
But several months later Catherine was informed that there was a 99 per cent chance that William would have Down’s syndrome.
“I was okay with this news. I really was”, Catherine recalls. “We already had a niece and a good friend with Down syndrome, and my husband had had a brother with Down syndrome, so I knew the secret… I knew that there would be a new kind of peace and joy that would accompany us.
“But still I was shocked. And terrified.”
Searching online for more information about Down’s syndrome created the impression that there was more to fear than look forward to. Catherine was exposed to a large amount of negativity and scare stories, increasing her anxiety about William.
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But once he was born, these fears were soon allayed.
“He was beautiful”, Catherine remembers. “The fears of the last nine months just disappeared – or at least no longer mattered… He was perfect… Now I knew for certain, looking into that angelic little face, that God had called us to the greatest pro-life work we could ever be a part of.”
A SPUC spokesperson said: “Many parents come up against a wall of negativity when their unborn child receives a Down’s syndrome diagnosis. All too often, doctors will suggest an abortion.
“But as we can see, there is nothing to fear. And to be pro-life means, in part, seeing a Down’s syndrome child for what they are: a blessing that is just as worthy of life as any other child.”