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Human Exceptionalism

Life and dignity with Wesley J. Smith.

Down Adoption Disproves Anti-Pro Life Canard



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Two-dimensional advocates for abortion rights often make the stupid claim that “pro lifers care about fetuses, but not people after they are born.” Having hung around pro lifers for nearly twenty years now, I can state categorically that the assertion is a slander. Pro lifers generally put their actions where their mouths are–including adopting special needs children, foster parenting, caring for women thinking about or who regret their abortions, volunteering for hospice, etc.

A report in the Washington Times illustrates the point. A priest discovered that a couple, whose gestating baby was diagnosed with Down, were planning an abortion. He asked her to wait to see if he could find someone to adopt. She agreed and a life was saved. From the story:

The woman, who has not been identified for her privacy and her protection, was just shy of six months pregnant and lives in a state that prohibits abortions past 24 weeks — which meant he had a short time to find a family willing to make a lifelong commitment. So Father Vander Woude, the lead pastor at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Gainesville, Va., approached a volunteer who helped manage the church’s social media pages, and she posted an urgent plea on Facebook early Monday morning.

“There is a couple in another state who have contacted an adoption agency looking for a family to adopt their Down Syndrome unborn baby. If a couple has not been found by today they plan to abort the baby. If you are interested in adopting this baby please contact Fr. VW IMMEDIATELY,” the post read. “We are asking all to pray for this baby and the wisdom that this couple realize the importance of human life and do not abort this beautiful gift from God.” The post asked people to call the church’s office after 9:30 a.m. Monday or to email Father Vander Woude.

No one expected the response they received. “When we got in and opened up around 9:30, it was nearly nonstop. All day long, we were receiving phone calls from people who wanted to adopt the baby,” church staff member Martha Drennan said. “Father Vander Woude has gotten over 900 emails in regard to the baby.”

The only thing that surprises me is that anyone would be surprised. The outpouring of selflessness and love to save the baby’s life and commit to parenting him or her for the duration was entirely predictable. There are exceptions, of course, but from my experience, this is what most pro lifers see as their calling.  



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