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Illinois Federation

For Right to Life

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Several years ago, a friend of 25+ years moved to Alaska with her husband. She's made a point of sending me stories about Sarah Palin, the state's pro-life governor. I am very much the better for her kindness.


When I opened my email this morning, the subject line of my dear friend's latest contribution read, "You WILL want to read this." Sure enough, I did. And, I suspect, so will you.

The IFRL is the largest grassroots pro-life organization in Illinois. A non-profit organization, that serves as the state coordinating body for local pro-life chapters representing thousands of Illinois citizens working to restore respect for all human life in our society. The IFRL is composed of people of different political persuasions, various faiths and diverse economic, social and ethnic backgrounds. Since 1973 the Illinois Federation for Right to Life has been working to end abortion and restore legal protection to those members of the human family who are threatened by abortion, infanticide and euthanasia. Diverse though we are, we hold one common belief - that every human being has an inalienable right to life that is precious and must be protected. IFRL is dedicated to restoring the right to life to the unborn, and protection for the disabled and the elderly.   Click here to learn more about the IFRL.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

"He Is Supposed to be Here With Us"

I found a link to a story that appears in today's Anchorage Daily News and is titled, "Palins' child diagnosed with Down syndrome."



Such a headline, while perfectly understandable, says a lot and says nothing.

It is true that Sarah and Todd Palin's fifth child--Trig Paxson Van Palin--has been diagnosed to have Down syndrome. And it is also true that at age 44, there was a greater chance that Gov. Palin would give birth to a baby with this genetic anomaly.


But what that headline did not tell you was the loving generosity of the Palin family's response to Trig's birth last Friday. We can identify all the more because Sarah Palin candidly acknowledged their initial reaction.


"When we first heard, it was kind of confusing," she told the Anchorage Daily News. She said the revelation was "'very, very challenging," adding that "she initially felt sad."

But not for long. Palin told the newspaper that the family had worked through that, and pointed to the support a big family will provide for what's ahead. Trig is "absolutely perfect," Palin said.


Sarah and Todd were not the only Palins who feel this way. Their oldest child, Track, is in the Army. When he learned the news, Track texted his mother "with something to the effect of 'This is just so cool -- I finally got my brother.'"


Reporter Lisa Demer's fine story is replete with telling details. We learn, for example, that Sarah Palin emailed a letter after Trig's birth to relatives and close friends.


"Children are the most precious and promising ingredient in this mixed-up world you live in down there on Earth. Trig is no different, except he has one extra chromosome," Palin wrote.


"Many people will express sympathy, but you don't want or need that, because Trig will be a joy. You will have to trust me on this."


Demer explains that Palin's "wrote it in the voice of and signed it as 'Trig's Creator, Your Heavenly Father.'"


Perhaps most important of all, Demer adds, "As for people who think a baby like Trig shouldn't even be born, look around, the governor wrote. Who is perfect or even normal?"


For her story Demer interviewed Judy Waldron, president of the Alaska chapter of the National Down Syndrome Congress, described as a support and education group. We learn several important things from that discussion.


It is now very common for families to know their baby will have Down syndrome, because prenatal testing is so prevalent. Left unsaid in the story is that upwards of 90% of these babies will be aborted.


We also learn that the group delivered a "parent packet" to the family at the hospital. This is so vital, because families in this situation will typically hear virtually nothing but bad news. They need to know, as Waldron explained, that while it's "no walk in the park," the "joys are great."


Demer's story deserves to be read in its entirety. The link again is


The story ends perfectly, so let me just quote it verbatim:


"Palin said she won't take maternity leave but will go with Trig to doctor's visits, physical therapy, whatever he needs. She's breast feeding and plans to bring Trig to work with her, just as she did with Piper.


"'It just feels like he fits perfectly,' Palin said. 'He is supposed to be here with us.'"


Contact: Dave Andrusko

Source: National Right to Life

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Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin with her husband, Todd, and her newborn son, Trig Paxson Van Palin, who is the couple's fifth child. Picture by JIM LAVRAKAS / Anchorage Daily News