Today is Respect Life Sunday. It takes place on the first Sunday of October and is an " annual, nationwide commemoration to help bring Catholic Church teaching on the value and dignity of human life to the Catholic community and public at large."
There are many issues relating to respecting life-embryonic research, end-of-life dignity, abortion. And while I am Pro-life and absolutely unwavering in my beliefs, for me today is a day more about LIFE than about being against ABORTION. For me, it is quite simply about celebrating life. I spent it celebrating with my 2 beautiful girls. It was a sunny, crisp Fall day and I couldn't put off the inevitable shopping for tweens that needed to get done. After church we headed to the mall to get jeans for Mira and shoes and glasses for Sophia. The girls strolled hand-in-hand through the mall and we stopped in at the Picture People to look at pictures we took back in July! We giggled at some of their expressions and each girl picked out the one they liked of themselves. We found jeans, shoes, and glasses and did it all without tears! It was a great Sunday.
I really couldn't possibly think about Respect Life Sunday without thinking about Sophia and all of the special needs children around the world. Here in America I guess I would call them The Survivors. Various studies say that between 90-98% of children diagnosed with Down syndrome in utero are aborted. Right now, 1 in every 733 babies is born with Down syndrome. 1 in every 100 children are living with autism. I would venture to say that the rate of babies born with Down syndrome would increase greatly if there were no pre-natal tests to diagnose it. There would be MANY MORE people with Down syndrome living in this world. Is that a bad thing? I often wonder what will happen when there is a prenatal test for autism. Will the incidence of autism become 1 in 733 or will it go to nil? What about the other pre-natal tests on the horizon... for addictions? depression? heart disease? cancer? Where do we draw the line? Why DO WE draw a line?
Sophia loves her life. She loves her friends and family. We love her. I feel very blessed with the miracle of her life. And that's what life is...a miracle. Every life.