The stories we tell—our real experiences of good people doing good things—can change hearts and minds fundamentally. It seems like the more good stories we consume, the more good stories we want to generate.
Take for example, the countless stories that we hear at the end of the school year when students who have Down syndrome are elected prom kings and queens by their peers. It seems like this trend was just hitting the news circuit when I was finishing high school six years ago. Now, these stories are everywhere.
Since we announced the introduction of our Down Syndrome Non-Discrimination Act, we’ve been hearing thanks from across the state and country, as moms, dads, siblings and friends come forward with stories upon stories about their own experience with a Down syndrome diagnosis.
Last month, the House Committee on Community and Family Advancement passed Ohio Right to Life's Down Syndrome Non-Discrimination Act. National and local experts, along with family advocates, joined our team to testify in favor of the legislation, providing bioethical arguments against the practice of discriminatory abortions. After working in the pro-life movement for the last few years, I have to admit that it becomes easier to lower my expectations for the opposition's arguments. All they have is "choice," a dull non-argument that tells us absolutely nothing about what we should be striving to do with the choices we face in our lives. Still, it never gets easier to hear the callous words that try to justify the mutilation of innocent children who simply have an extra chromosome.
But as I said, I believe our culture is yearning for positive stories--stories where innocent, good people do the best they can with what they have and honor the intrinsic dignity of others. When you have a whole culture surrounding you that is yearning for something better, something inspiring and hopeful, this meaningless, dangerous rhetoric simply cannot compete with the real experiences of people who love someone with Down syndrome.
With this knowledge, we asked you to send in stories on people you know and love who have Down syndrome. First up is Holly's story about her son Joey:
My son is a gorgeous, funny, and loving little red head with three older sisters who teach him and learn from him every day. We all learn from him. We learn how to openly love; we learn how to have fun; we learn about what is really important in our daily lives and that's family and acceptance. He loves sports and has been able to kick a ball since he was a one year old. He knows his alphabet and can count to 20. He can spell his name and use scissors. Guess what? He is just like your 4 year old! He can be stubborn and he fights with his sisters just like other families. He is an amazing boy who will melt your heart from the minute he says hello. Our story is one that shows how the world is a better place with Joey in it. He received an award in the school district for most improved this year.
When we look at sweet little faces like this and read the words of a loving mother like Holly, it's horrific to imagine that anyone would support the abortion of precious little babies like him.
Undeniably, stories like Holly's and Joey's save lives. If you have a story that could save a life, will you send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org? While the legislature is out for the summer, it's critical that we keep the momentum for this legislation rolling!
To take action on this legislation, click here.