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 CNS Story:

GUEST COMMENTARY Apr-30-2008 (490 words) xxxa

Governor and family back up pro-life talk

Catholic News Service

Responding to editors' requests for a regular sampling of current commentary from around the Catholic press, here is an editorial titled "Governor and family back up pro-life talk," which appears in the May 2 issue of the Catholic Anchor, newspaper of the Archdiocese of Anchorage, Alaska. It was written by James DeCrane, assistant editor.

Kudos to Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and her husband, Todd, for their decision to bring baby Trig into the world, despite the challenges he will face with Down syndrome.

In welcoming Trig into the world, the Palin family once again serves as an incredible witness by embracing all life as a blessing -- even the challenges.

The governor proves again that she not only talks the talk about pro-life issues, she also walks the walk. She is a shining example and steward of life as a politician, unfortunately one of the few entrusted with public office.

And yet, looking a bit further into the issue, why the big hoopla over baby Trig?

Why all the media attention and rhetoric about a decision to bring a special-needs child into the world?

By having Trig, isn't the governor simply fulfilling her duty as a mother? Like Luke's passage, what master invites his servant to the table for merely doing his job (Lk 17: 7-10)?

All life is precious, at all stages, regardless.

A child is a child, period.

Even though the number of talents or gifts might differ, all children bring unique blessings that only they can offer. A child destined for the Ivy League is just as precious as one with a significantly lower IQ.

Pope Benedict XVI spoke along these lines when he met with youngsters dealing with disabilities in New York.

"While some people's contributions seem greater and others seem more modest, the witness value of our efforts is always a sign of hope for everyone," Pope Benedict said. "God's unconditional love ... points to a meaning and purpose for all human life."

In the Anchorage Archdiocese, we are blessed with a special needs group called the Joy Community. These young men and women offer tremendous gifts and unconditional love to the church. Their unique outlook and approach to life is refreshing and most assuredly innocent. Spending time with people in this community is an incredibly enriching and rewarding experience.

The big fuss over the governor's decision to continue with her pregnancy, despite knowing the challenges her child might face, is sobering.

The majority of Americans -- an astonishing 92 percent -- decide to terminate a pregnancy upon learning that their child has Down syndrome (Psychology and Genetics Research Group, 1999, London).

The governor and her husband are in a distinct minority in their decision, both as Americans and as public figures.

As a politician, Palin is an incredible example, both locally and beyond. She also continues to fight for life as a politician.

For that, she is to be commended.

END


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