Down, Hero Dad and Palin
by Leticia Velasquez, Register correspondent Tuesday, Oct 07, 2008
In the wake of the financial debacle where the wiles of Wall Street, with the cooperation of politicians, undermined the economy of this nation, there is a growing cynicism about
the possibility of anything worthwhile coming from Congress. Their approval rating is at an all-time low. Enter two farmers, one from
I first discussed the bill with Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., at the Blogs for Life Conference at the Family Research Council in January 2007. I had saved an article about his previous sponsorship
of this bill, which went down in flames in 2005. It is aimed at parents whose unborn child has been diagnosed with a disability like Down syndrome, spina bifida, cystic fibrosis or other congenital anomalies. This bill would provide the parents with up-to-date information about the prognosis of individuals with this condition, lists of parent support groups, and a registry of potential adoptive parents, should the couple decide not to keep the baby. Currently, the abortion rate for these diagnoses is 90%. When Sen. Brownback heard this statistic, he told me that he had
to do something about it. So he joined forces with Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., whose relatives, the Shrivers, have long supported special-needs initiatives like Best Buddies and Special Olympics.
I was enthusiastic about the bill in the manner of one who is new to business as usual in
Suddenly, fate took a stunning turn when Sarah Palin rocketed into the national spotlight this month, her son Trig in her arms. He was a tranquil baby who now put a face on Down syndrome.
Sen. Brownback, feeling the energy, took to the floor of the Senate in a bold move to extract his bill from an omnibus one weighted with pork, by requesting a unanimous vote. He had a silent ally: Thomas Vander Woude, a
Thomas Vander Woude’s mighty expression of fatherly love, combined with Sarah Palin’s gentle example of motherly love — refusing to abort a child whose birth complicated her career as governor of
The power of courageous love had inspired a lackluster, morally bankrupt Senate to a great act —
for which it will be long remembered.