[This article was originally posted on May 6, 2008. In it, I offer the remark that Gov. Sarah Palin “is often mentioned as a potential running mate for Sen. John McCain.” What seemed merely a possibility in May has become reality in August, and the world saw Trig Paxson Van Palin in his eldest sister’s arms as his mother was announced as Sen. McCain’s choice for the vice presidential nomination of the Republican Party. Thus, the event became a great testimony for the sanctity of all human life. The article is reprinted due to requests and interest.]
A little boy with an extra chromosome was born on April 18. His name is Trig Paxson Van Palin and his new home is the Alaska Governor’s Mansion in Juneau. His mom is Governor Sarah Palin, who along with her husband Todd, has welcomed Trig as their second son and fifth child.
Governor Palin has already made a mark on the political scene. A high school basketball star and beauty queen, she was elected Alaska’s governor in 2006. She is often mentioned as a potential running mate for Sen. John McCain. The Palins’ other children include Track, their oldest son, who now serves in the U.S. Army. They also have three daughters, Bristol, Willow, and Piper.
Trig made news long before he was born, as Alaska’s citizens learned that their governor was pregnant. Then, for the Palins, the story got more complicated.
This past December, Sarah Palin was told that her baby was likely to have Down syndrome — just one extra chromosome.
As the Associated Press reports:
The doctor’s announcement in December, when Palin was four months pregnant, presented her with a possible life- and career-changing development.
“I’ve never had problems with my other pregnancies, so I was shocked,” said Palin.
“It took a while to open up the book that the doctor gave me about children with Down syndrome, and a while to log on to the Web site and start reading facts about the situation.”
When he was told, Todd Palin quickly said, “We shouldn’t be asking, ‘Why us?’ We should be saying, ‘Well, why not us?'”
The Palins never considered aborting the baby. That means that Trig Palin is now is a very rare group of very special children, because it is now believed that the vast majority of babies diagnosed with Down syndrome before birth are being aborted.
Modern diagnostic tests are driving a “search and destroy mission” to eliminate babies judged to be inferior, disabled, or deformed. Some experts now believe that up to 90 percent of all pregnancies diagnosed as having a likelihood of Down syndrome end in abortion.
Back in 2005, ethicist George Neumayr commented: “Each year in America fewer and fewer disabled infants are born. The reason is eugenic abortion. Doctors and their patients use prenatal technology to screen unborn children for disabilities, then they use that information to abort a high percentage of them. Without much scrutiny or debate, a eugenics designed to weed out the disabled has become commonplace.”
The Palins would not even consider aborting their baby. “We’ve both been very vocal about being pro-life,” Governor Palin said. “We understand that every innocent life has wonderful potential.”
She loves her baby boy and is proud of him. “I’m looking at him right now, and I see perfection,” Palin told the Associated Press. “Yeah, he has an extra chromosome. I keep thinking, in our world, what is normal and what is perfect?”
Some ethicists now go so far as to argue for a “duty” to abort a baby with a Down diagnosis. This is an assault upon the dignity of every human being. The fact that so few Down syndrome babies now make it to birth is a sign that America is making its own pact with the Culture of Death.
Trig Paxson Van Palin has an extra chromosome, two proud and loving parents, four very happy siblings, and he will bring his own joy to untold numbers of lives.
He will face some unique challenges, but he has a loving family who will face those with him. They will learn together the wonder and beauty of a Down syndrome child and will learn to see the glory of God in his trusting face.
Mothers Day 2008 is certain to be a special day in the Alaska Governor’s Mansion. What an unspeakable tragedy that so many other homes will have aborted that joy.
Welcome to the world, Trig Paxson Van Palin. Your very existence defies the Culture of Death and gives us all hope.
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R. Albert Mohler Jr.
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