A small church in Gainesville witnessed a miracle last week. Reverend Thomas Vander Woude's goal was to save one unborn child but he had no idea just how much support he would receive from around the globe. The pastor of Holy Trinity Catholic Church heard about a young couple who had just learned that their unborn child was diagnosed with Down syndrome and who planned on aborting the child. Because the couple lives in a state (not Virginia) where abortions must take place before 24 weeks of pregnancy, time was not on the child's side. According to The Washington Times, Father Woude offered the couple a deal: if the mother would deliver the child, he would find a suitable adoptive family. On Monday morning the church posted an urgent plea on its Facebook page for any families interested in adopting the child to contact Father Woude immediately. By the next morning, the church had received nearly 900 e-mails and phone calls from places as far as the Netherlands, Puerto Rico and England. This unborn child with Down syndrome was wanted and valued and loved by hundreds of strangers. Because of one pastor's bold deal, another child will get a chance at life.
A bill proposed during the last General Assembly would have saved the lives of children with a pre-birth diagnosis of disability. SB 826 would have ensured that taxpayers do not fund the unethical abortions of such children. The hundreds of responses to Father Woude's plea are proof that children born with disabilities are overwhelmingly loved and wanted. There are people waiting with open arms to welcome a child with a disability into their families. Although SB 826 failed to pass this year, the fight for the right to life for all continues. The Family Foundation will continue to work hard to protect the lives of the unborn, especially the unborn with disabilities. In the meantime, follow Father Woude's boldness; one person really can make a difference.
Admin’s note: This blog post was written by Maggie McKneely, one of our 2013 summer college interns.