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It’s World Down Syndrome Day, and I want to share a beautiful and inspiring story from a mother who discovered her preborn child would have Down syndrome.


Holli Waddell was 12 weeks pregnant with her first child when she received a phone call that changed her life forever. Holli’s doctor explained that her baby girl would have Down syndrome and she wanted Holli to come in to discuss her “options.”

The doctors first “option”

Fortunately, Holli knew exactly what the word “options” meant. The first “option” the doctor presented Holli with was the termination of her child—abortion. Recognizing the human dignity of her baby girl, Holli could not rationalize the killing of her preborn child. She explained, “Of course we chose to proceed, and they proceeded to tell us all the things that could go wrong.”


The doctors, like they always do, bombarded Holli with the numerous problems they could encounter. They explained that the baby could have heart issues, intellectual delays, and may “not amount to much.” The list went on and on.


Holli realized that the doctors tend to look at what could go wrong, but they never tell you what could go right. She stated:

They never tell you that your little one will be the best thing that ever came into your life. That their smile is contagious and can light up a room and take all your cares away. They don’t tell you of the family you gain when having a child with Down syndrome, the support you get when things go wrong and the joy you share when things go right. . . . They don’t tell you children with Down syndrome are beautiful, fun, and loving human beings, like any other child.


Our society pushes for “human rights,” yet it also pushes for the termination of a child if he has a disability. How is this seeing every human being as having the right to life? How is this promoting equality or justice? It’s not.

Holli’s little girl may have Down syndrome, but that is just one tiny detail that makes her so special. There are a million little details about Holli’s daughter that make her the beautiful little girl she is today.


In order to truly claim that every person—whether he has a disability or not—has the utmost human dignity, we need to start seeing this human dignity in every person. And it starts with the preborn baby.


Header Photo Via Flickr @Andrea





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