Today, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA) gave birth to her second child, thus making her the first woman ever to give birth twice while in office. There are many reasons to love this conservative Republican Washington state representative but one of them is her strong voice on choosing life. I first heard Rodgers speak two years ago at the Blogs 4 Life Conference at the Family Research Council, where she shared the story of her son Cole, who was born with Down Syndrome. Having become a mother a little later in life, she knew there could be risks with the pregnancy and was told her son could be born with Down Syndrome. Though some find such a revevlation to be devastating, this first-time mother and accomplished Member of Congress took it in stride. Since Cole's birth, McMorris Rodgers has been a busy mom and a rising star in the GOP, having just been re-elected the House Republican Conference Vice-Chair for the 112th Congress.
Raising a son with special needs also gave McMorris Rodgers a deep insight into the world of health insurance. Her experience here helped contribute to her strong voice speaking out against ObamaCare, helping educate Americans about the downfalls of this legislation. She was able to speak with BlogHer ladies earlier this year, addressing their concerns and expressing her views on the best way to move forward on health care.
Like Sarah Palin, McMorris Rodgers has been able to come to the forefront of the life issue because she has a son with Down Syndrome. Studies show that the vast majority of babies diagnosed with Down Syndrome are aborted -- and this is a real tragedy. It's a testament to her optimism and resolve that this busy mom decided to take on motherhood again, even with the risks in entailed. I've no doubt she would have chosen life again if faced with the same diagnosis.
In my room is a poster, each month with new photos of kids from my home town with Down Syndrome. I recognize the difficulty of raising a child with this disability but I also recognize that preciousness of life, the quick trip we are all given here on earth. When I see a child with this disability, I have an awesome respect and awe for the parents who made the choice to live out the pregnancy in spite of the statistics. The other day, I ran into the blog -- "Enjoying the Small Things" -- of a woman who had no idea her baby would be born with Down Syndrome, though it became clear upon delivery that's exactly what was wrong. Would she have chosen differently had she known several months earlier? Who knows. Her blog doesn't show her position on life from what I saw. However, imagine deciding you didn't want to that child because of DS now that she's alive and kicking in your arms. I don't believe a few months earlier makes her life worth any less, just because she's not breathing air. That goes for every child, healthy or not.
I'd recomend visiting that site and reading her baby, Nella's, birth story. I commend Cathy McMorris Rodgers for using her platform to stand strong for life in the face of difficulty and I applaud all the parents out their raising children with special needs, whatever they may be. These are some of the hardest circumstances in which to choose life. But it is a good choice. Most especially today, I want to give props to those parents who choose to adopt special needs kids, like the Kemah family, recently featured on "Extreme Home Makeover."
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