Fourth Annual KIDS Event at the 2012 March for Life in DC

KIDS (Keep Infants with Down Syndrome) held its fourth annual event at the March for Life in Washington, D.C.  We had approximately 75 attendees at our event, which was held at the headquarters of the National Right to Life Committee.  NRLC generously invites us each year to use their offices and provides sandwiches and refreshments before joining the other several hundred thousand participants in the March for Life.

As in previous years, we were honored to be joined by Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers from Washington state, who is the proud mother of 4-year-old Cole who has Down syndrome.  She started the Congressional Down Syndrome Caucus and is a champion for individuals with special needs in Congress.  She was joined by Dr. Karen Summar, a Kennedy fellow and developmental pediatrician, who is working with Cathy for the year and is assigned to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, focusing on disability issues.

Cathy spoke about the work they are doing in Congress.  They are pursuing funding the Prenatally and Postnatally Diagnosed Conditions Awareness Act, and have introduced two bills, the Centers of Excellence in Down Syndrome Translational Research Act and the Down Syndrome Research Resources Act.  She spoke about how she is connecting with the Alzheimer’s research community and how important it was to coordinate research for both Down syndrome and Alzheimer’s (because of their close relationship genetically).  She also spoke of the status of the ABLE Act.  We will go into more detail about the issues Cathy talked about in a future post.

We presented Cathy with a beautiful, patriotic hook rug wall hanging with the message “God Bless America,” which was made by one of our members, 18-year-old Anna Sheppard who has Down syndrome (will update with photo later). 

After the event, most of our group continued on to join the march.

Out of the thousands of schools, parishes, faith communities, and other pro-life groups represented by the several hundred thousand participants at the March for Life, KIDS may have been the only group that represented a group of babies who are literally sought out and targeted for abortion through prenatal testing.

KIDS was formed so families and friends of individuals with Down syndrome could walk in solidarity in the March for Life and to bring attention to the tragically high abortion rate of babies prenatally diagnosed with Down syndrome.

Thank you Rep. McMorris Rodgers and Dr. Summar for being our special guests, and thank you to NRLC for hosting our KIDS event!  And thank you to the family

Editor’s note. This appears on the blog of KIDS at http://keepinfantswithdownsyndrome.blogspot.com/2012/01/fourth-annual-kids-event-at-2012-march.html