By Jean Garton
Editor’s note. Although it does truly seem like yesterday, we lost this pro-life giant seven years ago. Jean, my friend of over 30 years, wrote many stories for NRL News and NRL News Today. Periodically, we run one of her terrific posts for those who were not privileged to read the magnificent work of the author of the pro-life classic, “Who Broke the Baby?” In so doing it would remind pro-lifers, especially younger ones, that we stand on the shoulders of giants.
In my whole life I have only known two people named “Jerome.” Actually, I really didn’t know either one of them. The first “Jerome” was an eighth grader when I was in my NYC public school. I had a big crush on him, but he didn’t even know I existed.
The second “Jerome” was a doctor of Medicine with Ph.D.s in both Science and Philosophy. He was a Frenchman named Jerome Lejeune.
For years Dr. Lejeune was a Professor of Genetics at the University of Paris, and he had received the world’s highest award in genetics. Although he had been honored by numerous countries, he is best known for finding the chromosome that causes Down syndrome. He was seeking its cure when he died in 1994. He was a man of great wisdom.
When people argued for abortion by saying that “we can’t talk about individual life because life is a continuum, ” Dr. Lejeune would ask them their age. Not one of them ever told him that they “were millions of years old.” “Life continues, it is true,” said Lejeune, “but individuals do begin.”
Lejeune suggested that Tom Thumb really does exist in the unborn child.” At two months of age in the womb,” he argued, “the child is less than a thumb’s length from head to rump, but his fingerprints–his national identity card–are detectable.”
Dr. Lejeune believed that scientists ought to use a simple rule to decide if certain research would benefit society. “There is only one guideline by which to judge everything,” he said. ‘What you have done to the smallest of my brethren you have done to me.’”
The name “Jerome” means “exalted.” It surely fits Jerome Lejeune, the world is poorer and less safe for unborn children for having him gone.