No to Down Syndrome Abortion

“Bring this child to birth”

Milagres Pererira hails from Artists for Life, which is Human Life International’s Affiliate (HLI) in Goa, India.

Some time back she was invited to speak on parenting at a Parent Teacher Association gathering. Once finished, Milagres was approached by a woman who said, “Do you remember my son? You prayed for him when I was six months’ pregnant with him.” Actually Millagres had forgotten, so Eloma Mergulhao repeated the story of how she said no to Down syndrome abortion.

Eloma had conceived at around 35 years of age and all initial tests confirmed the presence of Down syndrome. As happens so often, medical staff were discouraging and advised abortion, which she thankfully rejected. More and more parents are choosing to abort babies with Down syndrome diagnoses, though parents of Down syndrome babies live functional lives and are loved deeply by their parents.

But Eloma felt, “Say no to Down syndrome abortion.” She started to pray harder and attend retreats. During a night vigil, she said Millagres had prayed with her, saying, “Come what may, bring this child to birth.” Terribly touched, Eloma felt God’s peace and confirmed in her decision rejecting abortion.

Three months later her son was born…healthy. She named him Urice. No disease of any sort! The doctor examined the baby closely and seemed almost disgruntled at not seeing the Down syndrome confirmed. He predicted Urice would develop the signs within a month. After he visited the child at three, six and 12 months, there were none. Even at over three years old, Eloma’s son was clearly healthy.

All Life is Sacred

All life is sacred. To God, there are no “syndromes.”

Millagres said, “I know that God may do miracles when He likes. But one miracle is certain. To those women carrying and willing to give birth to Down syndrome babies, He gives them the graces to raise such children with heroic strength that surpasses human understanding.”

Last year when Pope Francis celebrated mass for the sick and disabled, he chose to include several altar servers with Down syndrome. According to the Catholic Herald in the UK, the Pope stated:

In an age when care for one’s body has become an obsession and a big business, anything imperfect has to be hidden away….In some cases, we are even told that it is better to eliminate [such persons] as soon as possible, because they become an unacceptable economic burden in time of crisis. People with such attitudes fail to understand the real meaning of life, which also has to do with accepting suffering and limitations.

The solution, the Pope said, is love. Say no to Down syndrome abortion.

Say no to Down Syndrome abortion

Eloma and her son, Urice Mergulhao, in Velsao, Goa

About Deborah M. Piroch

Deborah M. Piroch graduated from Mount Holyoke College, the nation’s oldest women’s college, with a double major in German and English Literature. She studied abroad and earned her M.A. in English Literature from Indiana University. Fluent in German, she began her career in international journalism working for Radio Deutsche Welle in Cologne, Germany. Returning to the States after a three-year contract, she worked as arts reporter and producer on prime time shows for WQED-FM in Pittsburgh, then a top 20 market. After another three years, she was hired by EWTN Global Catholic Network as news director, anchor and writer for “Catholic World Today,” but soon transitioned into television. Highlights of her 15 years at EWTN include co-anchoring the U.S. March for Life with Marcus Grodi on more than one occasion, live translating the election of Pope Benedict XVI into German, interviewing two former U.S. Presidential candidates and producing Father Benedict Groeschel’s prime time program from its inception for six years. Named the Network’s first International Production Coordinator, she also proposed, budgeted and executed TV shoots in Scotland, England, Norway, Sweden and Germany. Most recently she served as Director of PR for Human Life International.

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