Warsaw, Poland, Jun 8, 2021 / 12:00 pm (CNA).
A new pro-life campaign in Poland is highlighting the dignity of children diagnosed with medical conditions before birth.
The campaign, launched by the Foundation Proelio Group and known as “Every Life Is a Miracle,” tells the stories of children born with disabilities, in many cases after doctors advised their mothers to consider abortions.
Speaking in a video launching the campaign, the foundation’s founder Magdalena Korzekwa-Kaliszuk said: “We are implementing the campaign of the Foundation Proelio Group to show that the life of every human being has a meaning, that people cannot be killed before birth because of a suspected disease or disability.”
“In this campaign, we present the stories of specific people, who risked being killed before birth and yet are alive.”
The campaign is being launched in the wake of a landmark ruling on abortion by Poland’s constitutional court.
In the highly anticipated ruling on Oct. 22, 2020, the Constitutional Tribunal in Warsaw declared that abortion for fetal abnormalities was unconstitutional.
Before the ruling came into effect, Polish law permitted abortion only in cases of rape or incest, a risk to the mother’s life, or fetal abnormality.
The ruling, which cannot be appealed, could lead to a significant reduction in the number of abortions in the country. The verdict prompted a wave of demonstrations across Poland.
The campaign presents more than 80 personal stories. They include that of a boy called Nathan. His mother was told that he would be born without arms after an ultrasound in the eighth month of pregnancy.
“I did not receive any psychological support at that time,” she wrote. “I was devastated. My doctor stated: ‘It is a pity that you didn’t find out about this defect earlier because we could have terminated the pregnancy, but now it is too late. You have to give birth.’”
Nathan underwent multiple surgical operations after he was born.
“Now our son is four-and-a-half years old and he is doing great,” his mother said. “His hands are gripping, he is playing using both his legs and hands, and he is moving forward like a storm. He has been smiling for 98% of his life and brings much joy to our family. I am proud to have such a warrior.”
She continued: “People like Nathan are in the minority and that makes them special. Our son has small hands, but, as he says about himself, he has a big heart. Such children also have the right to live.”
The campaign’s organizers say that “Every Life Is a Miracle” also touches on the most difficult cases, including those of children who died shortly after birth.
“Testimonies of parents who experienced this dramatic situation, and decided to share very personal experiences with us, leave no doubt that for both the child and the parents it is best when they are given a chance to live at least a short time together,” the organizers said.
The website also features the story of a boy called Franek, told by his father Paweł, who lived in the U.K. with his wife, Olga. After Olga became pregnant, prenatal tests showed that the child had a clubfoot, one very small kidney, and abnormalities in brain structure. Doctors repeatedly recommended an abortion.
“We were devastated and terrified. It was hard for us to think what our lives would be like with a sick, disabled child, but it was equally hard for us to imagine how someone could kill our son by injecting poison into his heart,” wrote Paweł.
The couple decided to return to their homeland.
“We flew to Poland for a miracle (…) In Wąwolnica, where there is a Marian shrine where many miracles have occurred. There, we offered our son to Mary so that she would take care of him,” the father wrote.
“We firmly believe that she continues to do so and that it was she who brought us to God at that time. Since then, there has been peace in our hearts instead of fear. We said ‘yes’ to God’s will, whatever it would be.”
Their son was born on August 16, 2019, by cesarean section.
Paweł said: “While we can’t say he is a 100% healthy baby, he is our miracle.”
“Most of the predictions from genetic testing did not come true. There are no abnormalities in his brain. He also has two kidneys of appropriate structure and size. He had neither a cleft lip nor a cleft palate.”
“He does, however, have one clubfoot (not two), or rather, he had one, as it is now straightened out and he now only wears special orthopedic shoes.”
Summing up the campaign, its creators said: “We want to transform the hearts and consciences of Polish women and men, by showing that every human being deserves life.”
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