Support Groups for Children with Birth Defects

Author: A.L.L.


American Life League

When your little child is born to you not whole and sound as you had hoped, but warped and defective in body or mind or perhaps both, remember that this is still your child. Remember, too, that the child has his right to life, whatever that life may be, and he has the right to happiness, which you must find for him.

Be proud of your child, accept him as he is and do not heed the words and stares of those who know no better. This child has a meaning for you and for all children. You will find a joy you cannot now suspect in fulfilling his life for and with him. Lift your head up and go your appointed way.

I speak as one who knows."

                                                               Pearl S. Buck, The Child Who Never Grew.

Anti-Life Philosophy.

There is only one answer to severe fetal defects detected before birth: Abortion!

Why should parents have to put up with the stress and strain associated with bringing up a handicapped child when abortion provides such an easy solution?

Society should not have to pay for the care of handicapped children when it is so much cheaper to eliminate them before they are born, and save themselves and their parents a lot of pain and heartache.


Lucy: "Snoopy is more trouble than he's worth!"
Charlie Brown: "Most of us are."

                                                 "Peanuts" syndicated comic strip, October 30, 1980.[1]

No Heart Leads to No Soul.

The birth defects argument is perhaps the most despicable of all of the rationalizations offered by pro-abortionists.

This pseudoscientific worldview is known and universally condemned as EUGENICS: The systematic elimination of "life devoid of value."

Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood and one of the first serious disciples of the eugenics philosophy, longed for "a race of thoroughbreds" through positive eugenics the breeding of "good stock." Now abortionists would like to improve the gene pool through negative eugenics, which is the weeding out of those human beings considered unsatisfactory for some reason.

The Nazis used negative eugenics to eliminate the incurably ill, disabled and deformed. Inevitably, they extended this practice to the destruction of vast classes of people: Jews, gypsies, Catholics, and other "human weeds."

Today, Planned Parenthood agitates for the destruction of handicapped preborn and newborn babies by heartlessly dehumanizing them: "A profoundly retarded and totally unaware birth can live for twenty years or more if provided with round-the-clock care."[2]

Every pro-lifer knows that pro-abortionists will do absolutely nothing to help a woman who wants to carry her baby to term. After all, has anyone every heard of a pro-abortion crisis pregnancy center? The anti-lifers are like a small kid with a hammer: Everything looks like a nail to them. They have only one answer for every problem abortion.

Just as predictably, no pro-abortionist will support the parents of a handicapped child. "After all," they say, "if you didn't want to be saddled with that handicapped child, you should have had an abortion." In other words, the pro-aborts imply that parents who allow a handicapped baby to be born should be punished for the rest of their lives for their 'mistake.'

Strangely, this sounds a lot like the outraged pro-abortion squawking alleging that pro-lifers want to eliminate abortion so that women who fornicate will be punished by having their lives ruined.

Once again, when facing the problem of a handicapped preborn child, the pro-aborts will haul out their only "tool" abortion. This jaded and narrow thinking leads to truly heartless statements by pro-aborts, including that by Marjorie Reilly Maguire and Daniel C. Maguire of the fake religious front group "Catholics' for a Free Choice;" "While you are making your [abortion] decision, do not let yourself be a victim of romantic thinking about the beauty and value of handicapped children ... such children place extreme demands upon a family."[3]

The New Eugenicists.

It is interesting to note that the only nations that have ever practiced eugenics on a large scale possessed totalitarian governments.

Therefore, any pro-abortionist who advances the hideous argument that those persons who are less than mentally or physically perfect should be eliminated is following exactly in the footsteps of the Nazi doctors of a half-century ago. Pro-abort 'logic' seems to indicate that parents would have their babies if they were perfect, but must have the right to kill them if they are 'defective.'

This necessarily means that the pro-abortionist who supports eugenic abortion believes that a handicapped preborn is worth much less than a healthy preborn. Pro-lifers should ask pro-aborts if they believe that handicapped children and adults are worth less than healthy children and adults, and, when the answer is "no," they may point out the glaring inconsistency of this position.

They're Already Pushing ...

Pro-lifers should know by now that pro-aborts don't just talk, they back up their words with action. Leading latter-day eugenicists have suggested that abortion be made mandatory for those parents whose preborn children suffer from birth defects. Failing this, they say that any parents who bear a child known to have birth defects should be dropped by their insurance companies a slightly less brutal form of coercion, but coercion nonetheless.

Dr. Gilbert S. Omenn of the University of Washington's Medical Genetics Division, predicts that cost-cutting will soon be aimed at handicapped preborns; "When health insurers do enter the field [of genetic counseling], some enterprising company may offer to pay for amniocentesis and abortion, if indicated, but not for subsequent medical care of the offspring, should abortion be refused."[4]

And Kenneth Vaux, Professor of Ethics at Baylor College of Medicine, shows that such coercion will inevitably lead to abortion on command; "I am told by a reliable scholar that a major private health insurance company is contemplating the policy of requiring amniocentesis or other acceptable forms of antenatal diagnosis for all pregnant women holding a policy with the company. If a diagnosis of congenital defect is made, insurance will be dropped on the potential child. In other words, abortion will be required ... We have a legal obligation to protect the unborn from the cruel and unusual punishment of genetic disease. Surely we need ponder whether the abnormal merit our protection, even in utero. We now have the possibility, which means the responsibility, of deciding whom we will admit to the human community."[5]

Help for ParentsWhose Children Have Birth Defects.

A child with a birth defect, no matter how serious his disability, is still a child. No mere sniveling and Newspeak by anti-life utilitarians will change this fact. He or she still has the intrinsic value conferred upon him or her by the Creator. The child is of infinite value in the eyes of God.

As New York assemblyman and polio victim Martin Ginsberg testified at the 1969 legislative debate on a proposed abortion exception for fetal abnormalities; "What this [proposed] bill says is that those who are malformed or abnormal have no reason to be a part of our society. If we are prepared to say that a life should not come into this world malformed or abnormal, then tomorrow we should be prepared to say that a life already in this world which becomes malformed or abnormal should not be permitted to live."

Parents who undergo prenatal testing and find that their child has a serious birth defect know that the pressure to abort is tremendous. But they are being lied to if they are told that abortion is the only solution to a prenatal birth defect. There are literally hundreds of support groups available to help parents of children who have virtually any of the birth defects now catalogued. Figure 39-1 lists the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of just a few of these organizations.


Acoustic Neuroma
Acoustic Neuroma Association
Post Office Box 398
Carlisle, PA 17013
(717) 249-3973

ALD Project
c/o the JFK Project for Handicapped Children
707 North Broadway
Baltimore, MD 21205
(301) 522-5409

National Organization for Albinism
919 Walnut St., Rm 400
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 627-3501

Avenues (Support Group for Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita)
Post Office Box 5192
Sonora, CA 95370
(209) 533-1468

Batten Disease
Children's Brain Diseases
Foundations for Research
350 Parnassus, Suite 900
San Francisco, CA 94117
(415) 566-5402

Council of Blind Parents
6209 Lycoming Road
Montgomery, AL 26117
(205) 277-2798
(212) 620-2158

Foundation for the Blind
15 West 16th Street
New York, NY 10011
(212) 620-2000 or
(512) 459-6651

National Association for the Visually Impaired
PO Box 1800806
Austin, Texas 78718
(202) 659-5136

American Cancer Society
4 West 35th Street
New York, NY 10001
(212) 736-3030

Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation
2025 Eye St. NW, Ste. 1011
Washington, DC 20006

Cardiovascular Disease
American Heart Association
7320 Greenville Avenue
Dallas, TX 75321
(214) 750-5300

Cardiovascular Disease
American Lung Association
1740 Broadway
New York, NY 10019
(212) 315-8700

Celiac-Sprue Association
2313 Rocklyn Drive
Des Moines, IA 50322
(515) 270-9869

Cerebral Palsy
Easter Seal Society
2023 W. Ogden Ave.
Chicago, IL 60612
(312) 243-8400

Cerebral Palsy
United Cerebral Palsy Association
66 East 34th Street
New York, NY 10016

Cooley's Anemia
Thesselanemia Foundation
105 E. 22nd St., #911
New York, NY 10010
(212) 598-0910 or
(800) 221-3571

Cornelia de Lange Syndrome
Cornelia de Lange Foundation
60 Dyer Avenue
Collinsville, CT 06022
(203) 693-0159 or
(800) 223-8355

Craniofacial Disorders
National Cleft Palate Association
PO Box 2647
Hutchinson, KS 67501
(316) 543-6623

Craniofacial Disorders
National Association for the Handicapped
PO Box 11082
Chattanooga, TN 37401
(615) 266-1632

Cri Du Chat Syndrome
5P Society
11609 Oakmont
Overland Park, KS 66210
(913) 469-8900

Cystic Fibrosis
Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
6000 Executive Blvd.
Rockville, MD 20852
(301) 881-9130

Deaf Children Society
814 Thayer Avenue
Silver Spring, MD 20910
(301) 585-5400

Parents Organization
3417 Volta Place NW
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 337-5200

American Diabetes Association
2 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10016
(212) 683-7444

Juvenile Diabetes Foundation
60 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10010
(212) 889-7575

Down Syndrome
Down Syndrome Congress
1640 W. Roosevelt Rd.
Chicago, IL 60608
(312) 226-0416 or
(800) 446-3835

Down Syndrome
Down Syndrome Society
141 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10010
(212) 764-3070 or
(800) 221-4602

Dysautonomia Foundation
370 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10017
(212) 889-5222

Dystonia Foundation
425 Hollow Road
Melville, NY 11747
(516) 249-7799

Ehlers Danlos Syndrome
Ehlers Danlos Foundation
PO Box 1212
Southgate, MI 48195
(313) 282-0181

Epilepsy Foundation
4351 Garden City Dr.
Landover, MD 20785
(301) 459-3700

Epstein Barr Virus
Chronic Epstein Barr Virus Foundation
PO Box 230108
Portland, OR 97223
(503) 684-5261

Exstrophy Support
5075 Medhurst Street
Solon, OH 44139
(216) 248-6851

Fragile X Syndrome
Fragile X Foundation
PO Box 300233
Denver, CO 80203
(303) 861-7508

Fragile X Syndrome
Fragile X Support Group
Route 8, Box 109
Bridgeton, NJ 08302
(609) 455-7508

Gaucher Disease
Gaucher Foundation
1424 K Street NW
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 393-2777 or
(319) 785-6038

Glycogen Disease
Association for Glycogen Storage Disease
Post Office Box 896
Durant, Iowa 52747
(212) 219-8180

Hemophilia Foundation
The Soho Building
110 Greene Street
New York, NY 10002
(212) 757-1443

Huntington Disease
Huntington Disease Foundation of America
250 West 57th Street
New York, NY 10107
(212) 684-2781

Huntington Disease
National Huntington Disease Association
1182 Broadway, Suite 402
New York, NY 10001

Hydrocephalus Support
225 Dickinson, H-893
San Diego, CA 92103
(619) 695-3139

Hydrocephalus Foundation
Route 1, River Road, Box 210AA
Joliet, IL 60436
(815) 467-6548

Immune Deficiency
Immune Deficiency Foundation
PO Box 586
Columbia, MD 21045
(301) 461-3127

Intraventricular Hemorrhage
IVH Parents
PO Box 56-111
Miami, FL 33156
(305) 232-0381
(305) 659-5616

Iron Overload
Iron Overload Foundation
Harvey Building
224 Datura St., Ste. 912
West Palm Beach, FL 33401

Joseph Disease
International Joseph Disease Foundation
Post Office Box 2550
Livermore, CA 94550
(415) 455-0706 (800) 223-0179

Kidney Disorders
National Kidney Foundation
2 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10016
(212) 889-2210

Leukodystrophy Foundation
2304 Highland Drive
Sycamore, IL 60178
(815) 895-3211

Lipid Diseases
Lipid Diseases Foundation
1201 Corbin Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
(201) 337-2992

Liver Disorders
American Liver Foundation
998 Pompton Avenue
Cedar Grove, NJ 07009
(201) 857-2626 or

Liver Disorders
Children's Liver Foundation
155 Maplewood Avenue
Maplewood, NJ 07040
(201) 761-1111

National Lupus Foundation
5230 Van Nuys Blvd.
Van Nuys, CA 91401
(818) 885-8787

Malignant Hyperthermia
Malignant Hyperthermia Association
PO Box 3231
Darien, CN 06820
(203) 655-3007

Maple Syrup Urine Disease
Families with Maple Syrup Urine Disease
24806 SR 119
Goshen, IN 46526
(219) 862-2922

Marfan Syndrome
National Marfan Foundation
54 Irma Avenue
Port Washington, NY 11050
(516) 883-8712

Mental Disabilities
Association of Retarded Citizens
2501 Avenue J
Arlington, Texas 76011
(817) 640-0204 or
(800) 433-5255

Mental Disabilities
Association for Persons with Severe Handicaps
7010 Roosevelt Way NE
Seattle, WA 98115
(206) 523-8446

National MPS Society
17 Kraemer Street
Hicksville, NY 11801
(516) 931-6338

Multiple Sclerosis
National MS Society
205 East 42nd Street
New York, NY 10017
(212) 986-3240

Muscular Dystrophy
MD Association
810 Seventh Avenue
New York, NY 10019
(212) 586-0808

Myasthenia Gravis
MG Foundation
15 East 26th Street
New York, NY 10010
(212) 889-8157

Neurofibromatosis Foundation
141 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10010
(212) 460-8980

Organic Acidemias
Organic Acidemias Association
1532 South 87th Street
Kansas City, KS 66111
(913) 422-7080

Osteogenesis Imperfecta
Brittle Bone Society
1256 Merrill Drive
Marshallton/West Chester, PA 19380
(215) 692-6248

Osteogenesis Imperfecta
Osteogenesis Imperfecta Foundation
Post Office Box 838
Manchester, NH 03105
(603) 623-0934

Porphyria Foundation
Post Office Box 11163
Montgomery, AL 36111
(205) 264-2564

Prader-Willi Syndrome
Prader-Willi Association
5515 Malibu Drive
Edina, Minnesota 55436
(612) 933-0113

Retinitis Pigmentosa
RP Foundation
1401 Mt. Royal Ave.
Baltimore, MD 21217
(301) 655-9400

Reye Syndrome
Reye's Society
Box RS
Benzonia, MI 49616
(616) 882-5521

Scleroderma Foundation
Post Office Box 350
Watsonville, CA 95077
(408) 728-2202

Short Stature/Dwarfism
Little People of America
Post Office Box 663
San Bruno, CA 94066
(415) 589-0695

Short Stature/Dwarfism
Dwarfed Children Association
11524 Colt Terrace
Silver Springs, MD 20902
(301) 649-3275

Sickle Cell Anemia
National Association for Sickle Cell Disease
4221 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90010
(213) 936-7205 or

Spina Bifida
Spina Bifida Association of America
343 S. Dearborn St., Room 317
Chicago, IL 60604

Tay-Sachs Disease
National Tay-Sachs Association
92 Washington Avenue
Cedarhurst, NY 11516
(516) 569-4300

Tourette Syndrome
Tourette Syndrome Association
42040 Bell Boulevard
Bayside, NY 11361
(718) 224-2999 or
(800) 237-0717

Toxoplasmosis Group
52 Edgell Road
Gardner, MA 01440
(800) 446-1211

Tuberous Sclerosis
Tuberous Sclerosis Association
Post Office Box 44
Rockland, MA 02370

Tuberous Sclerosis
National Tuberous Sclerosis Association
Post Office Box 612
Winfield, IL 60190

Turner's Syndrome
Turner's Syndrome Society
2744 Tiffany West Way
Sacramento, CA 95827
(916) 363-3306

Williams Syndrome
Williams Syndrome Association
Post Office Box 178373
San Diego, CA 92117
(619) 275-6628

Wilson's Disease
Wilson's Disease Association
Post Office Box 489
Dumfries, VA 22026
(703) 221-5532

All Birth Defects
Association of Birth Defect Children
3526 Emerywood Lane
Orlando, FL 32806
(305) 859-2821

All Birth Defects
Federation for Children with Special Needs
312 Stuart Street
Boston, MA 02116
(617) 482-2915

All Birth Defects
National Association for Jewish Genetic Diseases
250 Park Ave., Ste. 1000
New York, NY 10177
(212) 682-5550

All Birth Defects
NORD (National Organization for Rare Disorders)
Fairwood Prof. Building
100 Route 137
New Fairfield, CN 06812

AMEND (Moms Experiencing Neonatal Death)
43224 Berrywick Terrace
St. Louis, MO 63128
(314) 487-7582
(203) 746-6518

HOPING (Helping in Normal Grieving)
Edward Sparrow Hosp.
1215 E. Michigan Ave.
Lansing, MI 48909
(517) 483-3606

National Rehabilitation Institute
633 S. Washington St.
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 836-1500 or
(800) 420-1500

National Organization on Disability
2100 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20037
(202) 293-5960

Reference: Reaching Out: A Directory of Voluntary Organizations in Maternal and Child Health, 1985. National Center for Education in Maternal and Child Health, 8201 Greensborough Drive, Suite 600, McLean, Virginia 22102.

References: Birth Defects Support Groups.

[1] "Peanuts" syndicated comic strip of October 30, 1980, quoted in Mary Meehan. "Facing the Hard Cases." Human Life Review, Summer 1983, page 30.

[2] Rocky Mountain Planned Parenthood booklet distributed to its Colorado clientele. "Let's Tell the Truth About Abortion." 1985, Fight Back Press.

[3] Marjorie Reilly Maguire and Daniel C. Maguire. "Abortion: A Guide to Making Ethical Decisions." 'Catholics' for a Free Choice, September 1983.

[4] Dr. Gilbert S. Omenn, Medical Genetics Division, University of Washington. Quoted in "M.D. Predicts Forced Abortion." National Right to Life News, July 1975, page 4.

[5] Kenneth Vaux, Professor of Ethics at Baylor College of Medicine. Biomedical Ethics. New York: Harper & Row, 1974. Pages 51, 58 and 59.

Further Reading: Birth Defects Support Groups.

Faye Henderson. An Angel Passed This Way
Post Office Box 445, Tomball, Texas 77375. Reviewed by Olga Fairfax on page 27 of the October 1985 ALL About Issues. A family adopts a little Down Syndrome girl at three days of age and never regrets their decision, sticking with her until she finally loses a three-year battle to leukemia. A story of heroism by the little girl (named "Angel"), her big brother, and both parents.

Marion "Mike" Manning. Us Four: A Senator, His Family, Their Brain-Injured Child
Alpha Publishers, Post Office Box 6328, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 55406. Reviewed by Mary E. Prior on page 39 of the May-June 1987 ALL About Issues. Inspirational and true story of a family that works to include a brain-damaged child in all of their activities, with great success.

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This is a chapter of the  Pro-Life Activist's Encyclopedia Published by American Life League.