“I called my presentation “Down Syndrome: An Endangered Population.”
Sarah Joy Walker recalls the school science project that launched her to national prominence as a pro-life advocate.
You see, her teachers were so impressed with her project they encouraged her to turn it into a speech.
And when the organizers of the Alberta March for Life heard her speech, they knew just what to do.
You see, as Christians, we are taught that all life is precious. Yet we live in a world where certain life is considered expendable based on a “personal choice.”
Now, when you add the reality of a disability to a culture that considers certain life expendable, you have a combination that ends up with death.
The people who I am referring to are Down syndrome babies in the womb.
The sad reality is that today, many who are told that their baby has tested positive for Down syndrome terminate their pregnancies. In the US, it is estimated that about 67 to 85 percent of pregnancies with a baby who tests positive for Down syndrome are terminated.
This is a staggering amount.
In fact, it has become such a common practice to terminate, that many times a mother may feel that it is the best course of action before she even knows all of the facts.
Alisa Ketchum Walker was just such a mother over 17 years ago, when she found out that her baby would be born with Down syndrome.
She recalls that, “A couple days later, a nurse called and said, ‘So when are you going to terminate?’ which was quite shocking. It wasn’t, ‘What are you going to do?’ or anything like that, just ‘So when are you going to terminate?’”
But, being a Christian and the wife of an Anglican pastor, Alisa and her husband turned to God.
They knew that every single life is precious to our Heavenly Father and that their baby was being born for a purpose.
That purpose started to become clearer recently in 2016 when their daughter, Sarah Joy, now 17, was given a class assignment at Edmonton Christian West School. The assignment was to examine human impact on biological diversity.
For her assignment, Sarah chose to focus on the rise of the amount of babies who are being aborted after the mother receives a diagnosis of Down syndrome.
Sarah Joy had been greatly impacted by the story of her mother’s pregnancy and the fact that abortion had been presented to her mother as an option. And all of this because of her diagnosis.
She knows that she may not have been here without her parents’ Faith.
“I called my presentation “Down Syndrome: An Endangered Population,” Sarah Joy said. “At first I looked at what other people were doing for their project, and then I closed my eyes and imagined myself in the future, as an advocate, sharing my thoughts about this and who I am.”
Teachers were so impressed with her work that she was asked to share her presentation with another class and also encouraged her to write a speech.
Then, in 2017 and 2018, the Walkers attended the March for Life in Alberta, Canada and Sarah Joy was even invited to give her speech at a board meeting for the organizers of the Alberta March for Life!
The board loved what she had to say and invited her to speak at this year’s event.
“Having this crazy, out-of-the-blue chance to speak at the March for Life, it’s pretty amazing,” Sarah Joy said.
“This will be the first time I’ve gone outside of my personal bubble to help other people. I want to get this done so that I’m able to spread God’s word. I want to see that every baby lives and can be themselves no matter what.”
Sarah, with the help of her mother, is advocating for the lives of Down syndrome patients.
She and her family want everyone to know that a Down syndrome diagnosis is not the end of the world and certainly shouldn’t mean the end of their lives.
Many people with Down syndrome lead happy and fairly normal lives. Many are able to work at a job, live by themselves, and even get married.
People with Down syndrome are people just like us with feelings and hopes and dreams just like we have. They love like we love and they feel happiness and pain just like we do.
They are people and they deserve the rights that other people have. And for Sarah Joy, her mom, and many others out there, this life begins at conception.
God knows what He is doing and everyone who is born has a purpose and a life.
Alisa Walker wants mothers to know that abortion may seem like the best option when it is presented to you, but it comes at a high cost.
Mothers who have chosen abortion often experience confusion, pain, and psychological suffering for a very long time. Mrs. Walker wants everyone to know that there are always other options and that there is always the possibility for adoption.
Abortion is not the answer.
And we must all fight to end the death of babies. It is our duty to protect those who cannot protect themselves. Who better fit into this category than babies?
Please help us to pray for those mothers struggling with the decision to end a life or to save a life.
And pray that they become informed on what to expect after birth and about the effects of abortion on women.