Did Facebook save an unborn child?
Hundreds of adoption offers flooded in after a Catholic church posted this message on Monday.
July 11th, 2013
11:47 AM ET

Did Facebook save an unborn child?

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor
[twitter-follow screen_name='BurkeCNN']

(CNN) - On Monday morning, a Catholic parish in Virginia posted an urgent message from its priest on Facebook.

A couple was pregnant with a child diagnosed with Down syndrome, said the Rev. Thomas Vander Woude of Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Gainesville, Virginia.

If they didn't find a couple willing to adopt the unborn child by the end of day, they would abort it, according to the priest.

Within hours, hundreds of couples had contacted the church with adoption offers, according to Holy Trinity staffers.

The parish had to bring in extra staff to field the phone calls flooding in from around the world, including the Netherlands, Puerto Rico and Canada, said Martha Drennan, the parish's director of Adult Faith Formation & Liturgy.

In addition, Vander Woude received upwards of 600 e-mails, Drennan said. "It has to be well over 1,000 couples who were interested in adopting the baby," she said.

"It's really beautiful," said Vander Woude. "Here you have this unborn babe with handicaps and all these people almost immediately offer to take care of it. It's just really a testament to the goodness of people."

READ MORE: Dad's confession: I almost left my disabled daughter

On Tuesday, a local adoption agency presented three prospective families to the pregnant couple. Drennan said the church is not disclosing the name of the adoption agency, which screened prospective adopters, to protect the biological parents' privacy.

"It was so exciting to see all those people stepping up to give that baby a voice - a life," said Geraldine Erikson, a member of Holy Trinity who posted Vander Woude's urgent message on the church's Facebook page.

Erikson, who manages the church's social media accounts, also said she sent an e-mail blast to 140 families on a Yahoo discussion board for homeschooling families

Dozens of Catholic Facebook groups, as well as international media, have jumped on the story.

"I was doing a search this morning and saw some articles in languages I don't understand," Erikson said.

The Catholic Church teaches that all life is sacred and strongly advocates against abortion – but the story is even more personal for Vander Woude. The 47-year-old priest has a brother, Joseph, who has Down syndrome.

The priest's father, Thomas Vander Woude, died in 2008 after diving in a septic tank to save Joseph, who had fallen in while walking in the backyard.

"With our experience with my little brother Josie, this is something that is close to my heart for sure," said the priest.

More than 70 priests attended Thomas Vander Woude's funeral at Holy Trinity Church, including his eldest son, Thomas Jr., who officiated at the Mass and delivered the homily.

It's not unusual for families to find children with Down syndrome to adopt on social media,  said Diane Grover, founder and president of the International Down Syndrome Coalition. In fact, several of the coalition's board members have adopted children after seeing a Facebook post, she said.

"It's a beautiful way for people to get the information out there," Grover said. After checking to make sure the story was true, the coalition helped spread the word on social media about Vander Woude's message and received hundreds of calls in return, she said.

"Its a good eye-opener for our society to see that so many families value a child with Down syndrome like any other child and want to raise them as their own," said Jon Coleman, president of the National Down Syndrome Society.

"People with Down syndrome are making great strides in living more independently, attending college and working. With the proper support, they can do so much if given the opportunity."

READ MORE: Breakfast, lunch and hugs at Tim's Place

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Abortion • Catholic Church • Church • Faith • Faith & Health • Virginia

soundoff (807 Responses)
  1. csiko

    Who wouldn't want a lifetime of tons of loving attention and sympathy? I'm talking about the people who jumped on adopting a kid with Downs Syndrome, not the kid. People who actively want a child with a disability are sick, twisted individuals. Parading a child with a disability around like a circus should be considered cruel and unusual punishment.

    July 11, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
    • Lycidas

      People wanting to help someone that has a disability are not sick or twisted you idiot.

      July 11, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      @csiko – you have issues...

      July 11, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
  2. captain america

    god does not exist there is no evidence thanks

    July 11, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
    • Lycidas

      Check your reading comprehension, this article isn't about the existence of any diety. It's about abortion vs adoption. Thanks.

      July 11, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
    • Mike from CT

      So what is the mountain of evidence you have to make the positive affirmation "God does not exist"

      July 11, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @Mike from CT- one cannot prove a negative
      What you should ask is for them to prove the contrary position that God exists. Namely, for them to prove that God is a man made conctruct. They won't be able to for what it is worth.

      July 11, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
    • Colin

      Mike, to ask for evidence of non existence is absurd. There is no evidence God does not exist. What "evidence" could there be? Think about it. What possible evidence of non-existence can there be? By definition, there is no evidence of a negative. What evidence is there that Santa Claus does not exist? What evidence is there that the Hindu god Shiva does not exist?

      July 11, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      The mind creates reality for the individual. All concepts are man-made; they're all brain-made. No idea can be completely proven, but the god hypothesis is weak for thousands of excellent reasons. From what I've studied, it seems cowardice is the biggest hurdle to overcome when examining just why you believe in your god and none of the other ones so vehemently believed in various other parts of the world or from other time periods.

      July 11, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
    • Theory of Forms

      "All concepts are man-made; they're all brain-made."

      So there are no facts to reality?
      A chair is only a chair because it carries the man made concept of chairness?

      July 11, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      It would appear that there is a reality beyond what the mind creates, but there is no guarantee. Most lay persons are
      "naïve realists," (philosophical term) but very, very few philosophers are. Most philosophers take some viewpoint or another that there is an ultimate reality, but we have little "guarantee" of what it may be. Because of the theory of mind, I take the rather common assumption that when you and I both observe a chair we are both observing the same thing in somewhat the same way. But again, there's no guarantee.

      The issue is this. Many god believers, in their attempt to show that it's okay that there is no verifiable evidence for god, will begin to head down this philosophical trail. Of course they are perfectly justified to point out that nothing can be proven or disproven, but that simply undermines ALL facts and data that we hold to be "given" or accurate. If we argue to the degree that we doubt everything, what then are we really discussing?

      July 11, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
    • Johnny

      I personally have no evidence that god does not exist, but will continue to assume he does not exist until someone provides me with evidence that he does exist.

      July 11, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
    • JustRight

      Since when can you not prove a negative?

      July 11, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
    • Theoru of Forms

      "If we argue to the degree that we doubt everything, what then are we really discussing?"

      The possibilities.

      July 11, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      In fairness, it's easy to get confused because so many negatives cannot be proven. A more accurate statement is that negatives are often hard to prove, and many times impossible to prove.

      July 11, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      I don't see how that conversation would work because if you are doubting everything, then you are doubting the communication with which you are discussing the topic--in this case: possibilities.

      July 11, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
    • JustRight

      Cpt Obvious...

      What would be an example of a negative that cannot be proven? Ive made a career off of proving negatives for goodness sake

      July 11, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Prove that (insert your god or undetectable being of choice here) does not exist.

      July 11, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
    • Mike from CT

      "@Mike from CT- one cannot prove a negative"

      Really, so you can't prove that your name is not Bob or Al.
      Try this in real life, stop paying your mortgage and when they claim you never pay say NAAH AHHH YOU CAN'T PROVE A NEGATIVE.

      Are my keys in my bedroom? I looked and No. So I proved "There are no keys in my bedroom" (I have not proven where they are but proven where they are not)

      Now the original statement is not a negative as you assume. There is no God. The word no does not make it negative but it is an affirmation in a fact. Just like your name is not Bob. There is a affirmation that the OP looked at the evidence and search and found No God.

      "God is a man made conctruct[sic]. " Another assertion you have no evidence to back up. Hypocrisy at it's best.

      Now you will be surprised that I actually agree with you in that you nor I can prove anything. We can only come to a reasonable conclusion based off the evidence.

      Which brings us to colin's point
      Mike, to ask for evidence of non existence is absurd. There is no evidence God does not exist. What "evidence" could there be? "

      There is the highly reliable historical record of Jesus Christ.

      So what I want to know from the OP, is why they dismissed this evidence.

      "What possible evidence of non-existence can there be?" Absents. See above. Absents of payments and abesents of keys

      "By definition, there is no evidence of a negative."
      You need a new dictionary.

      "What evidence is there that Santa Claus does not exist?" The historical testimony of a person it was based off along with all parents around the world admitting finally that they brought the presents.

      "What evidence is there that the Hindu god Shiva does not exist?"
      Present the historical documents if you wish to make the claim

      July 11, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
    • JustRight

      Cpt Obvious..

      If (undetectable god) is proven to exist and being all knowing tells you (other undetectable god) doesnt exist then it has bee proven (other undetectable god) does not exist.

      Of course that was just a silly way of showing that all negatives are in fact provable (ignoring some strange little games of logic).

      July 11, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
    • Johnny

      Mike i would argue that until you actually find your keys they could still be in your room, and you just didn't see them.

      July 11, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
  3. Alias

    We need to think of this child. Not sophmoric philosophy of what is right and wrong. Look up this disease and ask yourself if that is a life you would want to live.
    Sometimes abortion is a mercy killing.

    July 11, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care

      +1 (oldskook like)

      July 11, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
    • captain america

      people that abuse the word sophmoric arent people you should take seriously because they are doing nothing more than making a terrible attempt at appearing intellectual

      usually the only place you see that word are on sites like gawker by crappy journalists that cant do any better than writing blogs about justin bieber

      July 11, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
    • lionlylamb2013

      Hello Alias,

      Our socialized mercies for not allowing a birth to come to full fruition due its potential physical illness that would become a burden to society is a heartache of all souls to be considered. My religious and even secular perspectives would allow for such an abortion to take place. 🙁

      July 11, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
    • Alias

      @capt America
      Keep your sophmoric criticisms to yourself.
      If you have a dissagreement with the content of what i posted please express it. Or if you agree strongly feel free to say so. But please cut the pointless babble of nitpicking every irrelevant thing.

      July 11, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
    • Al

      "Sometimes abortion is a mercy killing."

      Most Christians are for mercy killing. They call it the death penalty.

      July 11, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
  4. Ken

    It's too bad that the biological parents think that a if they have a child with downs that it will be such a burden on them. The kid could end up like this : http://eatocracy.cnn.com/2013/07/10/hugs-are-on-the-menu-at-worlds-friendliest-restaurant/?iref=allsearch

    July 11, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care

      Or be a part of the freak show at a circus.

      July 11, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
    • moliana

      Some people are not emotionally or financially capable of raising a child with special needs. The greater tragedy would be for them not to admit this and end up neglecting or abusing the child. Until you have been in their situation, you cannot know how you will handle it. At least they are responsible and adult enough to admit it.

      July 11, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
  5. Johnny

    Yes, anyone who sends the Catholic Church a dime is paying to protect child molesters.

    July 11, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
  6. CommonSensed

    Why not? If they can find folks who want that enormous responsibility then more power to them.

    This should have nothing to do with religion.

    July 11, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
    • lionlylamb2013

      Dear Common,

      Have you ever stopped to consider that many wanton adoptees seeing only the potential for easy money being garnished via federalisms and states social security systems welfare ways that give grants and/or monetary dispensations to the potential adoptees of such ill formed children?

      July 11, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
  7. lionlylamb2013

    Hi there William,

    Is it too much to point out that unknowable numbers of children within may worldly countries are being sensually assaulted by society's elderly perverts? Preachers are but a small number of the socially perverted crowds.

    July 11, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
  8. John Stemberger

    People who support the catholic church support the cover up and crimes

    July 11, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
  9. lionlylamb2013

    God's first born sons who did establish our celestial kingdom domain of cultured humanisms might well want their ill-constructed buildings of our embryonic nomenclatures to be aborted instead of coming to full term and born with little to no abilities to eventually become a fruitful participant of our socialized natures. Call me a "sadist" regarding such issues yet I do feel for any couples heartaches whenever abortion looms in their sights.

    July 11, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care

      In your fairy tale book and in your dreams this may be true but not in the real world.

      July 11, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
    • William Demuth


      If Mary had aborted, would Christ have resurrected In Vitro?

      July 11, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
    • Odin

      I find your lack of faith disturbing.

      July 11, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
    • lionlylamb2013

      Hello Honey Badger,

      Is it not a "reality" when a child who is still in the womb of its mother is found to have a debilitating ailment that might hinder their social upbringing by being an unfruitful participant of socialism's trends?

      July 11, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
    • lionlylamb2013

      A good afternoon William kind sir,

      Christ Jesus and I have the same parents' namesake. Your ifs are a moot analogous referendum that can never find arbitration. Such is like hammering without any nails to pound. As our becoming a societal herd of many variations within subliminal recognitions, we have earned many freedoms away from biblical regressions that tenure to be as philosophical transgressions against our continuation's foreboding orientated natures.

      July 11, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
    • .

      LL is the belief blog pseudo intellect, don't bother reading their posts, just laugh and move on.

      July 11, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
  10. palintwit

    " Sarah Palin's entire schtick is repeating ridiculous lies and simply opposing things that liberals support for no other reason than to be a childish, annoying, petulant troublemaker. It's clear that she has no actual values or ideas. Just narcissism and greed...and she's lazy with no work ethic. Anybody who would vote for her for a serious role in government is the epitome of a low information voter. "

    July 11, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
  11. William Demuth

    So are you claiming it's not true?

    Portraying Priests as being benevolent rather than malevolent has DESTROYED thousands of young minds.

    July 11, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
  12. Cpt. Obvious

    Deacon, none of your posts seem too stupid to be written by you.

    July 11, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
  13. Bill Deacon

    That's beyond the pale even for you

    July 11, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
  14. JB

    I am really happy for both the biological family and this child. It is obvious that they were willing to give their baby a chance even if they could not cope with the issues that surround raising a special needs baby.

    However, I would not have condemned them for choosing abortion if no family had come forward. No child should be born into a family where they are not wanted or seen as a burden. Just read the headlines about the number of parents who abuse, severely injure, and even kill their child out of frustration because they are unwilling or unable to be parents.

    July 11, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
    • isolate

      That is the fairest evaluation of the situation I've read so far. Common sense is such a rarity these days I felt obliged to comment on it.

      July 11, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
    • William Demuth


      Abuse by foster and adoptive parents doesn't matter to you?

      You act as if someone simply says "I'll take it" somehow means this child lives happily ever after?

      Are you really that naïve?

      July 11, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
    • CommonSensed

      WD – JB doesn't appear to be, but your comments sure don't paint a non-naive picture of you.

      July 11, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
    • photogrrl


      Nicely stated.

      July 11, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      @JB – An obviously sincere statement... and one that I agree with. Thanks.

      July 11, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
  15. R.M. Goodswell

    I fail to see the compa ssion here. They know this kid is going to be at a severe disadvantage here. Today, prices of even the basics is pushing higher and higher...there are brutal times ahead and the first to fall will the handicapped. If this priest were truly compa ssionate he wouldn't interfere here..and prevent many lives, especially the child's from being mostly a living hell.

    But no ...hardship tends to drive people towards outside organizations- churches....so heres the priest – setting up a future tragedy...

    July 11, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Maybe a down's syndrome family will enlighten you one day

      July 11, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Fantastic post, RM, and I've been "enlightened" by various acquaintances and friends with family members that suffer from DS. I apologize that Deacon is so eager to always assume what a person has and has not experienced.

      July 11, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
    • R.M. Goodswell

      You don't get it do you Bill.

      Most of the families that take in such a child are already struggling financially...and kids like these, many times, spend decades longer at home, if they leave at all. There are some that do manage to make it out on their own but they are the minority...when the parents get too old these developmentally disabled get thrown in a group home..care for by people that are mostly there for the paycheck. If I could prevent the whole scenario I would...NOT promote it.

      July 11, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
    • R.M. Goodswell

      exactly Cpt. Obvious,

      Most people only see these people with these kids for a couple minutes and it is clear that yes these people love this kid and yes it looks tranquil....what you don't see are the hours and days and longer sitting in a hospital, because DS victims usually have a host of other afflictions...the medical bills, the constant alertness...these people are always on guard looking out for the kid making sure he/she doesn't get hurt......that takes its toll on anyone.....the list is long..and theres no reprieve ever.

      July 11, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
  16. William Demuth

    The irony of abortion is in its efficiency. Do any of you understand what a nightmare country we would have if we didn't have abortion?

    If parents don't value their own flesh and blood enough to have them, exactly what rationale might you offer to me to encourage them to have it? Prisons, orphanages, welfare and mental facilities cost money and we already refuse to properly fund them as it is.

    When abortion goes up, crime goes down, welfare goes down and mental illness goes down

    If you have ANY doubts about it, just research even a little.

    July 11, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      The Christians want to keep all the aborted babies and reverse the child labor laws so they can get their southern states out of the financial hole they are in. House them in old "Tyson" chicken farms and work them 16 hours a day and feed them Chick-Fil-A twice a day.

      Obviously i'm half joking, but the truth is Christians don't give a rat's ass about them after they are born, in their minds as long as they prevented the abortion they don't care if that child is now going to grow up underfed, uneducated and become another burden on society that they then get to complain about taking too much of their tax dollars in wellfare, food stamps, unemployment and health care.

      July 11, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
    • Jason

      The evil of such logic is staggering. For years I've listened to people supporting the killing of the unborn and I've never gotten used to it. The dehumanizing logic involved in justifying the murder of those born and unborn has played out time and again in history. We must see clearly what abortion is, a holocaust, and there can never be a justification for such a wicked thing...ever.

      July 11, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
    • Deborah

      Sorry, but your argument has way too much rationale and logic, put forth in a succinct way. Religious zealots don't understand this type of argument. It makes much too much sense!

      July 11, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
    • Deborah

      @Just the Facts Ma'am: well said.

      July 11, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
    • Deborah

      @Jason: I assume you are anti death penalty as well, correct?

      July 11, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
    • Freddy

      Yeah, the heavy restriction on abortion is Africa hasn't had a hand in the incredible poverty there, I suppose?

      July 11, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
    • William Demuth


      Christian I guess huh?

      You worship a God that claims to have killed BILLIONS of people, and intends to do it again, so he might create a heaven on Earth, but you can't see aborting an ill child as having any good to it as all.

      You are indoctrinated.

      July 11, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Eugenics; It's good for the fatherland

      July 11, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Yes Bill it was.

      And if you clowns got over the whole no contraception nonsense, we could reduce unwanted conceptions worldwide by 50 percent in ten years.

      Your faith is schizophrenic about reproduction because it is obsolete.

      July 11, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      "Many countries enacted various eugenics policies and programs, including: genetic screening, birth control, promoting differential birth rates, marriage restrictions, segregation (both racial segregation and segregation of the mentally ill from the rest of the population), compulsory sterilization, forced abortions or forced pregnancies and genocide." – wiki

      If you are going to equate abortion of deformed and diseased fetuses with eugenics then you might as well throw in standard old birth control too Bill, or do you already consider them together because you are a Catholic apologist?

      Should we consider the commands in Numbers 5:16-22 to also be a practice of Eugenics Bill?

      July 11, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      God is the worse offender. Rather than just eliminate a person, he makes them go to an eternal torture pit. God is the ultimate eugenicist--except much worse.

      July 11, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Jason, I can see where some of your confusion may be coming from. Using incorrect terminology confuses everyone. It's not "murder" and it's not "baby." Start there, and work your way down. Your name ain't Dainel Webster.

      July 11, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
    • Freddy

      There were a number of states who had compulsory sterilization laws a hundred years ago to keep "certain people", usually the mentally handicapped, from having babies, and plenty of church people were behind those measures.

      July 11, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      We still have Eugenic laws in every State, those against inc est that keep's down the risk of certain genetic diseases.

      July 11, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
    • Lycidas

      William Demuth- "When abortion goes up, crime goes down, welfare goes down and mental illness goes down. If you have ANY doubts about it, just research even a little."

      How about you research "Action T4". Based on what you have written, I bet you would support it fully.

      July 11, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
  17. Vic

    S a n c t i t y Of Life

    July 11, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
    • Vic

      That's what S a n c t i t y of Life is all about, that is.

      July 11, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
    • Ummmm

      Humanity doesn't understand what that means since 1000 die every day from starvation even though we have the solutions now to stop it but are to lazy too.

      July 11, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
    • Candiano

      Sanctity of life until its born, you mean. Then, to hell with them. How many have YOU adopted, Vic, old boy? How many women have YOU stopped from having an abortion, fed, clothed, paid for the birth, and adopted the baby afterward? Yeah, that's what I thought. Zero.

      July 11, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
    • Freddy

      Yes, one wonders if Christians ever consider the people who die of starvation when they consume thousands more calories than they need at those church pot lucks?

      July 11, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
  18. Just the Facts Ma'am...

    So how many points towards going to Heaven is this worth? And do they get double point's if they get in the media for it? Why is this Rev so worked up about someone adopting this child and not the 10's of thousands of other children already in Foster care who are looking for permanant homes? Should they be penalized for already having been born so their struggle for survival is considered complete by Christians? Why do Christians often bash mothers who decide to abort while ignoring their responsibility to all those children waiting to be adopted? Why won't they take on a child already in their young teens or is it not as fun for Mom and Dad as a newborn baby would be?

    July 11, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
    • felipe

      Why are you bashing this priest for doing a good deed?

      July 11, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
    • William Demuth


      Perhaps you think this is a good dead, but someone has to pay the bills

      All this anti abortion fervor always seems to lead to the welfare line.

      If the adopters have the means, best of luck to them, but If I have to lay out a dime in taxes I would gladly abort the child myself.

      Sick children we already have PLENTY of, and rarely do I see their needs being met. If they want to adopt we already have thousands of special needs kids.

      This is like the chubby fundie chicks who have 37 cats in their condo and keep bringing home more. At some point their fetish impacts others.

      Plus if God wanted you to have children to preach to, he would have made you fertile.

      July 11, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
    • Jenny

      "10's of thousands of other children already in Foster care who are looking for permanant homes? "

      Yeah, maybe someone should make this priest aware that research shows that young people in foster care are far more likely to endure homelessness, poverty, compromised health, unemployment and incarceration after they leave the foster care system.

      54 % earn a high school diploma
      2% earn a Bachelor’s degree or higher
      84% become parents too soon, exposing their children to a repeated cycle of neglect and abuse
      51% are unemployed
      30% have no health insurance
      25% experience homelessness
      30% receive public assistance

      Oh and the number of children in foster care is in the 100's of thousands.

      July 11, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
    • Mendozian

      So sad for you. What a bitter and lonely existence you must lead to draw such pointless and hateful conclusions.

      July 11, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
    • rh

      They only need one person to care about this case. Obviously you don't. I am an atheist, and I still can see the point of helping one baby in one situation.

      July 11, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
    • Mendozian

      So, @Jenny...we should kill them all. Right? Good for nothings. Go take a long look in the mirror. I'm willing to bet you're not as spectacular as you think you are.

      July 11, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Very well then rh, you feed it, but don't come knocking on my door.

      And you REEK of Christianity

      July 11, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
    • William Demuth


      Who do you mean? The would be parents?

      No need to, God has already cursed them with barren wombs.

      So common in the Fundie community

      July 11, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
    • Jenny

      "So, @Jenny...we should kill them all. Right? Good for nothings. Go take a long look in the mirror. I'm willing to bet you're not as spectacular as you think you are."

      What are you talking about. I am merely pointing out that this priest is concerned about one child that's not born yet that will have issues yet ignores the 100's of thousands already alive that need loving homes. This priest is only trying to make themselves look good, while ignoring the real issue.

      July 11, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      "What a bitter and lonely existence you must lead to draw such pointless and hateful conclusions." I am neither lonely or bitter, I am happily married and have an amazing daughter. My wife did however go through some tough times when she was 16 and did have a pregnancy terminated before we met and I have never held that against her as I truly believe it was the right thing for her to do at the time. Ignorant religious busybodies who think they know better than the women who have to make these difficult decisions and externalize their belief in invisible spirits by trying to force their personal beliefs on others is truly the lonely bitter existence you describe.

      July 11, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
    • Mendozian

      William, your comments make no sense. Hide behind whatever self righteous pillar you choose. You are simply bitter and narcissistic.

      July 11, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
    • Mendozian

      Just the Facts...you can justify your personal decisions and those of your family all day. To criticize a priest for saving a life, which was not the choice your wife made, is nonsensical and absurd. Your rant displays your bitterness and says more about you than you would like to believe.

      July 11, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      I believe it is the duty of honor-bound citizens to criticize the priesthood. If they were really concerned about children, they'd not be hiding the s3xual crimes of their brothers. Obviously there's no 'Holy Spirit' at work; it's just the same self preservation and cronyism that would exist in any powerful business structure.

      July 11, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
    • William Demuth


      Priests are parasites on society, and 30 years worth of scandal should even let someone as simple as yourself realize that both individually and collectively, priests victimize children.

      Always have, always will.

      July 11, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      "To criticize a priest for saving a life, which was not the choice your wife made, is nonsensical and absurd."

      I am critizing the hypocrisy and I believe am right in doing so. I think you and the priest are morons for believing that an embryo has a soul which I do not believe it does and so the best thing for these parents to do would be to abort the defective fetus and try to have a healthy baby they can invest their time, love and energy in without an undue burden of caring for a fetus they already know is going to have a limited quality of life. If this priest actually cared for the parents he would welcome the new found science that allows us to check on our embryos to see if they are developing normally and can take action to avoid so much pain and suffering that they would be putting on their possible new born.

      To just ignore all those facts in favor of "well if God wills it..." is about the stupidest thing I can imagine.

      July 11, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
    • Mendozian

      So William, pardon my simplicity, but if I can muster a thought from your most recent point, how did this become an argument about priests? I'm not Catholic and have no interest in debating the sins of the church. This particular priest used his sphere of influence to save an "unwanted" baby, who turned out to be in high demand. Your categorical condemnation of every priest, however, should cause you to pause and consider your logic...but it won't.

      July 11, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
    • Mendozian

      Just the Facts...How fortunate for your daughter that she was born at a convenient time in your life. I can only assume that if she is paralyzed in an accident, that you will do the "right" thing and end her life, thus preventing her suffering.

      Who are you to judge quality of life? You obviously don't know many people with Downs Syndrome, or parents of children with the condition.

      July 11, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Mendozian manages to judge people and tell other people not to judge in the same post. He must be an obvious hypocrite. Everyone who knows him must know.

      July 11, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      "How fortunate for your daughter that she was born at a convenient time in your life. I can only assume that if she is paralyzed in an accident, that you will do the "right" thing and end her life, thus preventing her suffering."

      Besides never wishing this upon anyone, not even your smug self, I hope that if I ever have to make a decision like that that I will make the one that best suits the situation at the time, but there is no "right" or "wrong" decision when it comes to family members faced with having to pull the plug on a loved one. Of course in your scenario no one would be given the option to pull the plug on someone just because they are now paralyzed as this would be the murder of another human who can make decision for themselves. A fetus is not a human nor is it a baby and anyone who wants to debate this can go verbally sp ank it till their tounges fall out of their mouths but it won't convince me that a fetus has some extra special thing called a soul that we have to be concerned about.

      If you are one that get's all emotional over a fetus being aborted because you think the fetus has a soul, then in my book you are the same as a child who panics over the thought of catching c o oties from a girl. C o oties don't exist and neither does an invisible divinely distributed "soul" so this should be left out of any disc ussion on the legality of abortion.

      July 11, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
    • Mendozian

      Just the Facts...My response was the furthest thing from smug. It simply illustrated the absurdity of your argument. Again, you have made up in your mind when life begins, which fits your lifestyle conveniently. I've watched both of my parents die too young and know first-hand the depth of this kind of heart wrenching pain. It is likely that most of us have. The difference is, given the opportunity to go back, would you abort your daughter because a test showed her to have defects? Of course not...at least not after knowing and loving her, which is to her great advantage.

      At what point did she become worthy of your mercy to live? What if a negative, positive test result had occurred, which happens.

      There are no time machines and my example is purely hypothetical. However, the principle exposes the fact that the embryo subject to your whim, was no less your daughter then than she is now. She simply got the chance to win your love. Lucky girl.

      July 11, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      We almost did abort after the doctors told us that my wife may have had a cluster pregnancy and severe hyperemesis which caused her to lose over 30 lb's in just 3 weeks. After going to the emergency room and spending 6 days in the hospital we decided, on the doctors advice, to get the hyperemesis under control and then check again on the development of the pregnancy to see if it truly was a cluster pregnancy, which thankfully after another 3 weeks we were able to see that we had a healthy fetus and we chose to of course to have our daughter.

      What is so annoying about those like you who think they should just get to make decisions for others is just that, it's not your decision to make. If you then tie our hands by banning some of the options we had you take that away from parents and essentially tell them they are living under a theocracy now where other religious persons have decided for you that your child has an invisible soul that is prescious to them so you no longer have a say. All I can say to that is, please look around to the rear and sides of the auditorium and locate the nearest "Exit" signs so you may leave our democracy and go find yourself the theocracy of your dreams.

      July 11, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
    • Mendozian

      Just the Facts...I wasn't aware that I was attempting to make any decision for you. Nor have I once brought up a person's soul. You have brought up both points.

      My sincere hope is that you reread your original post and search for the source of your venom. It seems your hatred for priests and lack of empathy for parents willing to raise a special needs child both outweigh any hint of logic.

      Only you know the answers to the questions I posed and I suspect that you would do anything to protect your daughter's life now, or in the hypothetical scenario I gave you. She has always been your daughter...not just when you decided that she could be.

      July 11, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      It always amazes me when someone like Mendozian is such an obvious judgmental hypocrite. Do people like her have no one in their lives willing to tell them the truth to their face? Has s/he eliminated every loved one or close relationship that has hinted at these ugly traits?

      July 11, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
    • Mendozian

      Cpt...Judging by your other posts, you are more interested in trolling than engaging in meaningful dialogue. Even so, I should let you that know face-to-face truth telling encounters is the last thing someone like you will likely ever engage in. The most "Obvious" thing about you is your lack of confidence and complete submission to fear.

      July 11, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      And that, folks, is what an ANGRY judgmental hypocrite sounds like. boring....

      July 11, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
    • Mendozian

      Cpt...I'm not angry. Here's what I notice about you, though. You shout to the "crowd" rather than speak directly to people. Your hesitant to speak "face-to-face" with people via pure anonymity. I'm certain you're about to put on your big boy pants and prove me wrong, but take a look at your posts. So much passive agressive fear. Poor guy.

      July 11, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      "I wasn't aware that I was attempting to make any decision for you. Nor have I once brought up a person's soul. You have brought up both points."

      I brought them up in my original post which you took for being a sad and lonely life because I disagree with Christians legislating their belief in invisible souls by trying to ban abortion. When you pose a question like "When is she worthy?" you seem to be taking the Christian side of the argument that you believe the fetus should be worthy at conception and doubt my ability to make that decision for myself. I believe the doctor determines viability and the law determines legality of abortion and the rest is up to the parents I don't think anyone else should have a say in such a personal decision.

      I have the utmost respect for parents that raise a child that was born with special needs, I have very little respect for people who are informed of these disabilities before 20 weeks and decide, based on their belief in invisible souls, to have the child regardless of what kind of difficulties that child will have to face.

      July 11, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
    • Mendozian

      Just the Facts...I understand your point. I don't agree with it, but I understand it. For me, the argument boils down to this: I am not in favor of making other people's decisions for them, which is exactly the reason I don't believe parents should decide the fate of their children. We can debate all day about when life begins. You don't have to agree with my point of view, but I do believe that it happens at conception, since the end result is a child.

      I am not advocating taking the rights of parents away, I am for the rights of children who have no ability to voice their opinion in the matter about their own fate.

      About the "sad and lonely" comment, I apologize. As it is for you, this is an emotional topic. I am angry with the notion, not you as a person as I don't know you.

      I have appreciated the discussion.

      July 11, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Perhaps, Mendo, we pity each other about the same amount. Good luck with being a judgmental hypocrite.

      July 11, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
    • Plokij

      Whatever you say, Cpt, whatever you say.

      July 11, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      @Mendozian – I thank you for your apology though I do not take anything said here personally. I do get emotional about this subject because there are SO many religious Americans that somehow feel they should get to turn their beliefs into legislation effecting everyone. I know they believe wholeheartedly that they think they have the best way to live and the best rule book, but turning us into a theocracy is not what our Country or our constltution allows and I am thankful for that.

      We have a legal system that has determined when abortion is legal and when it is not. Right now it is set at that point where a fetus is viable without the mother or 20-22 weeks. I am fine with that and don't mind debating that time frame, but to slide that gauge all the way back to conception is not going to happen.

      July 11, 2013 at 8:36 pm |
  19. Hasselbeck

    God bless this unborn child with a loving family!

    July 11, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
    • Freddy

      Unfortunately, not every pregnancy is wanted, and not all can be found loving homes elsewhere, so isn't forcing a child to be born into unwanted circu mstances just setting them up for poverty, abuse, and emotional problems?

      July 11, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
    • Doug

      People, we have to stop what is going on in Texas and in Ohio and other states NOW! These laws making it impossible for women to get a safe abortion are abhorrent attacks on civilized society by religious zealots akin to Talban. Me must run them out of our country and defeat them at ever turn in every place they are found.

      July 11, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
  20. palintwit

    " Sarah Palin supporters are the very definition of low information voters. They watch Fox, a proven source of misinformation. Studies show Fox watchers think they are well informed but are factually deficient "

    July 11, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
    • Candiano

      Twit, what does this have to do with the story?? Get over your obsession already. Palin isn't running for the Senate, either, so who CARES about her? Clearly, YOU do.

      July 11, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.