Dr. Jérôme Lejeune, called “the father of modern genetics,” discovered the cause of Down syndrome. His foundation, the Jérôme Lejeune Foundation, cares, conducts research, and advocates on behalf of individuals around the world with Down syndrome.
For World Down Syndrome Day – March 21, 2015 – the Jérôme Lejeune Foundation released a video titled, “Being Different; it’s Normal.” At the end, we are reminded: “To change their lives, let’s change our attitude.”
And indeed, in a nation where 80 to 90 percent of babies diagnosed with Down syndrome are reportedly aborted, attitudes and actions need to drastically change.
Dr. Lejeune believed strongly in the value of each human being, from the very beginning of his or her development. He said:
A month after conception, a human being is one-sixth of an inch long. The tiny heart has already been beating for a week, and the arms, legs, head and brain have already begun to take shape.
At two months, the child would fit into a walnut shell: Curled up, she measures a little more than an inch long. Inside your closed fist, she would be invisible, and you could crush her without meaning to—even without noticing.
But if you open your hand, she is virtually complete, with hands, feet, head, internal organs, brain, everything in place. All she needs to do is grow. Look even more closely with a standard microscope, and you’ll be able to make out her fingerprints. Everything needed to establish her identity is already in place.
To read more of his thoughts on human life, go here.
The Jérôme Lejeune Foundation offers a free, full-color, downloadable resource called, “Student’s Guide to Bioethics.” Also very useful for adults, the guide presents comprehensive and succinct information on human development, abortion, and other life topics, including stem cell research, IVF, and end of life decisions.
Excerpt from the “Student’s Guide to Bioethics:”
Is believing the embryo is a human being just a personal opinion?
No. To agree that fertilization is the start of a new human being is not a matter of taste or opinion; it is a biological reality.
All the scientific evidence points in this direction and nothing can prove the contrary.
It’s a human being, but is it a person?
Yes. How can a human being not be a person? … If we decide that some human beings are not persons, then what kind of society do we live in?
Is it a human being from the moment of fertilization?Yes, because a man and a woman cannot conceive anything other than a little human being. Yes, because the unique human genetic inheritance of a person is determined at that precise moment. If the human being does not begin at the moment of fertilization, it never begins, because where would any new information come from? …