Alaska Governor Gives Birth to Child with Downs Syndrome

by Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
Staff Writer

(April 25, 2008) The popular pro-life Governor of Alaska gave birth to a baby boy with Downs Syndrome and proudly told the world she feels “truly blessed”  by God to receive this precious  gift of life.

Governor Sarah Palin gave birth to Trig Paxson Van Palin on April 18, a month before he was due. This is the fifth child for the staunchly pro-life governor who said she and husband Todd found out earlier in the pregnancy that Trig had Downs Syndrome. Even though the majority of babies diagnosed in utero with Downs are aborted, the Palins refused to end their child’s life.

“When we first heard, it was kind of confusing,” the 44 year old Governor told the Anchorage Daily News. Calling the revelation “very, very challenging”, she admitted to feeling sad initially.

But the family worked through their initial reaction and issued a statement on the day of Trig’s birth that read: “Trig is beautiful and already adored by us. We knew through early testing he would face special challenges, and we feel privileged that God would entrust us with this gift and allow us unspeakable joy as he entered our lives. We have faith that every baby is created for good purpose and has potential to make this world a better place. We are truly blessed.”

In spite of the family’s preparation for the coming of their special sibling, Trig’s entrance into the world was quite a surprise. Governor Palin and her husband were attending the National Governor’s Association energy conference in Texas on April 17 when she began to show signs of labor. After delivering a scheduled speech, they got on a plane and returned to Alaska. Trig was born at 6:30 a.m. the following morning.

Three days later, the 44 year old  governor was back at work, which surprised no one. Palin, a member of Feminists for Life, was once known to quip: “To any critics who say a woman can’t think and work and carry a baby at the same time, I’d just like to escort that Neanderthal back to the cave.”

Governor Palin, whose name has been mentioned as a possible running mate for John McCain,  is a former beauty queen and mayor who has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Idaho and is married to Todd Palin, a commercial fisherman and four time champion of the Iron Dog, the world’s longest snow machine race. They have four other children:

Track, 18; Bristol, 17; Willow, 13; and Piper, 7.

The family’s tradition of unusual names continues with their new baby. Trig is a Norse word meaning “true” and “brave victory,” a name chosen in honor of his great uncle, a Bristol Bay fisherman. The name Paxson comes from the well-known snowmobiling area in Alaska, which Sarah and husband have always loved.

The Governor’s heroic respect for life is being widely applauded. “Her choice to value life in a very personal way speaks volumes and gives those of us in the pro-life community in Alaska cause to believe that we truly do have a pro-life leader in charge of our state,” said Debbie Joslin, the president of Eagle Forum Alaska to Life News.

“When so many in our culture have chosen to devalue the lives of those who face special learning disabilities, Governor Palin shines as a great positive role model.”

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