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Kathryn Kerr

I already had three beautiful teenagers when I remarried five years ago, so I never expected to have more children. But, at 12 weeks pregnant, I discovered my baby had Trisomy 18. Even more disheartening was the push to kill my child. Doctors were pushing for abortion at every appointment. If I didn’t have my education, I might have thought it was my only hope.

Many women are given this hopeless message regarding adverse conditions, such as Down syndrome or Trisomy 13 and 18. I was one of them, having been told numerous times my daughter, Indiana, was incompatible with life and void of value. But I have always believed in the value of life. Though there was a heartbreaking end to my daughter’s beautiful life after she was born, she was wholly loved and cherished by her family.

A woman holds a baby and looks down at it.

Beverly Jacobson

What I thought was a normal pregnancy soon took a turn. At 18 weeks pregnant, I got heartbreaking news: my child might be at risk for Edwards Syndrome, also known as Trisomy 18. I got a phone call that the blood test indicated a higher risk for Trisomy 18 and when the diagnosis was later confirmed, I thought our baby would either pass in utero or be stillborn.

The first month and a half after diagnosis, me and my family braced themselves for our little girl’s passing. We, like many other parents with a Trisomy 18 child, encountered medical professionals who made it clear that abortion was their preferred “solution” for this difficult situation. But I had always been pro-life, so there was no question we were keeping our baby.

Even after a doctor called our daughter “retarded” and said she would live a “futile life,” this in no way deterred our love for her. God used those words to light the fire that I’m my daughter Verity’s advocate. It’s part of what drove me to set up Verity’s Village.

A woman riding on a three-wheeled scooter.

Rick Santorum

It was 1996, and I was in search of a sponsor for a bill to ban partial-birth abortions. I had never spoken in Congress about abortion, and I was appalled by the inhumanity of what I was learning and stepped forward to lead the fight to end this heinous procedure. Little did I know that this would begin nearly three decades of advocacy for the unborn. Many years later, as God would have it, the Lord was preparing me to transition from being a voice of the movement to making me and my family a personal witness of the pro-life movement.

In 2008, we were expecting our eighth child. Late in the pregnancy, my wife Karen began to experience complications, and on May 13, 2008, she gave birth to our third daughter – Isabella Maria, “Bella.”  Bella was perfect, but we knew something was wrong. Tests shortly after her birth confirmed that she had Trisomy 18, a condition that medical literature says is incompatible with life.  Today, at nearly 16 years of age, Bella remains the center of the Santorum family and a living testament that all lives are worth fighting for.