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(LifeSiteNews) — Despite the many labels placed on children diagnosed with Trisomy 18 by abortion activists, aimed at instilling a fear that will see abortion as the only answer, little Melody Thenhaus has defied the odds at 10 years old with a charm that wins over every heart that encounters her. 

Sharing Melody’s story, her mother Jennifer lamented the media fear-mongering that surrounded the recent controversy around Kate Cox, who sought and obtained an abortion because of a prenatal diagnosis of Trisomy 18 for her unborn daughter. In a recent article for Live Action, Jennifer wrote, 

“Incompatible with life.” “Fatal fetal anomaly.” “Lethal chromosomal defect.” “Anguished, short, and painful lives.” These are the phrases being used by the media recently to describe babies with Trisomy 18 in response to an abortion case in Texas with Kate Cox. 

When our daughter, Melody, full Trisomy 18, was born close to 11 years ago, similar grim labels were placed on her. However, Melody’s beautiful life defies this narrative. 

READ: ‘Worth every minute’: Parents of babies with trisomy 18 say they don’t regret choosing life  

Affirming that her daughter has a charm and sweetness that wins over anyone who meets her, Thenhaus continued, “She draws the best out in others with her sweet and charming ways. This is a phenomenon I witness on a daily basis. People who meet her are enamored with her. She never causes mischief. She never hurts anyone. She never demands her way. She smiles, laughs, reads books, loves music, swims, drives her pink Mercedes, and has quite a happy little life. She does have vulnerabilities when she is sick, but even then she does not complain. I do not claim it has been an easy road, but there has been joy in the journey, and we just love our little girl!” 

Addressing the underlying crime of killing a child just because of a diagnosis of a disability, Thenhuas insisted that “every human being deserves the right to be protected from violence.” 

We should not discriminate against human beings who have disabilities even if one does not have Melody’s quality of life. Children with an extra chromosome are no less human than any other child. Far too often, children with Trisomy 18 are killed by abortion because they are not seen as equally valuable human beings.

Should an unborn baby with Trisomy 18 have her life cut short because she might not live very long? Let’s say a woman was not able to find out her child has Trisomy 18 until she was born. Knowing there is a chance her baby might not live very long, would it be justified now to hire someone to kill her? If we agree you cannot kill a Trisomy 18 person after birth because of life expectancy, then why can we kill her in the womb?

Even if a baby with Trisomy 18 is only here for a brief time, we can choose to honor her with unconditional love, acceptance, and compassion regardless of her vulnerabilities. We can have the opportunity to hold her, cuddle her, and kiss her while she is here, just like we would any other baby. We can choose to treat her with dignity.

May we choose to cherish these lovely children!

READ: Baby girl saved by Missouri’s first Safe Haven Baby Box hours after birth

In a Q&A for parents pressured to abort their unborn baby due to a diagnosis of Trisomy 18, Thenhaus criticized the claim that prenatal screening is even accurate. She wrote, 

As reported in Live Action News, “From the blood taken from the mother, the labs will examine DNA, looking for fragments of chromosomes. If there are more than typically expected, the lab will make an estimated guess, using a percentage, of whether or not the baby has a condition such as Down syndrome. But this is simply a guess, not a diagnosis.” 

Thenhaus then related the story of a couple whose baby was completely misdiagnosed, an all too uncommon error in prenatal screening. 

A friend of ours was talking to a man at his work who was told that the baby in his wife’s womb had Trisomy 18. The couple planned to abort. Our friend informed this man that those tests are often inaccurate. He went on to encourage him that even if the test is accurate, this is a valuable life. He showed him Melody’s website. The couple ended up choosing life for their baby, and the baby was born with no Trisomy 18! The erroneous result of this test is not an isolated incident. This happens all too frequently. 

It is a tragedy that countless parents are being pressured to take the life of their baby based on an inaccurate screening test.  

Even if the test is accurate and your baby has Trisomy 18, your baby is a precious and valuable life. You are being asked to walk a unique and challenging journey. You now have the opportunity to choose to walk this journey with love and compassion for your little one. You could choose to carry your baby to term and love her for as long as you have her. 

If your baby makes it to term, you could have the opportunity to meet her face to face, to cuddle her, to kiss her, and to comfort her. There are no guarantees, but some Trisomy 18 children live well beyond their birth. Our little girl is almost 8 years old, and her health is excellent. Some Trisomy 18 babies do not live more than minutes. Either way, you have the opportunity to love your baby for as long as you have her, even if it is briefly. 

WATCH: An open message to Kate Cox from a father who lost his child to Trisomy 18  

Answering another objection, that having a child with Trisomy 18 will negatively impact the child’s siblings and so the baby should be aborted, Thenhaus countered with the report of a recent study by Tel Aviv University, which reported, “Overall, the research suggests children whose siblings have [intellectual disabilities] experience personal growth and gain emotional strength, and this is reflected in character traits such as perseverance, motivation, a sense of responsibility, maturity, and developed social skills.”  

In that study it was also stated that “children with siblings with intellectual disabilities scored higher on empathy, teaching, and closeness and scored lower on conflict and rivalry than those with typically developing siblings.” 

Thenhaus said that she “can honestly attest to the fact that everything written in that study has played out in our family. Melody has been a conduit by which our children have grown in love, compassion, and depth. They have grieved when it looked like Melody would not make it. They have made significant sacrifices. They have loved, served, and cared for their little sister in the most honorable of ways.” 

She continued, “The character they have developed is nothing we could have manufactured in our children. God did that work, and He chose to work through little Melody to produce that fruit in their lives. We are a team, and our love for one another runs deep. Our family was close before Melody was born, but now all the more so. Life with Melody has not been easy. Consider that when it comes to our children, easy is not the goal, love is.” 

We stand to learn a great deal from these little ones. One thing, among many, is that their value is not measured by their usefulness, their achievements, or their contributions. Their value lies in who their Maker created them to be. It is a beautiful thing when they are treasured and loved unconditionally (even if they only live a few minutes). 

Melody was not supposed to survive the car ride home from the hospital 20 days after she was born. Yet, here she is a decade old! We are thankful to the Lord who is the Author and Sustainer of Life. We are grateful for the Lord’s grace to carry us through the ups and the downs of her life. We thank Him for His wisdom and direction for her at every turn. We appreciate that He has given us the gift of many people who value Melody’s life and have come alongside us, prayed for us, encouraged us, and contributed to Melody’s health and well-being. 


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