This family makes PA a better place one smile at a time

March 9, 2018 | 3 comments | Posted in abortion, Disability Rights | Tags: ,

“Labels are for organizing, not for people.”

The following story is one of many in support of passing the Down Syndrome Protection Act (House Bill 2050 & Senate Bill 1050) because Down syndrome is a life worth living.


My husband and I have been married 7 years. We live in Pittsburgh, Pa and we were blessed with our little man, Aiken, almost 16 months ago.

Aiken brings joy to our community everyday!  His spirit and smile are infectious.  He has taught everyone he meets that labels are for organizing not for people!  He has opened the eyes and hearts of so many.  He teaches people that we are more alike than different and that kindness, love, patience, respect, and understanding are things that everyone deserves regardless of their DNA.  Simply put, he makes the world a better place one smile at a time.

Despite prenatal screenings that indicated no markers, about an hour after our son was born we found out that the doctors thought he had Down Syndrome.  We had the prenatal screening not to decide if we needed or wanted to have an abortion, but to help prepare us for a special child if needed. Little did we know, nothing could prepare us for our journey.  It is more amazing, filled with more love, laughter, hugs, kisses, and craziness that we ever imagined.  The news of the diagnosis was shocking and scary.  Sure, this is not what we expected or pictured when we found out we were pregnant, but the reality is being a parent never goes exactly as planned.  Our job as parents is to love and care for our child no matter what and that is what we do.  Honestly, we can’t help but love him! He lights up our lives!  As the saying goes, “Down Syndrome isn’t a journey we expected, but we sure do love our tour guide!” He is exactly what our family needed and we wouldn’t change him for anything.


On Monday, March 12th, advocates, families and elected officials will come together to kick-off Pennsylvania’s attempt to protect babies given a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome. House Bill 2050 and Senate Bill 1050 – the Down Syndrome Protection Act – would help to end the selective targeting of babies diagnosed with possible Down syndrome from being aborted.

Rally in the Rotunda – Yes on the Down Syndrome Protection Act
(House Bill 2050 & Senate Bill 1050)
Monday, March 12th  |  2:30pm
Rotunda of the State Capitol Building, Harrisburg
Click here to RSVP or email Dan at

Karen Gaffney, international disability-rights champion, is headlining the rally – more about her:


Heather Yochum

People of all abilities have lives worth living! Different not less!


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