That’s an inspired description by Gov. Sarah Palin of her son, Trig, a child with Down Syndrome.

The prominence of this family and their embrace of a ’special needs’
child has been a gift to the families and children who have struggled
with the stigma some cultural liberals have attached to any class of
citizens they deem defective. Trig’s presence has already changed things.

Planned Parenthood has garnered over $800,000 with a
cheap shot fundraising email encouraging donations in Sarah Palin’s
name, but the Alaska Governor has dished out some grand comeuppance by
inspiring the passage of H.R. 3112, a bill that requires physicians to
inform pregnant mothers of all available options when receiving the
news that they are carrying a special needs child.

The bill was a response to the high abortion rates of special needs
children, and was delivered to the President’s desk yesterday.

In the wake of criticism about her poor TV appearances, it is a
beautiful example of one’s actions speaking louder than one’s words.

The bill was actually introduced over a year ago by Wisconsin Sen. Jim Sensenbrenner, but Palin has helped move it along.

“I am pleased that the bill received such overwhelming
support from both sides of the aisle,” said Sessenbrenner. “We have a
moral and ethical responsibility to maximize the likelihood that
children with disabilities will be welcomed into the world like other
children, and that their families will be supported in their efforts to
help their children thrive.”

When Palin’s profile was raised, she elevated Trig. And he has energized a whole segment of the population.

Without that level of humanization, it’s no wonder its
taken this long for a bill to be passed that recognizes the importance
of carrying children diagnosed with this disorder to term, and no
wonder the executive branch hasn’t adopted an awareness initiative for
Down syndrome as it has for AIDS, breast cancer, literacy, or other
public health issues.

Let’s face it: there really aren’t any highly visible examples of
women who lead a fulfilling personal and professional life while
simultaneously raising a disabled child. Enter Sarah Palin, with a
great job, cool hobbies, a hot hubby, and a huge brood—one of whom is a
child who is unlikely to ever live life independently.

“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,” Palin said after his
birth. “We have faith that every baby is created for good purpose and
has potential to make this world a better place.”

No matter what the outcome in November, this candidate and her family have already won.

Sheila Liaugminas

Sheila Liaugminas is an Emmy award-winning Chicago-based journalist in print and broadcast media. Her writing and broadcasting covers matters of faith, culture, politics and the media....