Corey Bell learned that his firstborn child, Harper Rose, had Down syndrome two weeks after she was born. The Sunderland Echo reports that Harper Rose’s mother, Amy Smith, delivered by emergency caesarian section after developing pregnancy complications. After she spent two weeks in the neonatal intensive care (NICU) unit in England, where the family lives, doctors confirmed that Harper Rose has Down syndrome.
Corey told the Sunderland Echo that the way they were told was odd. He explained, “We were told by the hospital that they were sorry but Harper Rose had been diagnosed with Down’s syndrome and I didn’t like the way they said it at the time because they said they were sorry but it didn’t matter to us because we still love her the same.”
Caring for Harper Rose, who is now nine months old, is sometimes difficult. Babies with Down syndrome, also known as trisomy 21, have an extra chromosome that can lead to a wide range of developmental delays, heart defects, and potential disabilities. Many babies with Down syndrome benefit from therapies to improve muscle tone and develop motor skills. These potential challenges can put stress on parents and caregivers, but there are many organizations that help families cope with the additional responsibility and find other families to whom they can relate.
The challenges in Harper Rose’s case have brought maturity and perspective for her parents. Corey said, “I used to be selfish and I struggled to talk about what I was dealing with but my life has completely changed, I have a wider perspective on things now.” He added, “She’s absolutely perfect and is always smiling, it’s given me a bigger purpose in life and it’s changed me for the better.”
Corey is a rapper and musician, so for him the experience of welcoming and caring for his daughter with special needs has been an inspiration for his music. He released his latest music during Down Syndrome Awareness Week in March. He plans to donate proceeds from his music and upcoming performances to a charity that supports families of children with Down syndrome and to the NICU where his daughter spent her first weeks of life.
About the development in his music and his passion for this cause, Corey told the Sunderland Echo, “I’ve been writing music and rapping for 10 years and after Harper was born, the world just fell in place – a lot of my music is about her.”
With increased prenatal screening, many families discover that a child may have Down syndrome before the child is born. This has led to an anti-Life culture in which doctors pressure parents to end their child’s life in abortion. The prevalence of discriminatory abortions has become so high that some countries kill virtually all children with Down syndrome in the womb. Iceland, for example, aborts 100% of babies diagnosed in utero with Down syndrome.
Sadly, countless parents have been convinced that the “compassionate” thing to do is to violently end the life of an innocent child simply because that child might have a disability or learning delays. Those parents will never have the opportunity to meet their children and be changed by them the way that Corey was. The world is impoverished by the absence of people who deserve to be born and live meaningful lives.
Every child, no matter the potential disability or genetic abnormality, has the Right to Life. When our society deems some lives as less than or inferior in quality, no life is sacred. Discriminatory abortions on the grounds of potential disability are still legal in Texas, even horrific late-term abortions. Join Texas Right to Life in calling for an end to discriminatory abortions. Harper Rose and other babies with Down syndrome have the Right to Life.