Why I Should Move to North Dakota


letitiaI don’t have a paying job at this time, but I am very busy. Even though I no longer homeschool and my girls are over ten, my house is messy. I spend most of my day on Facebook and Twitter.


Christina, my daughter, is growing up in a world where no one invites her over to play. Children avoid her on playgrounds and at school. She has never been insulted to her face, but she certainly gets some weird looks. I imagine that some people who see her are happy that they don’t have a child like her; she is challenging, and, well, different.

She has Down syndrome.

The main reason that I am on the Internet all day is to make the world a better place for her to grow up. Sometimes my work involves her particular circumstances, such as seeking out successful speech therapy strategies. Sometimes it involves investigating and promoting promising research, passing on inspiring stories or violations of human rights, but most importantly I strive to raise awareness in society that having a child with Down syndrome has an up side. Many of them. And these children have a right to be here, even if they didn’t have anything to give. Because we all know that those whom the world often rejects can be the best givers.

Anyone who has heard me speak or read my blog knows I could go on for days about Christina’s good qualities: the way she has the best belly laugh in the world, gives the tightest hugs, and teaches her family about the true nature of love. I am hardly alone in these observations. Most families raising a person with Down syndrome will bend your ear for hours with such talk.

But the cold, hard fact remains, that when expectant moms find out they are carrying a child with Down syndrome, the majority (sources say anywhere between 75%-92%) abort them. And with new, non-invasive testing, the numbers are poised to soar. We may see nations who, via prenatal testing and abortion, virtually eliminate Down syndrome (which is not inherited, it occurs randomly) from their populations. Some, like Denmark, and possibly the US, see that as an advance. Eugenics is alive and well. It just looks neater than it did in the forties.

So, a child with Down syndrome is seen by most people in society as bad news. And this mom, along with legions of other parents of kids like ours, want to fix that.

But being a full time advocate doesn’t pay well. In fact, I barely make my travel expenses to sell my book A Special Mother is Born away from home. So I want to change society into one which accepts children like Christina, embraces them for who they are while supporting them as they develop and go out to achieve their life goals all the while making us better people.

So what does this have to do with moving to North Dakota?

I would be a more wealthy, relaxed, fit mother with a cleaner home if I live in North Dakota. Here’s why:

A federal judge has dismissed part of a lawsuit challenging a new North Dakota law that blocks abortions based on unwanted gender or a genetic defect, such as Down syndrome.

According to this article in Life News, I would be out of work in North Dakota. They are about to welcome all babies with Down syndrome into the world. Such a measure is being considered in Spain, and all I can say is “Que Viva!”

Someday, we will come to our senses in America and ban all abortions, welcoming all children into life. My daughter will be accepted by her peers, and live life to the fullest.

And I will finally learn to ski.


About Author

Married for 19 years to Francisco, raising three daughters, Gabriela, 17, Isabella, 13 and Christina, 9. It was Christina's Down syndrome inspired Leticia to stop teaching English at a local college to full time freelance writing and media advocacy for children with Down syndrome You can find her work all over the web, and in print in National Catholic Register, Canticle, The Alhambran, National Right to Life News, Celebrate Life, and Faith and Family magazine. Leticia has been a guest on several radio shows and podcasts. She was recently interviewed about her advocacy group KIDS Keep Infants with Down Syndrome on EWTN by Teresa Tomeo at the March for Life and she will be appearing as a guest on their show, "Faith and Culture" shortly. She has contributed stories to "Stories for the Homeschool Heart", "Letters to Priests" and, is about to publish a collection of stories from Catholic Special Need Parents entitled, "A Special Mother is Born" with WestBow Press this spring. She is a popular speaker on family issues and the spiritual life.

  • Patti Maguire Armstrong

    Leticia, I just noticed this wonderful post. I would LOVE to have you move to North Dakota. There’s a little girl at our church that I think is your daughter’s age. We could sing Irish songs together and work on other pro-life measures because those that advocate the right to kill have not all seen the light yet.

    Your book, A Special Mother is Born, should be required reading by the whole world. It’s not just the parents of special children that need to understand what a blessing they are. The whole world needs to recognize that these children make us better. They make the world better. When you try to kill of the blessings that God sends, it lessens your life and robs you of his gifts and blessings. How stupid is that? People don’t kill off their living children when something goes wrong. It’s so sad that they think they have the right to kill their children in the place that should be the most secure place in the world–their mother’s womb. There are a lot of job here so maybe you should start packing.

  • Diane McKelva

    Leticia, your precious daughter, Christina, is so blessed to have you as her mother. Like Patti, I just saw this article and love it. I feel your passion for your mission in life through this piece, and pray that the Holy Spirit gives you all the energy you need to succeed. God bless you.