The upcoming San Diego Walk for Life will shine a spotlight on a community that is disproportionately threatened by abortion: those with Down syndrome.

Recent studies have shown that three-quarters of pregnant women in the United States and more than 90 percent of their counterparts in some European countries will choose abortion if prenatal testing suggests that their unborn child will have Down syndrome.

“This year, we are honoring and embracing all who have Down syndrome,” said San Diego Walk for Life Coordinator Evangely Aliangan Ward, who noted that this year’s theme was proposed by Kent Peters, who retired last summer as director of the diocesan Office for Social Ministry.

Now in its seventh year, the walk will be held on Saturday, Jan. 19, in Balboa Park. It will run from 8:30 a.m.-noon and will include a line-up of inspiring speakers and feature around 50 exhibitor booths representing a wide assortment of pro-life, pro-family and religious organizations. Participants, many of them carrying signs and banners, will also walk a one-mile route beginning at the corner of Sixth Avenue and Laurel Street.

Both Bishop Robert W. McElroy and Auxiliary Bishop John P. Dolan are expected to attend.

Organizers hope to send the message that “all life is precious” and to combat the notion that a diagnosis of Down syndrome is something to be feared, said Aliangan Ward, who knows parents who have felt pressured to abort after receiving a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome and none who later regretted choosing life.

“They’re great human beings … and they’re a blessing, too,” she said of those with Down syndrome.

And that will be on full display during the upcoming Walk for Life.

This year’s speaking line-up will be composed almost entirely of individuals with Down syndrome and their relatives, said Aliangan Ward.

In addition to the typical assortment of pregnancy care centers, adoption agencies, pro-life ministries, and Catholic apologetics and media organizations, this year’s exhibitors are also expected to include organizations with some connection to Down syndrome.

Full story at The Southern Cross.