(CNSNews.com) – Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s remarks at a rally in Pennsylvania on Saturday amounted to the “most significant” political speech of the 21st century, in the view of a leading British pro-life activist.
“What other major political figure in the world today is speaking up for people with Down’s syndrome?” John Smeaton, director of Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, wrote on his Web site.
“Not only does she stand up for the one of the most-discriminated-against groups of our time, she does so with total honesty with regard to her feelings towards Trig [the Palins’ six-month old son, who has Down syndrome] – from being scared about the challenges to come, to a sense of awe at Trig’s beauty, and her powerful sense of maternal protectiveness towards him,” he said.
“Given that the most fundamental responsibility of political leaders is to protect the lives of citizens, Sarah Palin’s speech is the most significant speech of the 21st century,” Smeaton wrote.
In her Johnstown, Pa., address, in which she challenged Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama on abortion, Palin said, “I believe the truest measure of any society is how it treats those who are least able to defend and to speak for themselves. And who is more vulnerable, or more innocent, than a child?”
“When I learned that my son Trig would have special needs, I had to prepare my heart for the challenges to come. At first I was scared, and Todd and I had to ask for strength and understanding. But I can tell you a few things I’ve learned already.
“Yes, every innocent life matters. Everyone belongs in the circle of protection,” she said. “Every child has something to contribute to the world, if we give them that chance. There are the world’s standards of perfection – and then there are God’s, and these are the final measure.”
Smeaton noted that some 92 percent of unborn babies with Down syndrome in Britain are aborted every year, and said the figures in the U.S. were about the same.
According to the National Down Syndrome Society, around 5,000 children are born in the U.S. each year with Down syndrome
Smeaton said Palin’s speech “makes me wish I was a U.S. citizen and that I had a vote in the forthcoming presidential election.”