Millions of children have lost their lives since abortion was made legal in 1973, and Thaddeus Barr could have been one of them.
Thankfully, when an obstetrical specialist told his mother, Wendy, to abort, she immediately chose life.
“My other kids were kicking so hard in the womb, and I told my obstetrician, who was Catholic, that this one was doing water ballet,” said Wendy. “He ordered a 3D ultrasound thinking maybe I had placenta previa. He sent me to this doctor in Racine and before I had the ultrasound, he gave me a 30-minute speech, telling me that he was worried because I was an older mother, and the chances of him having Down syndrome were higher. I was only 33 at the time and told him point-blank, ‘I am not killing my baby.’”
Wendy and her husband, Ricky, who are members of the Kenosha-Racine County Line Parishes, never hesitated to choose life.
Thaddeus, who will be 18 on July 6, was born perfectly healthy and did not have Down syndrome. He does have some developmental disabilities, which make it difficult for him to retain what he has learned. His speech, reading, math and writing are also affected, so Wendy homeschools him.
“When he was in school, he was never so lonely as he was in a group of kids,” she said. “He speaks slowly, and the kids made fun of him. He couldn’t put together thoughts in a way that others would understand him. Since I have taught him at home, he has done much better; in fact, he designed a business class by himself.”
One of the first items of business for the young entrepreneur was to raise funds to support the unborn. Since Christmas, he has sold pro-life T-shirts after Mass and will be donating the proceeds to Pro-Life Wisconsin and the Women’s Care Center.
The idea to support life came about after he received an unmistakable sign from above.
“Over a year ago, there was a quote that played on the radio station K-LOVE, then I heard it on EWTN, then at Mass, and later our priest gave a homily on that passage,” said Thaddeus. “It was Jeremiah 1:5: ‘Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.’”
With that passage replaying in his mind, Thaddeus drew a photo of a baby, with “Before I formed you, I knew you. Pray for the Unborn” on an 8.5-by-11 sheet of paper depicting the message. The logo is encompassed in a rosary with the words representing the beads. Wendy, who is an artist, completed the artwork.
A cousin made some stickers of the drawing and Thaddeus gave them to friends and family, later putting the logo on a T-shirt.
“I went to Dan Miller, the state director of Pro-Life Wisconsin, and asked him for a donation so I could buy the shirts and raise money for life,” he said. “He sponsored us with $600 and suggested I give the money I make from the T-shirts to the Women’s Care Center in Milwaukee because they do such good work. I plan to give some to each because they both do a good job.”
So far, the teen has sold approximately 130 shirts, and he plans to sell more. Additionally, he hopes to purchase a pin-making machine to make and sell pins with the logo on it. He also wants to partner with the Racine and Kenosha Knights of Columbus organizations to raise money to purchase an ultrasound to use at the pregnancy help centers. The portable ultrasound machines cost around $50,000, so Thaddeus is hoping the fraternal organizations, of which he is a member, would work with him to purchase the machine.
“I want it so I can save babies,” Thaddeus said. “When women who want an abortion see their baby on an ultrasound, 97 percent of them will keep their babies.”
“He has a dream, my son, and won’t take no for an answer,” said Wendy. “We have a general idea of how to go about it but aren’t sure how to make it happen. We hope to provide a setup like the ultrasound at the Women’s Care Center.”
Thaddeus is supported in his endeavors by his parents and five siblings (Corrina, 22; Rocky, 20; Payton, 14; Sunny, 10; and Bob, 6). To help Thaddeus achieve his goal, Wendy admits, it will take some divine intervention.
“We are praying for God’s guidance on this, and God obviously wants these babies to live because he created them,” she said. “If Thad is getting the call to do this, then God is telling us to do all we can to help him, so we pray that he helps us find the way.”
Thaddeus hopes to continue selling the shirts after Mass. They are also available at the Marian Center in Racine. Those interested may also contact Thaddeus to purchase a shirt from his home or via USPS. The suggested donation for each shirt is $20 with $6 additional for postage and handling. Contact Thaddeus at Myprolife.firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.