Skip to comments.Unborn Babies with Down Syndrome Are Being 'Left Behind'
Posted on 03/23/2019 3:09:38 AM PDT by Kaslin
Editor's note: This column was co-authored by Marjorie Dannenfelser.
In 2011 the United Nations General Assembly officially declared March 21 to be World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD). The date, 3/21, represents the three copies of the 21st chromosome carried by people with Down syndrome but the day represents so much more. Its an opportunity to celebrate the value of every human being in our diverse world and educate about what its really like to live with Down syndrome.
The theme of this years WDSD is #LeaveNoOneBehind. Down Syndrome International explains, The reality today is that prevailing negative attitudes, low expectations, discrimination and exclusion ensure that people with Down syndrome are left behind. In many cases the negativity begins even before they are born.
Last year, CBS News reported that Iceland is close to eradicating Down syndrome since prenatal screening became available. What they really mean is that people with Down syndrome are being eradicated by selective abortion. Imagine the challenge of growing up different in a country where, on average, only one or two children like you are born each year.
Denmark is right behind Iceland with a 98 percent abortion rate for Down syndrome. In France its 77 percent. In the United States as many as 67 percent of babies with Down syndrome are aborted.
This is an enormous, tragic loss for the whole world, and it is driven by fear. The first thing some parents hear when they find out their child has Down syndrome is Im sorry and a list of things their child will not accomplish. The pressure to abort is not always subtle.
But these children are not something to be afraid of. They bring love and joy. People with Down syndrome break down stereotypes every day. They are models and chefs, musicians, athletes, and entrepreneurs. They are advocates and lobbyists who testify to Congress or go to the White House to meet the President. They have fulfilling jobs, busy social calendars, and loving marriages. They have their own unique voices and dreams for their future, and they never stop learning. Research shows 99 percent of people with Down syndrome are happy with their lives. Some have challenges and need help at times but who doesnt?
Momentum is growing to pass laws that protect unborn babies with Down syndrome from discrimination. Indiana, Ohio, North Dakota, Louisiana, Utah, and now Kentucky have passed prenatal antidiscrimination laws. Five more states have introduced bills.
Indianas law, HB 1337, passed by huge margins and was signed by then-Governor Mike Pence in 2016, but a ruling by judges on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has blocked it from taking effect.
Judge Frank Easterbrook dissented, arguing that if we can make exceptions in at-will employment laws to prevent discrimination, why cant we do the same for abortion? None of the Courts abortion decisions holds that states are powerless to prevent abortions designed to choose the sex, race, and other attributes of children, he wrote.
Last November, Susan B. Anthony List submitted a brief asking the Supreme Court to uphold Indianas law. The Court has never addressed the issue of discrimination abortions, for Down syndrome or other characteristics, so this important case could break new ground.
We hope the Court will see this is about the human rights and equality that are promised to every American. Thousands of children with Down syndrome depend on it. They are just as capable as anyone else of having wonderful lives, and its time to stop leaving them behind.
Katie Shaw, an Indianapolis native, has Down syndrome and is an active self-advocate who lobbied for the passage of H.B. 1337. She serves on the board of Down Syndrome Indiana.
Marjorie Dannenfelser is president of the national pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List.
Thanks for posting.
I never knew about 3/21 day...
Some people in this world are so disgusting. Because an individual does not meet their definition of perfect they want to kill it.
I heard or read someone talking about Downs babies (not recently) - they were saying that the abortion of Downs babies is equivalent to genocide since they are being killed strictly because of their Downs condition.
My cousin was pregnant & her OB ran some tests & told her the baby was Downs & strongly pressured (yes, pressured) her to have an abortion right away. I was with her mother when she called right after that appointment, in tears about the entire situation. Once she calmed down, she resisted aborting her child & got a second opinion - that 2nd doctor told her the baby was fine & indeed she was. She is a beautiful, wonderful, loving kid - sings like an angel as one of her talents. My cousin has said (at the time of her pregnancy & since) that her decision, even if the second opinion had confirmed the first, was to have the child regardless.
It shows you that doctors don’t know everything
One can't help where it leads for the future of the species if only children who are deemed "perfect" in the womb are allowed to live. And when does thinking lead beyond even the New York State law?
Folks need to be reminded that there are no "perfect children". What we strive for is perfect love for all children.
No, they certainly don’t - I am currently caretaking my elderly folks & did the same for an elderly aunt & friend (both now deceased). I could write a small novel on all the things doctors don’t “know” or decisions that would have been made that were not in the best interests of the patiens, were it not for doing a lot of homework, reading up, research, etc. & being able to ask questions, discuss situations/conditions, & make truly INFORMED decisions. Most folks just go along with the docs ... especially the older ones who grew up in an era when the doc was the ‘authority’ & you did whatever they said. Anyway, I digress .... but medical care is often as good as you make it by being responsible for yourself & if you can, advocating for others who aren’t in condition, mentally or physically, to advocate for themselves.
Folks need to be reminded that there are no “perfect children”. What we strive for is perfect love for all children.
Sara Palin comes to mind, she stands TALL and strong for some of us.
What else would anyone expect the American Nazi Party to do?
I would rather be surrounded by people with Downs than leftists.
“left behind” means “murdered”
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