Abortion as Genocide: Down Syndrome Children

Mar 31st, 2018 | By | Category: Culture & Wordview, Featured Issues

The Gerber baby food company has chosen one-year old Lucas Warren of Dalton, Georgia as the 2018 ?Gerber Spokesbaby? for their baby products. Lucas is a child with Down syndrome. Almost everyone applauds Gerber for doing this, but, in doing so, it has perhaps unintentionally given focus to one of the cruel ironies of abortion on demand. Intentional, willful abortion is being used to eradicate a portion of the human population?Down syndrome children. Normally, most people understand genocide as ?the deliberate, systematic attempt to erase a category of people?: In this case, babies that have been diagnosed in utero with Down syndrome.

Columnist George Will defines Down syndrome as ?a congenital condition resulting from a chromosomal abnormality. It involves varying degrees of mental retardation (although probably not larger variances than exist between the mental capabilities of many people who are chromosomally normal?say, Isaac Newton and some people you know). It also involves some physical abnormalities (including low muscle tone, small stature, flatness of the back of the head, an upward slant of the eyes) and some increased health risk (of heart defects, childhood leukemia and Alzheimer?s disease). Average life expectancy is now around 60 years, up from around 25 years four decades ago, when many Down syndrome people were institutionalized or otherwise isolated, denied education or other stimulation, and generally not treated as people.?

How has this intentional aborting of babies with Down syndrome developed? Highly accurate prenatal screening tests can now reveal Down syndrome in utero, with many in the medical profession then relaying all of the information summarized above about the future quality of life of the child. What has been done with this sophisticated and accurate prenatal testing? A few statistics:

ยท In Iceland, upward of 85% of pregnant women opt for the prenatal testing, which has produced a Down syndrome elimination rate approaching 100%. Will reports that an Iceland geneticist says ?we basically eradicated? Down syndrome people, but regrets what he considers ?heavy-handed genetic counseling? that is influencing ?decisions that are not medical, in a way.? One Icelandic counselor ?counsels? mothers as follows: ?This is your life. You have the right to choose how your life will look like.? She goes on: ?We don?t look at abortion as a murder. We look at it as a thing that we ended.? Of course, then those who are not aborted are ?things? that were not ?ended.?

  • About 750 British Down syndrome babies are born each year, but 90% of women who learn that their child has Down syndrome have an abortion.
  • In Denmark that ?elimination? rate is 98%.
  • In America, where 19% of all pregnancies are aborted, the Down syndrome ?elimination? rate for 1995-2011 is 67%.
  • In France, the rate is 77%.

In 2014, in conjunction with World Down Syndrome Day (March 21), the Global Down Syndrome Foundation prepared a two-minute video entitled ?Dear Future Mom? to help comfort and encourage pregnant women who have learned that their child is a Down syndrome child. More than 7 million people have viewed this video online. George Will reports that the French state is unhappy about this video. A French court ruled that the video is ?inappropriate? for French television. The court upheld a ruling in which the French Broadcasting Council had banned the video as a ?commercial.? The court ruled that the video?s depiction of happy Down syndrome children ?was likely to disturb the conscience of women who had lawfully made different personal life choices.? Will: ?A video that accurately communicates a truthful proposition?that Down syndrome people can be happy and give happiness?should be suppressed because some people might become ambivalent, or morally queasy, about having chosen to extinguish such lives because . . . [!!] This is why the video giving facts about Down syndrome is so subversive of the flaccid consensus among those who say that aborting a baby is of no more moral significance than removing a tumor from a stomach.? Will correctly concludes that the court said in effect that the lives of Down syndrome people?and the ?lives of many other disabled people?matter less than the serenity of people who have acted on one or more of three vicious principles: That the lives of the disabled are not worth living. Or that the lives of the disabled are of negligible value next to the desire of parents to have a child who has no special, meaning inconvenient, needs. Or that government should suppress the voices of Down syndrome children in order to guarantee other people?s right not to be disturbed by reminders that they have made lethal choices on the basis of one or both of the first two inappropriate principles.?

Finally, a few important reminders about Down syndrome people:

  • Recently, Frank Stephens appeared before a House appropriations panel, where he told members of Congress, ?I am a man with Down syndrome, and my life is worth living.? Noting the abortion rates for Down syndrome babies in Europe, he declared, ?I completely understand that the people pushing this particular ?final solution? are saying that people like me should not exist,? but pleaded, ?Let?s be America, not Iceland or Denmark . . . Let?s pursue inclusion, not termination.?
  • A 2011 study by Harvard University researchers found that rather than leading lives of suffering, people with Down syndrome have unusually high rates of happiness. Columnist Mark Thiessen summarizes that ?an amazing 99% said they were happy with their lives, 97% like who they are, and 96% like how they look.? The research concluded that ?Overall, the overwhelming majority of people with Down syndrome surveyed indicate they live happy and fulfilling lives.?
  • Surveys from Boston?s Children?s Hospital found that far from being a burden on their families, children with Down syndrome bring enormous joy to their loved ones. Indeed, 94% of siblings expressed feelings of pride about their brother or sister with Down syndrome, and 88% said they were better people because of them. Anecdotally, in all my years of teaching, I have had countless students who expressed the same sentiment and pride about their Down syndrome sibling. They were proud of them, loved them deeply and, to a student, affirmed that God had richly blessed them as a family because of their sibling!
  • Karen Gaffney is a Down syndrome person, who has eloquently told her story in a TEDx talk. When her mother found out that she was pregnant with Karen, the doctors told her that Karen would probably not be able to tie her own shoes. Today, Karen has become an accomplished open-water swimmer who has crossed the English Channel in a relay race and completed the swimming leg of the Escape from Alcatraz triathlon. Karen now testifies that ?All lives are a gift from God. To me, that means that all lives matter, even if you will be born with an extra chromosome.?

In conclusion, columnist Ruth Marcus maintains that ?there is a new push in antiabortion circles to pass state laws [e.g., Indiana, North Dakota, Louisiana, Ohio] aimed at barring women from terminating their pregnancies after the fetus has been determined to have Down syndrome. These laws are unconstitutional, unenforceable?and wrong.? Marcus reflects the position that since abortions are constitutional (Roe v. Wade), it is ?wrong? to assign any value or worth to the baby growing in its mother?s womb. The right of the mother trumps and is sovereign over any right of the unborn baby. Several weeks ago, I wrote a piece on immigration and made a distinction between law and justice: ?. . . it is necessary to establish that there is a distinction between law and justice (i.e., what is truly right in the eyes of God). Some things are both lawful and just, some things are lawful but unjust, some things are both unlawful and unjust and some things are just but unlawful.? The argument of Ruth Marcus about the constitutionality of abortion is a perfect example of a something that is ?lawful? (abortion) but something that is also grossly ?unjust??the taking of a human life. Her argument is perverse and ugly.

Intentionally aborting a Down syndrome life is a sad metaphor on what has happened to America?and to western civilization as a whole. To use abortion as a tool to eliminate an entire category of human beings (i.e., Down syndrome people) is indeed genocide, comparable to the Holocaust of Nazi Germany. No matter how this civilization tries to sanitize this intentional destruction of an entire category of humanity, that is what it is. May God have mercy on us, for we are a nation under judgment!

See George Will in the Washington Post (14 March 2018 and 2 December 2016); Marc A. Thiessen in the Washington Post (8 March 2018); and Ruth Marcus in the Washington Post (9 March 2018). PRINT PDF

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