March 12, 2017

"In the Netherlands, the termination rate for Down babies is between 74% and 94%. In Denmark, the termination rate is 98%. In Iceland, the termination rate is 100%."

From "Abortion Has All But Eliminated Down Syndrome Babies in This Country. One Photographer's Powerful Quest to Fight It."

The percentage in the U.S. is thought to be 67 to 85.

Lots of photos at the link.

74 comments:

exhelodrvr1 said...

The tolerant policies of the left.

gilbar said...

they came for the Down Babies, and I didn't care; 'cause I didn't have one
they came for the redheads, and I didn't care; 'cause I wasn't one
they came for the left handers; and I said Hey Wait!!

Chris Breisch said...

Due to my wife's age, we were asked about Downs testing during pregnancy. There's one test that's non-invasive that pretty much everyone gets, and a second, better one, that is invasive, but runs a very slight risk of terminating the pregnancy.

We kind of looked dumbfounded at the question, because it wasn't something we'd thought about or talked about. So then the doctor phrased it differently, "let me put it this way. Would you do anything differently if you found out Downs was likely?" Pointed, but still euphemistic.

Anyway, my wife and I looked at each other, then both looked at him and responded emphatically and together: "No!".

And he said, "Ok, then. I guess we're not doing the test."

buwaya said...

One of the horrible consequences of modernity.
People are stuck in a dilemma. They know, perhaps before they should. And vastly more cases happen because so many women wait till their 30s-40s to have babies.
Most of these cases wouldnt even come up if women had their babies young, as designed.
Feminism is murderous.

tcrosse said...

Search and destroy.

Martha said...

When a developing baby must pass muster to be allowed to continue in utero.......soon we will all have to pass tests to justify our continued existence.

Fernandinande said...

47 chromosomes puts them half way between regular humans and chimpanzees.

buwaya said...

And I should be one to complain.
We ourselves married late, at 35.
No excuses. Both of us were deceived by matters that seemed more important at the time, but werent.
We had test scares with all our kids, who all, thank God, turned out fine; and we knew they would be upon further tests. I have no idea what we would have done if it had really come down to a choice.

Unknown said...
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jeff said...

My mother's 1st child at the young age of 18, was my brother Richard, born with Downs. She went on to have 7 more children, all healthy and still living, what courage that took. As I've gotten older I've become more convinced that Richard gave his 7 siblings much more than the small sacrifice we had to endeavor.

Unknown said...

Oh, please. By the way, I'm not the somewhat dim, arguably liberal "Unknown" you all like to beat up on. I almost never post here, when I do its usually to compliment this witty and insightful authoress and commentariat, and I'm not sure when I last commented, but it was well before the election, and not on anything political.
Anyway, thus issue is very complicated, especially in a country like ours with such underfunded services. (Iceland, possibly not so much, and id want to learn more about their culture before assuming its tje fault of "liberalism" or "feminism.") When I conceived a month short of my 38th birthday, I knew that Down syndrome was a risk, and I knew we had the personal and familial resources to lovingly accept a baby with Down syndrome. So, like the commenter above, no genetic testing. Our resulting son may have a slight degree of Asberger's (also linked to payernal age), but all is well. And all would be well, whatever his characteristics.
BUT the beautiful and very moving photo essay ignores the severity of symptoms that are not just possible, but common, with Down's. Even people with the least significant symptoms ("impairment" and "high-functioning" are loaded terms I try to avoid) need life-long supervision. Those in the middle of the severity distribution require the degree of care and supervision we give toddlers: i.e., all-consuming, by multiple adults. And, very very sadly, and a great challenge for aging parents of Down people in our mingy land, nearly 100% of people with Down's who live past their 40s develop severe dementia, most frequently Alzheimer's.
In fact, in bitter irony, the Down population may provide a clue to the cause of Alzheimer's. They used to die earlier, from neglect, or from their medical difficulties, including heart issues. It's so cruel that better care and civil rights now leads to further suffering and travail for these loving, kind human beings.
Now, the relative few who are welcomed into this world, are often born into wealthy families like ours, who can afford the medial costs, the life-long therapy, etc. Still, the majority of Down babies are born to younger, poorer mothers (yes, the rate increases with maternal, and possibly paternal, age, but birthrate are muchanging higher among younger women.)
If every mother could be certain that she and her family would receive the expensive assistance for her child to live the best possible life, their would be fewer abortions in any case, and certainly fewer abortions due to a Downs diagnosis. As with most abortions (look it up, those of you who choose to hate, here), the fear of how the new arrival will reduce the care of the existing choldren, is often paramount.
Again, I knew we could do it. My older children were 7 and 4 when our third was born. We have enough money. We could live on one paycheck. We have helpful, vigorous grandparents nearby. We were and are blessed.
But unless you are willing for a much more robust communitarian commitment to all children, and especially to children with marked special needs, don't be so fast to judge.

Unknown said...

TrumpCare will pay for this genetic testing. It's a brave new world. No Downs Syndrome children and mandatory genetic testing.

http://fortune.com/2017/03/10/genetic-testing-workplace-wellness-bill/

"It Might Soon Be Legal for Employers to Force You Into a Genetic Test

Say your employer wants you to get a genetic test. You politely decline because you consider it a gross infringement of privacy. Well, too bad—your monthly health insurance payments just spiked 30%.

This could be the reality under HR 1313, the Preserving Employee Wellness Programs Act, a House GOP-sponsored bill that would essentially allow companies with workplace wellness programs to demand your genetic information (or force you to pay a big penalty).
The legislation has now passed a House committee on a straight party line vote, reports STAT News, with all 22 Republicans unified in support against 17 Democratic detractors. The bill is expected to be latched on to a second Obamacare-related legislative effort that will be a followup to the main GOP health care plan now working its way through Congress."

MadisonMan said...

My relative with Down Syndrome has gone through several pacemakers. Health complications abound. You do need to have resources to deal with it. I would think that might factor in with some of the decisions. But she has provided her family with multiple very worthwhile lessons in humanity and we are all the better for it.

o/t: Some woman just walked by the window of this coffee shop; she was wearing a pink pussy hat. She looked ridiculous IMO.

Saint Croix said...

this made me cry

powerful stuff

thank you Althouse for sharing this

Saint Croix said...

all human life is sacred and beautiful

do not judge, or you too will be judged

Roughcoat said...

Life in this world can sometimes be a sad, sorrowful thing.

My wife and I were unable to conceive. I was 32 when we married, my wife 27. We spent a fortune trying but nothing worked. Multipole in vitro procedures, fertility treatments, etc., etc. Nothing worked. Who knows why.

A sad, sorrowful thing.

Mark said...

This idea that poor people are too poor to have moral integrity and that their poverty is a reason for cold-heartedness is more than a little offensive.

In fact, the higher you go up in the wealth ladder, the more likely you are to encounter ideas like eugenics and abortion for convenience, ideas which they do not keep to themselves, but like especially to introduce into the poor masses.

It wasn't a poor man, but a rich one who so callously said, "Three generations of imbeciles are enough!" Nor was it a poor man, but a rich one who was the patriarch of one of America's royal families who took his daughter to basically have an ice pick driven into her skull to lobotomize her.

Owen said...

I had a friend with spina bifida. He was very intelligent and highly educated (Ph.D in biochemistry). He used a wheelchair and drove a car with hand controls. He used to love to scuba-dive. He complained that he was almost alone --there are very few people with spina bifida, because their parents abort them.

He died fairly young after what I think was a good and productive life; not the easiest and happiest life, perhaps, but who among us can judge for another or even ourselves? I miss his presence.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Needed: NYT survey article "Best Country for Downs Children."

Michael K said...

"there are very few people with spina bifida, because their parents abort them."

There is now intrauterine surgery for spina bifida that has been successfully used in animals and, I believe, in a few human cases.

The defect appears to be a failure of the spine to close the arch. Closing it in utero prevents the neurological complication.

This should solve the problem once the diagnosis in utero is accomplished.

At present, prenatal diagnosis by ultrasound is the problem.

Crazy Jane said...

It used to be that we lived in small communities and looked after each other, including people who were odd.

Now the essential role of government is to provide "services" to the homeless and the developmentally disabled. Ironically, "services" seem to be enabling an explosion of homelessness while the disabled are eliminated before we even get a chance to meet them.

My high school class included a guy whose brother was seriously disabled. My son's high school class included a kid whose family embraced their low-functioning Down child (stupid Catholics, right?). My classmate became a doctor, and my son's classmate will enroll in medical school this fall.

I used to shop at a supermarket that hired mentally challenged people to bag groceries. They were nice people, not hidden away, and they seemed to enjoy having work and being part of the community. I wrote to the store manager to tell him that I admired his hiring policy. He called me up to thank ME. Wow.

I have never met an unhappy person with Down Syndrome. We project our own disappointment on people who are different and fail to recognize them as they see themselves. The ultimate inhumanity.

Kate said...

The Left headlines saying Downs has been "eradicated" are the worst. It's not a disease you've developed a vaccine for. You haven't even corrected a genetic anomaly in vitro.

wwww said...
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n.n said...

Life... Human life unworthy. Abortion is an easy solution, a final solution. A progressive slope.

Normalize, tolerate, or reject?

jeff said...

Let's say medical science find an emzymes or protein or I don't know what, but have determined that these abnormalities lead to one being guy. Would it be your "choice" to still abort the fetus?

wwww said...
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Captain Drano said...

Blogger jeff said...
My mother's 1st child at the young age of 18, was my brother Richard, born with Downs. She went on to have 7 more children, all healthy and still living, what courage that took. As I've gotten older I've become more convinced that Richard gave his 7 siblings much more than the small sacrifice we had to endeavor.

Every family with a Downs child that I know of (and there are many) feel this way. I'll never forget seeing an older sibling that was normally (in the academic environment I was used to seeing them in anyhow) extremly shy and quiet absolutely come alive with joy when they were around their younger Downs sibling.

And Chris at 9:13, I was only 26, first pregnancy, did the standard blood test just because they said it was part of the normal prenatal care. When it came back raised and they suggested amnio, that's when we really thought about what this test was for and said "no thank you" as clearly it was to give us the option of abortion, and that was not an option. (And I was atheist and very prochoice at the time.) Baby was "fine" (it sounds odd to say "prefect"--she was, but I hate implying that Downs kids are not "perfect") is 29 now and has two precious ones of her own.

Achilles said...

""In the Netherlands, the termination rate for Down babies is between 74% and 94%. In Denmark, the termination rate is 98%. In Iceland, the termination rate is 100%.""

Compare this to all the fetuses aborted in China and India because they are female. There are many more girls killed there selectively than Europe.



wwww said...
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Michael K said...

"The child mortality rate in the USA during & immediately after birth is pretty high"

Statistical artifact. One would think you know this unless you are making a political point.

Blacks have lower birth weights and higher mortality. Hispanics have higher birth weight and lower mortality.

Most countries do not count still births, which we do.

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MaxedOutMama said...

What bothers me so about this is that Downs kids seem to be happy and nice. Okay, not the standard human, but sadly, often better human beings than "perfect" kids turn out to be.

I went out of my way to shop at a supermarket that employed several imperfect humans.

Yes, it can be expensive. The syndrome varies in severity. But for the most part, I think Downs syndrome people can lead pretty good lives, and I would personally find it nearly impossible to abort a baby due to a Downs diagnosis. Something like Tay-Sachs is a much more difficult question.

I wonder why this is happening at all. Perhaps it is because so many Europeans only have one child. But the implicit underlying message seems to be that if one is an imperfect human being, one shouldn't be. Assisted suicide for depression and disability logically follows, and we now do see that in Europe. It's the wrong path. It's just got to be the wrong path.

Unknown said...

And if they ever discover a "gay gene" how many liberal pro-aborts will quietly decide homosexuality is a disorder...

Dust Bunny Queen said...

@ Maxed Out

I wonder why this is happening at all. Perhaps it is because so many Europeans only have one child

Small families. Previously, when you had no idea what you were going to get when pregnant, and families were large there would be people to "take care" of those who were born with disabilities or who became ill paralyzed, polio, coma or any other disastrous event.

It wasn't that people wanted to have a Downs child or a paralyzed child or as in the case with my great grandparents...a child with spina bifida (who died at the age of 4) one of 10 children. However, having a family of many other children, aunts and uncles, grandparents who all lived together, there were those who would be able to care for the disabled, long after the parents themselves had passed on. Sharing the burden and duty as a family.

The alternative of course, in those days was to just let the disabled child die or even...."help" the process of dying proceed. Neglect or worse. The stories of the baby left in the wilderness to be taken by predators is not a myth. That was the hard reality for many parents who were already trying to take care of 8 or more children in already primitive or poor circumstances. Today the alternative is abortion. Before the fact. Which is crueler?

Today. A small family of two parents or even one parent is faced with the burden of caring for that disabled or ill child without the help of family or even of friends. Alone. The burden of care can go on and on and on and on. For years and decades. Even if those parents want to take up that burden and duty, and they love their child...they have to think: What is going to happen to their Down's child at the age of 30 when they, the parents, are disabled themselves or they are dead? Who is going to take up that burden? There is no family. Who??? How will that adult/child live alone or at the mercy of strangers? Who is going to make sure that he/she is eating, getting medical care? How will their child end up being treated? Good? Bad? Preyed upon? How alone will that adult/disabled/child be?

I would imagine that some of those considerations go through the minds of the parents faced with this very difficult situation. Many may opt out for selfish reasons. The idea of the burden is just too much. Others may have reasons that they feel are for the best for everyone.

A terrible terrible decision and situation that every expectant parent thinks about and hopefully never has to face?

wwww said...
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kentuckyliz said...

Jerome Lejeune is a hero of mine. http://lejeuneusa.org/

I will not donate to the March of Dimes. Their method of reducing birth defects is to push abortion on mothers whose fetii show up imperfect in prenatal testing. When people ask me for MoD donations, I explain why I don't donate to them.

Remember where these phrases came from:
Life unworthy of life.
Useless eaters.
Waste of oxygen.

Seems like he won after all.

Unknown said...

Offering the choice of an abortion is hardly "pushing" one upon parents, when these tests which are voluntary show some severe genetic disorder. There are people who are very good parents who cannot take care of a Down's Syndrome child and don't want to put the child in an institution or put it up for adoption. They aren't "bad" people.

ALP said...

DBQ:
"Even if those parents want to take up that burden and duty, and they love their child...they have to think: What is going to happen to their Down's child at the age of 30 when they, the parents, are disabled themselves or they are dead? Who is going to take up that burden? There is no family. Who???"

****
I worked for agencies providing vocational services to the developmentally disabled for a decade - this sums up the attitude of many of the parents of our clients, many of them 70+. Some were lucky to have other children to carry on, but your post describes a very typical situation.

To bring a bit of reality into the conversation: having met a lot of people with Down's, there are some real miserable, manipulative assholes in that group. I have to roll my eyes anytime I category of people is put on a pedestal as some sort of trans-human example of undiluted kindness and purity - like The Disabled. We had Down's clients that were devoted to con games and getting snacks and money out of anyone they could, beating the shit out of anyone smaller than them that dared touch their belongings, as severe territorial/possessive behavior in that group is common. One, in particular (25 yr female) was fond of screaming "FUCK YOU" at any staff that saw through her con of getting a quarter out of you, but due to the makeup of Down's nose/throat configuration, came out has "HUNK YOU".

Unknown said...

"The new test moves the abortion up to the first trimester."

This makes it less painful for the parents, which is a good thing. Not every parent has what it takes to care for these children.

Levi Starks said...

If eradication is such a worthy goal, why limit ourselves to only per-birth options?

ALP said...

Ah, now remembering another Down's Con Game from my prior job, this one involves one of our older, crustier Down's men approaching staff, feigning a throat so dry, merely speaking is painful, but not too painful to ask "Do you have a quarter so I can get some soda* - my throat is so dry?" Much drama with holding the throat, leaning against the wall as if passing out were imminent. Also, a smattering of change held out on a hand shaking violently. So very obvious, and we repress our laughter to say firmly: "If you are THAT thirsty, why don't you have some water from the drinking fountain?"

The change would then be thrown to the floor, he would point and scream:

"FUCK YOU - YOU'RE FIRED" (which came out as HUNK YOU - see above)

*Soda and junk food being very restricted as most clients would eat/drink themselves into 300 lb bodies if allowed.

Alex said...

It seems like the Scandinavian countries are aborting themselves out of existence while they welcome hordes of Muslims in with open arms. That is going to end so well.

Unknown said...

"If eradication is such a worthy goal, why limit ourselves to only per-birth options?"

Is "eradication" the goal or is it a side effect? I doubt that anyone who makes the decision to abort a Down syndrome child thinks they are contributing to some "eradication" grand plan. It's their personal choice, they are the ones who would be raising that child.

Rumpletweezer said...

My oldest daughter turns 20 today. I still remember the call from the doctor's office, on a Friday, that the blood test came back with a raised level for complications. My wife and I spent the longest weekend in our lives waiting to schedule an appointment with a "genetic counselor." When we finally met with her she explained what the numbers meant. I understand math. What I got from this was that instead of a 99.8% chance of a normal baby, we had a 99.7% chance. I felt like killing her with my bare hands.

We chose to skip the amnio part. The genetic counselor looked at us like we were crazy, as if no one ever did that.

I concluded that it's a big scam. Scare the hell out of prospective parents, give them a test that costs thousand of dollars, and reassure them that all is well.

My daughter is in her second year at Texas Tech.

Unknown said...
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Unknown said...

"It seems like the Scandinavian countries are aborting themselves out of existence...."

When the Scandinavian people their abort Down's Syndrome babies, why would they be aborting themselves out of existence? Down Syndrome adults don't usually have children of their own.

William said...

I don't pass judgment on either side of this debate. But I'm glad that I live in a country where it's a matter of debate and choice.

Unknown said...

But I'm glad that I live in a country where it's a matter of debate and choice.


I wonder in which countries abortion of a Downs Syndrome child is mandatory. China maybe?

Unknown said...

"We chose to skip the amnio part. The genetic counselor looked at us like we were crazy, as if no one ever did that."

So did my daughter who is in her mid thirties, with both of her pregnancies. No one ever gave her a hard time about it or gave her an odd look.

viejo loco said...

@kentuckyliz - So, we are apparently going to go there; "lebensunswerveleben."

Crazy Jane said...

Unknown said:

"I wonder in which countries abortion of a Downs Syndrome child is mandatory. China maybe?"

I read once that North Korea does not allow families with disabled children to live in Pyongyang. (Probably goes for adults too.) I doubt there is widespread prenatal screening in that unfortunate country, but its leaders manage the aesthetics after the fact.

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Jane the Actuary said...

From what I've read, in Iceland, they not only terminate 100% of the babies diagnosed with Downs, but they diagnose so thoroughly, that there are no longer any children born with Downs. Which suggests such a creepy degree of conformity, perhaps paired with a lack of any supports for disabled children.

I don't know much about Iceland, but I have the impression that they are in fact a very conformist, socially-engineered sort of country. Fun fact: they made the news recently for decreeing that private-sector employers had to follow "comparable worth" doctrines in setting their payscales.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/janetheactuary/2017/03/iceland-first-country-require-equal-pay-women.html

Mark said...

I'm glad that I live in a country where it's a matter of debate and choice

Would you be glad if it were YOUR life that was a matter of other people's debate and choice?

Mark said...

Irrational prejudice, like we see against those persons with Down Syndrome -- including the extreme "let's kill them!" mentality, as well as the banality of evil attitude of "it's a choice" -- is often due to ignorance, as it was with people of color. If you don't know anyone that is "different," you think all sorts of awful and evil things about them.

Of course, we also have the problem of invincible ignorance, of entrenched ideology that comes before all else, including simple human decency toward others and will continue to insist "it should be a choice."

Thankfully, there are more and more resources to shed light on people with an extra chromosome and other forms of human diversity -- documentaries, YouTube videos, and even an Emmy Award winning reality TV show with the group cast being a bunch of young adults with Down.

And what are they like? They are like everyone else. Some are sweet and innocent and "special," but at times they can also be knowingly manipulative and not so nice. In other words, normal human beings.

Video - Things People With Down's Syndrome Are Tired of Hearing

Biff said...

Meanwhile, if a photographer had created a similar series of sympathetic, personalizing photos of people without obvious medical issues as part of a protest against terminating pregnancies that are merely inconvenient, the photographer would be accused of hating women, no?

Tarrou said...

I'm moderately in favor of this.

My younger brother has Down's Syndrome. He is without a doubt the most sweet-natured and kind of all us siblings. My parents have done incredibly well at raising, educating and encouraging him. He can read, he has a job and a very decent life.

That said, our family used to be a part of several Down's support groups, and no other family I ever saw got results like that. It took a monumental amount of work on my mother's part, often to the neglect of her other children. Many of the Down's kids I knew were abused, almost all were neglected to some degree, and the parents were a wreck.

I totally support genetic modification to remove the trisome. Until that becomes viable, prenatal testing and early abortion is probably the best outcome for the vast majority of families. Call it the lesser evil if you will. People are scum, and not one in a thousand has the capability to raise such a difficult case properly.

walter said...

Unknown said...
Offering the choice of an abortion is hardly "pushing" one upon parents, when these tests which are voluntary show some severe genetic disorder. There are people who are very good parents who cannot take care of a Down's Syndrome child and don't want to put the child in an institution or put it up for adoption. They aren't "bad" people.
--
Adults who were adopted might have an opinion on this.
However, there are a number of emotional, somewhat selfish and fairly irrational attitudes to be seen as some folks pursue parenthood.

Bob Ellison said...

The numbers are partly made-up. 100%? Who has 100%? Like I drank 100% of the six-pack I bought two weeks ago? That is fact-checkable. Even a tiny country like Iceland has a few un-accounted-for births, abortions, and so-on. 100% is 100%. Don't try this if you failed 5th-grade math.

Bob Ellison said...

Also, stop with the genocide talk. We're not trying to do away with people with Down Syndrome. I have a son with it. We want them to live the best lives they can.

It's not a species, for goodness sake.

Bob Ellison said...

Tarrou, I would like Down Syndrome to not happen. I don't support killing the babies because they've got it. That's what's happening.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

@ Jane the Actuary

but they diagnose so thoroughly, that there are no longer any children born with Downs. Which suggests such a creepy degree of conformity, perhaps paired with a lack of any supports for disabled children.

This should appeal to your actuarial senses. Iceland is a small population of people who are most likely related in some way to each other through genetic and ancestral connections. There is (or was I don't know if it still exists) an app that allows you to determine if you are going to be dating/having sex with or marrying a relative to avoid inbreeding.

Because of the high risk of potential inbreeding and possible genetic diseases that would otherwise be rare....the Icelanders probably DO have more genetic screening than statistically normal in other more diverse cultures.

Actuarially speaking that is :-)

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Ooops forgot the link

Incest app

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AReasonableMan said...

Tarrou said...
That said, our family used to be a part of several Down's support groups, and no other family I ever saw got results like that. It took a monumental amount of work on my mother's part, often to the neglect of her other children. Many of the Down's kids I knew were abused, almost all were neglected to some degree, and the parents were a wreck.


I have also know several families with Down's syndrome children where things did not go well. I don't think it was because people are scum. It introduces a lot of problems, when raising children is already a complex and demanding task.

Tarrou said...

@ Bob

I understand your position. I think the best option would be to use gene editing technology to ensure that kids aren't born with this deformity. Until that technology is created, I think abortion is the least worst option in many cases. Actually, this is pretty much my stance on abortion in general. Someday technology will render the point moot, but until then, I make the practical call.

n.n said...

Denying life unworthy. Progressive, albeit selective.

Mark said...

abortion is the least worst option

i.e. Better to kill than to care. Just remember that when you reach a mental state that is deemed deficient and you require someone to provide care for you.

What goes around comes around and someone may decide that a morphine push or a pillow over your face or simply not feeding you and letting you sit in your waste is the least worst option if the alternative is having to make the effort to care for you.

Actually, intentionally killing innocent human beings is always the worst option, even if people have always come up with excuses for killing ever since the days of Cain.

n.n said...

intentionally killing innocent human beings is always the worst option

Without cause, certainly. For reasons other than self-defense.

Hate Loves Abortion

Bad Lieutenant said...

Jane the Actuary said...
From what I've read, in Iceland, they not only terminate 100% of the babies diagnosed with Downs, but they diagnose so thoroughly, that there are no longer any children born with Downs.

Nonsense! Have you ever seen a Bjork video?

Maple Forest said...

As the mother of a child with Down syndrome (in Canada we do not use the term Downs), I am naturally heartbroken at thought of families choosing to terminate a pregnancy because of a diagnosis of DS. My husband and I are older parents and knew the odds were increased but it didn't matter to us. There are no guarantees when you bring a child into the world that they are going to be the child you dreamed of or envisioned. There are no perfect children. In our circle of family and friends there are a wide variety of children each with varying personalities and each with their own challenges, some with a diagnosis, some not. Often when I witness the challenges other parents face I look at my child and think I have it easy! In Canada, among the mothers who opt for genetic testing and receive a diagnosis of DS, 90+ percent will choose to terminate the pregnancy, (and her comes the kicker)...the majority of them have never met or spoken with a family raising a child with DS, and certainly few if any were encouraged to do so by their GP or OBGYN, and I can assure you that the degree of medical training the average doctor receives about DS is minimal. Thankfully there are organizations world-wide advocating and education the general public about DS. To continue to kill babies because they have DS is steep and slippery slope. Children with Autism outnumber children with DS by far and present their own challenges to their families, communities, education and health care system. Are they next? Where does it end. We must draw a line in the stand and refuse to cross it. A side note...be careful not to stereotype individuals with Down syndrome as all being the same....such as all being happy. If they appear to be then it is likely in no small part due to the love and care they have been given as they are raised, but know that individuals with Down syndrome are as unique in their personalities and characters as the rest of the population. My daughter can be as sweet as apple pie, as affectionate as can be, but she can also show you her stubborn side and her wicked temper if the situation warrants it. Assuming that this group within our population are all alike perpetuates many myths and stereotypes...even positive ones!