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Oct 12

Why the Debate about Aborting Down Syndrome Babies Matters

I recently wrote on the Catholic Stand about the wider consequences of the debate around aborting those with Down Syndrome.

Iceland aborts about 98% of babies prenatally diagnosed with Down Syndrome and averages under 2 babies born with Down’s a year. CBS recently featured Iceland as “the country where Down syndrome is disappearing,” and lauded how they have “virtually eliminate[d] Down syndrome.”

Many pro-life groups quickly shot back that Iceland was boasting of no medical advance to accompany that statistic, only a death option.

Jeanne F. Mancini wrote an op-ed that was picked up by the Washington Post. In it, she pointed out that although the doctors claim they’re killing Down syndrome babies to “prevent suffering”, those with Down’s have a very happy life and rank above average on personal fulfillment. Is that suffering now?

Mancini quotes Sally Phillips, an actress famous for leading roles in several British sketch comedy shows and sitcoms who’s also the mother of a child with Down syndrome. Phillips is proposing we adapt a different perspective on Down’s: “If you stop thinking of Down syndrome as a disease, then the way you treat mothers is entirely different: you perhaps wouldn’t say, ‘I’m sorry.’ Breaking the news with the phrase ‘I’m sorry.’ There’s nothing to be sorry about. You’re lucky, actually.”

Read the rest there.