CBS recently congratulated Iceland on Twitter for being “on track to eliminate Down Syndrome through abortions.”
— CBS News (@CBSNews) August 15, 2017
Pregnant mothers are given blood tests to determine even just the likelihood of whether or not their children will have Down Syndrome. If doctors determine that there is a chance of a child having Down’s Syndrome they will then recommend to the pregnant mother that most women abort under these circumstances. Sadly, Iceland is nearly to the point where almost all pregnant women who are recommended to kill their babies believed to have Down Syndrome will go through with an abortion.
In Australia, the 60 Minutes special ran ads circulating a “new test” that could “eliminate Down syndrome.” Many in the Down syndrome community immediately spoke out, including Joelle Kelly, an Australian woman whose daughter Josee has Down syndrome.
“Can you imagine what that must feel like?” she said. “People are out and around in your community wanting you not there, I can’t fathom what that would feel like.”
The triumphant CBS tweet then links to an article which says:
With the rise of prenatal screening tests across Europe and the United States, the number of babies born with Down syndrome has significantly decreased, but few countries have come as close to eradicating Down syndrome births as Iceland.
Since prenatal screening tests were introduced in Iceland in the early 2000s, the vast majority of women — close to 100 percent — who received a positive test for Down syndrome terminated their pregnancy.
While the tests are optional, the government states that all expectant mothers must be informed about availability of screening tests, which reveal the likelihood of a child being born with Down syndrome. Around 80 to 85 percent of pregnant women choose to take the prenatal screening test, according to Landspitali University Hospital in Reykjavik.
“CBSN: On Assignment” headed to Iceland with CBS News correspondent Elaine Quijano to investigate what’s factoring into the high termination rates.
Using an ultrasound, blood test and the mother’s age, the test, called the Combination Test, determines whether the fetus will have a chromosome abnormality, the most common of which results in Down syndrome. Children born with this genetic disorder have distinctive facial issues and a range of developmental issues. Many people born with Down syndrome can live full, healthy lives, with an average lifespan of around 60 years.
Other countries aren’t lagging too far behind in Down syndrome termination rates. According to the most recent data available, the United States has an estimated termination rate for Down syndrome of 67 percent (1995-2011); in France it’s 77 percent (2015); and Denmark, 98 percent (2015). The law in Iceland permits abortion after 16 weeks if the fetus has a deformity — and Down syndrome is included in this category.
Quijano noted, “In America, I think some people would be confused about people calling this ‘our child,’ saying a prayer or saying goodbye or having a priest come in — because to them abortion is murder.”
Olafsdottir responded, “We don’t look at abortion as a murder. We look at it as a thing that we ended. We ended a possible life that may have had a huge complication… preventing suffering for the child and for the family. And I think that is more right than seeing it as a murder — that’s so black and white. Life isn’t black and white. Life is grey.”
What’s so tragic is that the United States isn’t that far behind Iceland in Down Syndrome abortion rates. What’s also incredibly sad is that the CBS article celebrating aborting Down’s children unequivocally states: “Many people born with Down syndrome can live full, healthy lives, with an average lifespan of around 60 years.”
The pushback to the tweet and article by CBS was huge, with multiple people tweeting back pictures of their family members or friends with Down’s.
This article made me cry. Where would I be without this sweet little boy? My life is so much happier because of him? pic.twitter.com/vb8S2eFEYg
— MackenzieSchildhauer (@Mackenzie_Rian) August 15, 2017
It’s hard to answer this question.
Why would anyone want to "eliminate" these precious souls?? pic.twitter.com/xXlohF9tXY
— mandy? (@idekmandyx) August 16, 2017
Then there’s this one. Imagine the impact that Iceland’s policy is having on families. Imagine the joy never experienced.
Iceland will be missing out on the amazing amount of love a Down Syndrome child/person can give❤️ Couldn't imagine life without my nephew❤️ pic.twitter.com/ASvTGoxJvO
— Calley Gunhus (@CalleyGunhus) August 15, 2017
Children with Down Syndrome are just as human as anyone else.
This is my brother Bradley, he walks in a room and instantly everyone has a smile on their face! I couldn't imagine my life without him. pic.twitter.com/k7uoMlRSei
— L E (@Lee_Ellee) August 15, 2017
In the same Live Action News article cited above, writer Cassy Fiano reports:
Meanwhile, 99% of people with Down syndrome report being happy with themselves and with their lives. Over 90% of parents of children with Down syndrome say that they love their child and that they have a more positive outlook because of them.
So why is it that these people are targeted for death? Simply because they’re different? This is nothing more than eugenics in action, with entire countries seeking to eliminate people seen as unfit by killing them before they’re even born.
It’s very sad that mothers in Iceland are being lied to, and being led to believe that Down Syndrome is a disability. Down’s children are some of the happiest, most joy-filled people, and we can learn a lot from them. Shame on CBS for gleefully celebrating the extermination of a portion of the human population. Who is the next target?