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Published on 21 March, 2017

On World Down Syndrome Day, noting a Down’s holocaust

Iceland (MNN) — Today is World Down Syndrome Day, and people are celebrating friends and family with Down Syndrome and the joy they bring. Meanwhile, there is a Down Syndrome holocaust taking place in abortion facilities across the globe.

Earlier this year, Dr. Peter McParland spoke at the Citizens Assembly in Ireland advocating for a new, non-invasive prenatal blood test (NIPT). In his presentation, Dr. McParland praised prenatal screening in Iceland that has led to the abortion of 100 percent of babies diagnosed with Down Syndrome over five years.

That statistic comes from Iceland’s reports given from 2008-2012. But if the trend has continued since 2012, that would come to nearly a decade of all prenatally diagnosed Down Syndrome babies being aborted in Iceland.

There is a margin of error with prenatal screening leading to a very small number of undiagnosed Down Syndrome babies being born, and some being aborted that may not have had Downs. But Iceland is the first country to boast total eradication of Down Syndrome children with mothers who opted for the screening.

In the rest of the UK, around 90 percent of babies prenatally diagnosed with Down Syndrome are aborted. According to the BBC, about a third of pregnant women in the UK opt out of prenatal screening — especially since it is invasive and there is a risk of miscarriage. The new non-invasive prenatal blood test is being developed in the UK by Lyn Chitty at Great Ormond Street Hospital. After studying women’s responses to being offered NIPT, Chitty believes an additional 195 Down’s babies could be prenatally diagnosed yearly in England and Wales.

But Tom Lothamer with Life Matters Worldwide has this to say: “We know that many Down Syndrome children, in fact most, are an absolute delight to their families. They have much to offer our cultures and much to offer our communities and neighborhoods, and just to arbitrarily do that (abort them) is just unconscionable, it’s just unthinkable…. What they have done in Iceland is taken, what we might even call in a worldly sense, an easy way out.”

Those who support Down Syndrome screening and abortion cite Down Syndrome’s cost to society. The advocacy group Down Pride shared these reports that are reminiscent of Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World”:

‘A child with Down syndrome costs 1 to 2 million Euros’ a Dutch newspaper reported last month…. Patrick Willems, pediatrician and CEO of a Belgian lab (Gendia) that offers the Harmony Nip-test for Down syndrome on the internet [said,] “Preventing the birth of 50 babies with Down syndrome will offset the costs of fully implementing the Nipt into Dutch public healthcare.”

Other supporters of this practice argue that parents must consider the quality of life for the child. In 2014, famous scientist Richard Dawkins said on Twitter that parents are morally obligated to ‘abort and try again’ if they are expecting a baby with Down Syndrome.

Lothamer says this thinking is the result of a culture that has turned away from God. The natural slippery-slope question we have to ask: where does abortive screening end?

“We believe that every person — no matter their physical, emotional, or mental condition — are created in the image of God. For us to make light of that is a tremendous offense to God, and the problem with the people like in this case, they don’t particularly care about God or they don’t even recognize God or whatever the case might be. And then to just arbitrarily say we’re going to take care of the hard situation of Down Syndrome by just killing them is just a tremendous offense.”

Lothamer says, as for the “quality of life” argument, “I know that many of us have had opportunities to really communicate with Down Syndrome children and adults, and they’re absolutely delightful. Quality of life? They have a great quality of life! Do they have all the access to growing in an occupation and all that kind of thing? No, but they provide so much care and concern and love to everyone around them. If they want to talk about quality of life, I would rather say it’s those who are, for an example, a slave to their job, a slave to things, they have way less quality of life than any Downs child or adult. That’s just a smokescreen to me.”

So what can you do as the Body of Christ? “We can say as the Church that you are part of our family, especially if they are members of their church, and we’re going to surround you with love and care and support. We’re going to, as it were, have your backs. We’re going to assist you when there’s time of assistance such as childcare and other things. It’s the Church’s responsibility.”

Please also be in fervent prayer for the Down Syndrome community. Pray for those with Down Syndrome to know they are cherished by a Heavenly Father who loves them unconditionally.

8 responses to “On World Down Syndrome Day, noting a Down’s holocaust”

  1. Kathy Morin says:

    This is murder….I am blessed to have a beautiful grandson who has Down Syndrome. Rhys is our Living Gift that God created. No more has to be said for this ATROCITY.

  2. This This is still another way of societies “spitting” in the face of our Creator wanting the own control of this world. They are making themselves “gods” in the sad belief they know how to run this beautiful world and people who live in it better than the Great and Holy Creator.

  3. Diane S. says:

    This breaks my heart! How far will we go before the Lord Jesus says “enough!” and comes back. We are so ‘wise’ in our stupidity! One day, all…all… will see what we have done through the Lord’s eyes…and cry!

  4. When our son and daughter in law were given the diagnosis of Downs in prenatal testing, I was really concerned. not because of the diagnosis, but because there can be so many health issues and the fear of what he would have to go through ie surgeries, etc. He was born with some issues, but has been the biggest blessing to us. We see things differently now, and appreciate every milestone that he passes. He is sunshine all the time. What a better world we would have if everybody could see through the eyes of Downs. What loveable, cheerful and sweet children they are. Wish we could live to be 100 just to see the man he will grow up to be. so cherished by all of this family and our church family and friends. To hear of the atrocities in Iceland and UK just breaks God’s heart and ours.

  5. How can anyone do this? God sends his little angels and they teach us better than anyone how to love others. My hero in this world is my nephew who is 8. He is the greatest joy to be around. When has killing off a group of people based on a common trait, such as the Nazis did, ever been good?

  6. Please correct the photo credited to Life Matters Worldwide. It should be credited to Courtney Baker, mother of the child. We found it originally here: http://www.today.com/parents/mom-writes-powerful-letter-doctor-you-were-wrong-about-down-t97106. Thank you!

    • Lyndsey Koh says:

      Thanks for letting us know, Michele! I ended up removing the photo since it didn’t come from Life Matters Worldwide. 🙂 Thank you for all you guys do to raise awareness for the value of life as God’s image-bearers.

  7. Judy says:

    I feel you are horribly wrong to abort for any reason but especially because of the ‘perfection of the race’ and money. No Down syndrome individual will cost you as much as the 100’s of 1000’s in the prison system. Down syndrome is no different than any other diagnosis. Diabetics cost us a fortune, smokers, alcoholics and so many more. Your ignorance shows. You will wear the blood of every human you kill. Hitler was just like you. Heartbroken, horrified, tragic.

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Call to action

  • Pray for cultural revival, that society would place greater value on the lives of those with Down Syndrome.
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  • Advocate for the rights of those living with Down Syndrome.

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