Those living with Down Syndrome are among the happiest, most satisfied and joy-giving people in the world, according to those who know and live with them.
Yet, even as World Down Syndrome Day recognizes their value today, many are out to rid the world of those who have the chromosonal abnormality.
Indeed, some industrialized societies are trying to achieve a "Down syndrome free" world. In fact, some nations have already succeeded in eradicating pre-born Down syndrome babies, while others, including the United States, are close.
Iceland has become the first nation to boast of total destruction of in-utero Down syndrome children. Obstetrician-gynecologist Peter McParland praised the move, according to Life Site.
"In Iceland," the doctor said, "every single baby—100 percent of all those diagnosed with Down syndrome—are aborted," he said, adding, "There hasn't been a baby with Down syndrome born in Iceland in the past five years."
The United States isn't far behind. Up to 90-percent of mothers who learn they are pregnant with a child with Down syndrome choose to abort it.
This high number of abortions in the U.S. and elsewhere are because of a simple, new blood test that detects Down syndrome. The test is non-invasive and can be performed early in pregnancy. Therefore, many, if not most, women have it.
Before today's non-invasive blood test, the test to determine whether an unborn child had Down syndrome, by comparison, was rarely performed. Called an amniocentesis, it was invasive and could have damaged, even killed, the baby. It was performed in the later stages of pregnancy and involved inserting a needle into the mother's placenta to extract amniotic fluid.
Today, the reason so many women choose to abort their Down syndrome babies is because they believe their child's life is not worth living. However, parents of Down syndrome children say that's not true. For example, when Cherry Jensen gave birth to a Down syndrome baby, she recalls how her doctors vastly underestimated how high her daughter would function. Now Cherry uses her daughter's story to convince other women to keep their unborn Down syndrome children. There are many stories of people with Down syndrome who are successfull in business, sports and other endeavors, even modeling.
According to a study of parents of children with Down syndrome:
- 99% love the child
- 97% are proud of the child
- 79% felt their outlook on life was more positive because of the child
According to a study of people with Down syndrome over age 12:
- 99% are happy with their lives
- 97% like who they are
- 96% like how they look
7 MYTHS about people with Down syndrome:
- Parents will not find community support in bringing up their child with Down syndrome
- Most people with Down syndrome have a severe cognitive disability
- People with Down syndrome are always sick
- Scientists know everything there is to know about Down syndrome
- Segregated special education programs are the only option for students with Down syndrome
- People with Down syndrome cannot be active members of their community
- Adults with Down syndrome are unable to form close interpersonal relationships leading to marriage.