Iceland has nearly achieved a shocking goal – the country has eliminated almost 100 percent of children with Down syndrome.
They've aborted almost all of them.
CBS News reports it's due to widespread use of prenatal screening.
Even though most people born with Down syndrome live long, healthy lives, most pregnant women in Iceland choose to abort these babies.
Only one or two babies with the disorder slip past the screening process each year.
Other countries are doing the same thing.
Denmark has aborted 98 percent and the U.S. has aborted at least 67 percent of babies with this genetic disorder.
Wednesday, Christian evangelist Joni Eareckson Tada, who has been a quadriplegic in a wheelchair for 50 years following a diving accident, issued a statement saying, "Over 25 years ago when I served on the National Council on Disability, we responded vehemently against a report from the National Institutes on Health which listed abortion as a 'disability prevention strategy.' All 15 bi-partisan council members strongly advised the NIH to remove any reference which used abortion as a tactic in eliminating disability."
She added, "Each individual, no matter how significantly impaired, is an image-bearer of our Creator God. And people with Down syndrome are arguably some of the most contented and happy people on the planet. From them, we learn unconditional love and joyful acceptance of others who appear different. Now, even that is in jeopardy of being eradicated."
Penny Nance of Concerned Women for America also spoke out against the practice.
"Iceland sounds like they are proud of the fact that they've killed nearly all unborn babies that had an in-utero diagnosis of Down syndrome," Nance said. "This is not a medical advancement. This is eugenics and barbarianism at best."
And Dr. James Dobson wrote, "I have rarely seen a story that so closely resembles Nazi-era eugenics as a recent report about Iceland 'eradicating' nearly 100 percent of Down syndrome births through abortion."
"We should all be deeply sorrowful and outraged. This practice is as equally inhumane as the views of the racist bigots who disgraced our country in Charlottesville this past weekend," he continued.
Pro-life actress Patricia Heaton is also weighing in.
"Iceland isn't actually eliminating Down Syndrome. They're just killing everybody that has it. Big difference," Heaton tweeted.
— Patricia Heaton (@PatriciaHeaton) August 15, 2017
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 successful in business, sports and other endeavors, even modeling.
A coffee shop is Wilimington, North Carolina is giving people with Down Syndrome the chance to work. Check out the story here.
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
- Adults with Down syndrome are unable to form close interpersonal relationships leading to marriage.