Denmark Has Killed Nearly Everyone With Down Syndrome. This is Eugenics

Here are the grim facts about the fate of babies with Down syndrome in Denmark. In 2019 almost nothing—only 18!

When I read “The last children of Down Syndrome” by Sarah Zhan, I immediately thought of the 2017 story from CBS news about Iceland entitled “What kind of society do you want to live in? Inside the country where Down syndrome is disappearing.” Zhan’s is a well-written piece that appears in Atlantic magazine.

The subhead puts the story in a larger context: “Prenatal screening changes who gets born and who doesn’t. This is just the beginning.”

No one questions the legality of abortion in Denmark, Zhang wrote.

“The Danes are very open about abortion—amazing to my hearing in America—but abortions for a fetal anomaly, and especially Down syndrome, are different. They still have a stigma.”

Why is this thread running on a long story worth reading.

The backdrop is that “in 2004, Denmark became one of the first countries in the world to offer prenatal Down syndrome screening to every pregnant woman, regardless of age or other risk factors,” Zhang explained. “Almost all expectant mothers choose to take the test; of those who receive a diagnosis of Down syndrome, more than 95 percent choose to have an abortion.” The few babies born with Down syndrome are usually due to a “misdiagnosis” or because the parents have been told that the probability of having a baby with an extra chromosome is very small.

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One of the questions raised is why women have abortions and how influential are the omens of gloom and doom. This is what the sister of Karl Emil, an 18-year-old man with Down syndrome who is the heart of the story, says:

Think of it this way, Karl Emil’s sister, Ann Katrine, says: “If you give any expectant parent a whole list of everything their child is likely to experience in their lifetime—diseases and so on yet—then anyone would be afraid. ”

“No one will have a baby,” Grete [Fält-Hansen, their mother] said.”

Or, looked at another way, do women exercise real “choice” in such a cultural setting? When is it expected that a woman carrying a baby with Down syndrome will miscarry?

Although the language has changed (“mongoloid” is no longer used), physicians are not so brutally dismissive of these children. And even if there isn’t as much public emphasis on “saving money” through abortion as it was years ago, the message is still clear: aren’t we all, including the child, ” better” if she aborts?

As Zhang writes, “The decisions parents make after prenatal testing are private and individual. But when decisions swing so heavily one way—to abort—it seems to reveal more: the whole society’s judgment about the lives of people with Down syndrome. That’s what I saw reflected in Karl Emil’s face.”

The constant back-and-forth cultural narrative is between the virtual absence of children with Down syndrome and guilt that the Danes, in doing so, are not living up to their own image of themselves or their culture.

“I think it’s because we as a society like to think of ourselves as inclusive,” Stina Lou [a researcher] said. “We’re a rich society, and we think it’s important that different kinds of people should be here.” And for some of the women who end up choosing to have an abortion, “their own self-understanding is a bit shaky, because they have to accept that they’re not the kind of person they thought they were,” she said. They are not the type of people who would choose to have a child with a disability.

Another thought. It’s a long quote, but it speaks to what we lose when success is overvalued at the expense of more important qualities:

Stephanie Meredith, the director of the National Center for Prenatal and Postnatal Resources at the University of Kentucky, told me about the time her 20-year-old son saw his sister bump into another player on the basketball court. He fell to the ground so hard that a crackling sound echoed through the gym. Before Meredith could react, her son jumped into the bleachers and picked up his brother. “He’s not worried about the rules; he is not concerned about propriety. It’s just responding and taking care of him,” Meredith told me. She was recently asked a simple but probing question: What is she most proud of about her son that isn’t an achievement or a milestone? The incident on the basketball court was one that came to mind. “It has nothing to do with success,” he said. “It has to do with caring for other people.”

That question stayed with Meredith—and it stayed with me—because of how starkly but powerfully it reframes what parents should value in their children: not grades or basketball trophies or acceptance letters. to college or any of the things that parents are usually proud of. With this, it opens the door to a world less obsessed with success.

Meredith points out that Down syndrome is defined and diagnosed by a medical system made up of people who need to be highly successful to get there, which is likely based in part on their intelligence. It is the system that gives parents the tools to decide what kind of children to have.

It may be biased towards the question of whose life counts?

LifeNews.com Note: Dave Andrusko is the editor of National Right to Life News and an author and editor of several books on abortion topics. This post originally appeared on National Right to Life News Today —- an online column on pro-life issues.

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