Listening to Irish lawmakers debate whether to legalize abortion, mom Anne Trainer realizes the devastating effects of abortion more than most.
Trainer said her son Kevin has Down syndrome, and children with disabilities like his are being discriminated against and aborted all across the world.
In a column for The Journal in Ireland, Trainer cited testimony from Dr. Peter McParland, an obstetrician from the National Maternity Hospital, who explained how prenatal testing is leading to a near extinction of children with Down syndrome and other disabilities.
According to McParland’s research, not one baby with Down syndrome has been born in Iceland in the past five years. Statistics from England indicate as many as 90 percent of babies with the condition are aborted.
“Legal abortion is leading us to a ‘Down’s Syndrome-free’ world,” Trainer wrote. “I can barely type the words.”
Devastated, the Irish mom is urging her country not to make the same mistake many other countries have by legalizing abortion. She said the country’s pro-life laws are protecting children with disabilities like her son when so many others’ are failing.
“The Eighth Amendment protected my son, and he was deserving of that protection,” she wrote. “It should remain as a shining light to a world where the best and most beautiful of our citizens are being snuffed out.”
Trainer said she understands how easily women could be pressured to abort if their unborn baby is diagnosed with a disability. When her son was born, Trainer said he was given a poor prognosis.
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“Over the next few days the doctors burdened us with every single thing that could possibly go wrong with our baby,” she wrote. “We were told there was a good chance he would not breastfeed, and could find it very difficult to speak, walk, ride a bike or swim.”
Trainer said Kevin proved them wrong, but even if he hadn’t, his life still is valuable.
Her concern is that if Ireland weakens its pro-life Eighth Amendment, many families could be influenced by fear to abort their babies.
If a woman is told her baby in the womb has Down’s Syndrome, and then listens to all the “facts” my husband and I were told, she would be terrified. She would be full of self-doubt, and think she is not armed with the skills needed to raise a child with additional or sometimes different needs.
We are not empowering women by giving credence to any self-doubt they may have. How more powerful would it be to tell her she is amazing and strong and she can raise this child to shine like a bright light in this world, just like my son Kevin does.
Some countries’ actions are adding to the stigma. Just a few months ago, French television officials refused to air an award-winning video from World Down Syndrome Day. The short ad featured people with Down syndrome explaining what they can do: talk, read, write, go to school, get jobs, live independently and more. The French State Counsel rejected the ad as “inappropriate” because the “happy faces” might “disturb” women who had abortions.
Abortion has become a modern method of eugenics, a way to discriminate against the most vulnerable in society. Statistics from Denmark in 2015 revealed that upwards of 98 percent of babies prenatally diagnosed with Down Syndrome were aborted. Other studies estimated the number at between 90 percent and 92 percent in different countries, though exact estimates in the U.S. are difficult to determine because of the challenge of tracking such numbers, according to the Charlotte Lozier Institute.
Children with disabilities and genetic disorders have grown up and been blessings to their parents despite their limitations. One example is a viral video of a 2-year-old Alabama boy reciting the alphabet, demonstrating what children with Down syndrome can do. Another example is a British mother who publicly stated how children with Down syndrome “benefit our lives,” and cited the joys of raising her son. LifeNews also featured nine individuals born with Down Syndrome who have gone on to happy, successful, thriving lives by going to college, running businesses, becoming celebrated artists and more.