Pro-life actress Patricia Heaton slammed a troubling new report out of Iceland indicating that nearly 100 percent of unborn babies with Down syndrome are aborted.
CBS News published a widely-viewed report this week about the country’s “eradicating [of] Down syndrome births.” A number of pro-life and disability rights advocates were upset by the language of a CBS tweet teasing the show because it described eliminating Down syndrome, rather than the real situation — killing the people who have it.
“Iceland is on pace to virtually eliminate Down syndrome through abortion,” the news channel tweeted.
Heaton, an Emmy-award winning actress who grew to fame for her role on CBS’s “Everybody Loves Raymond,” pointed out that Iceland is not eradicating the genetic disorder – it is killing children who have it before they are born.
“Iceland isn’t actually eliminating Down syndrome,” Heaton tweeted in response. “They’re just killing everybody that has it. Big difference.”
— Patricia Heaton (@PatriciaHeaton) August 15, 2017
Just a handful of children with Down syndrome have been born in Iceland in the past decade. Two are born each year, on average, but the rest are killed in the womb. The few that are alive in Iceland were born to mothers who refused prenatal screening tests.
This deadly discrimination against babies with disabilities is a problem in countries across the world, not just Iceland. In 2014, the Danish government reported 98 percent of unborn babies who tested positive for Down syndrome were aborted. CBS reports the rate in France was 77 percent in 2015, 90 percent in the United Kingdom and 67 percent in the U.S. between 1995 and 2011. Some put the rate even higher in the United States, but it is difficult to determine the exact rate because the U.S. government does not keep detailed statistics about abortion.
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Iceland hospital counselor Helga Sol Olafsdottir told CBS that she does not see any problem with the fact that so many women are having their unborn babies aborted because of Down syndrome. This systematic discrimination is simply a “woman’s choice” in her mind.
“This is your life — you have the right to choose how your life will look like,” Olafsdottir said she tells pregnant women when she counsels them.
Abortion is a choice about two lives, though – the unborn baby and the mother. Though still in the womb, babies already are unique, living human beings, and they deserve the same rights and respect as other human beings.
While many in Hollywood support the killing of unborn babies, Heaton has been a strong advocate for their right to life. “The Middle” actress often uses Twitter to advocate for unborn babies and moms. She also sometimes speaks at pro-life events.
“Life begins at conception. Said every scientist ever. #ProScience #ProWoman #ProLife” she tweeted on Jan. 6.