Mainstream news channels rarely draw attention to the negative side of abortion, but CBS News did so this week with a report about Iceland’s near 100-percent abortion rate for babies with Down syndrome.
“… few countries have come as close to eradicating Down syndrome births as Iceland,” the report begins. “Since prenatal screening tests were introduced in Iceland in the early 2000s, the vast majority of women — close to 100 percent — who received a positive test for Down syndrome terminated their pregnancy.”
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. For most of the children who were born, their mothers decided not to have 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 number because the U.S. government does not keep detailed statistics about abortion.
In many of these countries, late-term abortions are legal in cases of fetal anomalies, such as Down syndrome. The UK, for example, prohibits abortions after 24 weeks but allows wide exceptions for late-term abortions involving fetal anomalies.
Iceland hospital counselor Helga Sol Olafsdottir 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.
According to the interview with CBS:
Olafsdottir tells women who are wrestling with the decision or feelings of guilt: “This is your life — you have the right to choose how your life will look like.”
She showed [CBS reporter Elaine] Quijano a prayer card inscribed with the date and tiny footprints of a fetus that was terminated.
Quijano noted, “In America, I think some people would be confused about people calling this ‘our child,’ saying a prayer or saying goodbye or having a priest come in — because to them abortion is murder.”
Olafsdottir responded, “We don’t look at abortion as a murder. We look at it as a thing that we ended. We ended a possible life that may have had a huge complication… preventing suffering for the child and for the family. And I think that is more right than seeing it as a murder — that’s so black and white. Life isn’t black and white. Life is grey.”
The issue is not gray. It’s very clearly wrong, says Penny Nace, president and CEO of Concerned Women for America.
“This is eugenics and barbarianism at best,” Nace said. “These individuals have no less worth than anyone else.”
Iceland and many other countries are killing human beings in abortions simply because they have a disability. Down syndrome varies in severity, but most people with the genetic disorder live into their 60s. Some even live on their own, hold down jobs, go to college and get married.
“What is the next headline going to be? That a certain country has eradicated all females. Oh wait, China has already been down that road. There is no limit to this train of thought of devaluing human life,” Nace added.
Reports in pro-life, conservative and even mainstream news outlets indicate the problem is not limited to Down syndrome. Unborn babies with health problems as minor as a cleft lip also are being targeted for abortion, as are girls.
Pro-life groups are fighting back against this modern form of eugenics, and disability rights groups are becoming more involved, too.
Earlier this year, the organization Down Pride wrote a letter to the United Nations about abortion discrimination against babies with Down syndrome in Iceland and Denmark. They urged the UN to think about how these practices and attitudes could expand to babies with other disabilities.
“The system of utilitarianism will not stop at Down syndrome,” the organization wrote. “Within the not too distant future other groups will be identified: risk for autism, schizophrenia, low IQ? Children with these conditions also easily cost 1 to 2 million euros.”
Abortion is a great evil in so many ways. Amazing new scientific advancements are giving us a better picture of unborn babies’ lives, but some people are using that knowledge to discriminate and destroy lives through abortion, rather than celebrate them.