Denmark Seeks Total Elimination of People With Down Syndrome, Aborts All But 4 Babies

International   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Dec 5, 2017   |   7:05PM   |   Copenhagen, Denmark

Just four babies diagnosed with Down syndrome in the womb were born in Denmark in 2016.

Yet, government officials in the European nation claim they are not trying to eradicate unborn babies with Down syndrome or other disabilities.

Danish Ambassador to Ireland Carsten Søndergaard defended his country’s abortion laws in a letter to the Oireachtas committee that is debating the legalization of abortion in Ireland, the Irish Times reports.

Søndergaard responded to a pro-life advocate who told the committee that the Danish government is trying “to eradicate Down syndrome by abortion by 2030.” He denied the claim, but his own comments indicate that very few babies with Down syndrome are born in Denmark.

“In 2016, there were four children born in Denmark with Down’s syndrome after prenatal diagnosis and there were 20 children born with Down’s syndrome diagnosed after birth,” Søndergaard wrote to the Irish committee.

“In general it should be noted that it is not the policy of the Danish health authorities to eradicate Down’s syndrome, but it is their duty to provide the pregnant woman with the best possible basis for her to make her own decision about her pregnancy,” he continued.

The country does, however, allow women to abort unborn babies with disabilities later in pregnancy. In Denmark, abortions are legal for any reason up to 12 weeks, but women may abort unborn babies diagnosed with serious physical or mental disorders, including Down syndrome, even later.

In 2014, the Danish government reported 98 percent of unborn babies who tested positive for Down syndrome were aborted.

Nearby in Iceland, nearly 100 percent of unborn babies with Down syndrome are aborted. CBS reports the rate in France was 77 percent in 2015, 90 percent in the United Kingdom and 67 percent in the United States between 1995 and 2011. Some put the rate as high as 90 percent 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.

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This massive discrimination against unborn babies with disabilities has prompted some U.S. states to pass laws prohibiting abortions on unborn babies with disabilities. Indiana became the second state to prohibit abortions based on an unborn baby’s disability in 2016, following North Dakota in 2013. A similar bill also currently is moving through the Ohio legislature.

Lawmakers in Poland also have been discussing a bill to prohibit discrimination against unborn babies with disabilities.

Parents whose unborn babies have Down syndrome or other disabilities frequently report feeling pressure to abort them. Last year, a Florida mom’s letter to her doctor went viral after she exposed how the doctor pressured her to abort her unborn daughter with Down syndrome. Courtney Baker said she wanted her former doctor to see how valuable her daughter’s life is and how wrong it is to pressure anyone to have an abortion.

Research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests that many women are not receiving adequate counseling about prenatal testing for Down syndrome and other disorders.