Denmark Tries to Eradicate Down Syndrome By Aborting Every Baby Who Has It

International   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Feb 5, 2018   |   2:07PM   |   Copenhagen, Denmark

Eugenic attitudes are growing in Denmark and many other parts of the western world, and children with disabilities are the first target.

In Denmark, only 2 percent of unborn babies diagnosed with Down syndrome are born; the rest are aborted. In Iceland, it’s 100 percent.

Yet, Daily Mail reporter Ian Birrell found little concern about the growing eugenic trend among the Danes. Some even are embracing it, and polls show strong support for eugenic abortions in Denmark.

“We are moving towards eliminating Down’s syndrome and some other disabilities,” John Brodersen, professor in public health at the University of Copenhagen, told the Mail. “There’s no doubt this is eugenics.”

More unborn babies with disabilities are being aborted now than in the past in Denmark. According to the report, 80 babies with Down syndrome were born in 1999, while only four who tested positive for Down syndrome were born in 2016. Abortion is legal for any reason up to 12 weeks in Denmark and up to 22 weeks in cases of physical or mental disabilities.

Concerns are growing with the increasing availability of new non-invasive prenatal testing, which can detect Down syndrome and other disabilities.

Here’s more from the report:

When talk of mass testing began in Denmark towards the end of the last century, there were even callous suggestions that it was cheaper to offer screening since it reduced the numbers needing care.

One senior doctor openly talked to me about ‘cost-effectiveness’ of screening, while others fear this still underpins the issue for politicians, including Lillian Bondo, head of the Danish Midwives Association, whose own sister Ida had Down’s syndrome.

Bondo admits to being conflicted over this issue, agreeing that most parents ‘instantly’ seek termination when faced with a Down’s baby and readily accepting that medical advances are improving lives.

But she fears we are seeing more children born with severe disabilities, especially when very premature babies are kept alive despite complications, while minor conditions such as Down’s are being ‘removed’ by medicine.

‘Society is creating some new handicaps while trying to root out others,’ she says. ‘Perhaps we should establish a pain threshold based on suffering?’

Birrell, who described himself as “pro-choice” on abortion, said he is troubled by the trend, and he seemed discouraged to learn that many people in Denmark are not.

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“… where is the debate over the collective impact of rational individual decisions as they weed out people that add to the diversity of humankind?” he wrote.

This deadly discrimination against babies with disabilities is a problem in countries across the world. Iceland has a nearly 100-percent abortion rate for babies with Down syndrome.

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.

Parents whose unborn babies have Down syndrome or other disabilities frequently report feeling pressure to abort them. A Florida mom’s letter to her doctor went viral in 2016 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.