New EugenicsJordan Mabe | March 22, 2019
Iceland has almost entirely eliminated down syndrome from their population. Is this the work of rapidly advancing medicine finding new ways to treat people with down syndrome? Or perhaps it is genetic research that allows for ways to prevent the development of down syndrome in babies? Nope, it is because Iceland aborts almost 100% of fetuses diagnosed with down syndrome.
Yesterday was International Down Syndrome Awareness day. And in honor of this day, an event was hosted at the CSW by the Holy See and C-Fam on promoting more social protection for those with down syndrome. Because despite the fact that social and medical conditions for those with down syndrome have rose pretty steadily over the last 50 years, we are now facing the challenges of selective abortion and targeted eugenics.
It strikes me as incredibly ironic that in the 1930s and 1940s, we found eugenics and other practices that were happening in Nazi Germany appalling. We thought the inhumane philosophy that Nazis expounded was horrific and disgusting. Yet the practice of eugenics is alive and well in most Nordic countries and north America. People with down syndrome aren’t given a chance at life, they are immediately aborted.
Many cite quality of life concerns because they assume that they’re being merciful to the child by ending its life. But a 2011 study by Harvard revealed that 99% of people with down syndrome are happy with their lives. Compare that to 33% of Americans who say they’re happy. That number is way too absurd to cite quality of life concerns. If anything, you would WANT your child to have down syndrome because it affords them a much better life.
This line of thinking shows just how faulty this logic is. It shows that the ethical value and philosophical teaching that people have now is severely degraded. And by severely degraded I mean it’s now nonexistent. And to put it all into perspective, these Nordic countries are performing discriminatory abortion left and right. They are terminating pregnancies because they don’t want their population to have down syndrome. And these are the countries that the world looks to as progressive bastions of society. These are the countries everyone cites when it comes to healthcare, abortion, and social policies. These are the countries that people often lament “why can’t we be more like them?”. Countries that practice eugenics.
Because when the Nazis did it, it was evil, but obviously we’re more civilized now.