Today, being World Down Syndrome Day, there was an event at CSW called “Social protection for Women, Girls, and all Those With Down Syndrome (In Commemoration of the International Down Syndrome Awareness Day)”. Obviously, a huge part of the issues facing people with Down Syndrome is the abortion rate in the case of a prenatal diagnosis. It is my core belief that this discrimination against babies with disabilities affects born people with disabilities as well. The way it works is that the abortion rate in cases of prenatal diagnosis is so high that there aren’t enough people born with whatever condition, there aren’t enough of them to fight for social protection, services, etc. Supply is affected by demand, and the less demand there becomes for these services, the more scarce they become. The more scarce services become, the more quality of life concerns come in. The more quality of life concerns that are added to this equation, the more women choose abortion in case of a prenatal diagnosis. This goes essentially in a cycle.
I followed a few months back when the Canadian Down Syndrome group became the first group of humans to apply for endangered species status. When they did this, they cited not only the astronomical abortion rate, but the lack of services for born people with Down Syndrome. These issues are connected. I was actually having that thought this morning, and I was talking to my mom about it, and she was telling me that that was one of her fears when she was having me. Fetal surgery was starting to become a thing, and taking vitamins to cure it was another thing that was happening, and, obviously, the abortion rate was incredibly high. My mom was telling me that she was worried about those things combining to cause a lack of services. All of those fears are legitimate, because abortion has taken down the demand, and thus, the supply of these services. Don’t let anyone tell you that abortion isn’t a big deal. Even if their point about it only being a clump of cells were correct, abortion would still be harmful because it affects the level of access that people with disabilities have to social protections and services that we desperately need.