A CBS report has claimed that Iceland has virtually eradicated down-syndrome births through their prenatal screening programs and pro-abortion policies.
According to the CBS report, virtually all Icelandic women whose unborn children test positive for down syndrome opt to have their pregnancy terminated. Icelandic law allows for abortion after sixteen weeks if the fetus is found to be suffering from a deformity. This includes down syndrome.
Iceland introduced prenatal screening tests in the early 2000s. While these tests are optional, the Icelandic Government requires all pregnant women to be informed of them. According to the Landspitali University Hospital in Reykjavik, between eight and eighty-five percent of women opt to do the screening. These screenings use the mother’s age, ultrasounds, and blood tests to determine the likelihood a child will be born suffering a chromosomal problem.
Glenn Beck, a conservative political commentator, slammed Iceland’s virtual eradication of down syndrome births as eugenics. “That’s eugenics”, Beck said, “that is Margaret Sanger’s most base dream: get rid of the undesirables. Get rid of people who can’t really work for a living, don’t really have any quality of life.” Likewise, political humorist, Jim Treacher, tweeted: “later in the show, we’ll look at the looming Nazi menace. But first: ain’t eugenics great?” Similarly, Everybody Loves Raymond star, Patricia Heaton, tweeted: “Iceland isn’t actually eliminating down syndrome. They’re just killing everybody that has it. Big difference.”
A counsellor at an Icelandic hospital commented:
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.”
Except that in this case, it is. Aborting unborn babies purely because they have down syndrome (or any other problem, for that matter) is evil. It is nothing more than social cleansing. As Dr. Peter McCarland, an obstetrician at the National Maternity Hospital in Dublin, commented:
“In Britain, 90% of babies with Down’s Syndrome are aborted before birth. In Iceland, every single baby, 100% of all those diagnosed with Down’s Syndrome, are aborted. There hasn’t been a baby with Down’s Syndrome born in Iceland in the past five years. Denmark is following suit, and is expected to be “Down’s Syndrome-free” by 2030 and these cold and chilling statistics show us exactly where legal abortion is leading the rest of Europe. Legal abortion is leading us to a “Down’s Syndrome-free” world. I can barely type the words. It is utterly heartbreaking. Little wonder that, in Britain, Lord Shinkwin – a member of the House of Lords who has a congenital disability – last week gave a powerful speech pointing out, ‘the writing is on the wall for people like me. People with congenital disabilities are facing extinction’.”
It is morally repugnant to base a person’s right to life on their genetic status or how ‘normal’ they are. Every life is sacred and deserves protection, not just those who have been fortunate enough to born without problems.