News Of Iceland’s Down Syndrome Abortion Policy Sparks Outrage

News of Iceland’s policy of aborting all babies with Down syndrome has sparked intense outrage online.

In Iceland, abortion is only illegal after 16 weeks. However, if the baby has a “deformity” it can be aborted at any time.

Down syndrome is considered one of those “deformities” in Iceland. So, people are getting their babies tested for Down syndrome and then just tossing them out like unwanted pieces of garbage if they test positive.

This is eugenics, plain and simple. Iceland is using abortion to rid their population of people they deem undesirable and it’s completely sickening.

You and I know in our hearts that this is wrong but sometimes it’s nice to have science and medicine on your side. Well, both Dr. Gareth M. Thomas and Barbara Katz Rothman wrote for the American Medical Association’s Journal of Ethics last year, warning against the practice.

They wrote:

We argue that prenatal screening (and specifically NIPT) for Down syndrome can be considered a form of contemporary eugenics, in that it effaces, devalues, and possibly prevents the births of people with the condition.

Placing a lower value on the lives of people with Down syndrome is incredibly unethical, according to Rothman and Thomas.

Arguably, thus, screening for Down syndrome amounts to what we could call a contemporary eugenics. The race for a diagnosis for Down syndrome and other genetic conditions—often in the absence of a cure—can be seen as a commentary on which lives are valued or not.

To bolster their claim about the unethical nature of the practice, the pair pointed out that Down syndrome cannot even be detected until the 10th week of development.

We turn our focus to noninvasive prenatal testing (NIPT), the latest version of prenatal screening for Down syndrome to be offered in the US. NIPT is used to analyze cell-free fetal DNA (cffDNA) in a pregnant woman’s blood at around ten weeks’ gestation.

According to CBS, people with Down syndrome can live a long and fulfilled life if they aren’t ripped from their mothers womb.

Many people born with Down syndrome can live full, healthy lives, with an average lifespan of around 60 years.

However, according to Geneticist Kari Stefansson, speaking with CBS, just about every single baby with Down syndrome is being slaughtered in Iceland.

“My understanding is that we have basically eradicated, almost, Down syndrome from our society — that there is hardly ever a child with Down syndrome in Iceland anymore.”

CBS asked him how he thought the 100% “termination” rate reflected upon Iceland.

“It reflects a relatively heavy-handed genetic counseling,” he said. “And I don’t think that heavy-handed genetic counseling is desirable. … You’re having impact on decisions that are not medical, in a way.”

Stefansson noted, “I don’t think there’s anything wrong with aspiring to have healthy children, but how far we should go in seeking those goals is a fairly complicated decision.”

Many people have slammed the horrific practice – and CBS’s choice of words to describe it.

Sources:
American Medical Association Journal of Ethics
CBS News

 

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