A Nordic country has taken steps to genetically cleanse their population by eradicating those with Down syndrome.
No, we are not talking about Nazi-Germany, but rather 2017 Iceland.
Health providers in Iceland have taken the next step in playing God as they claim to have solved the problem of this disability by aborting every child who was diagnosed with it, according to a report published by CBS.
Although the report does attempt fairness in representing all sides, the way the story was presented – even its title choice – seems to celebrate the deaths of all those with Down syndrome. CBS News tweeted the report by saying “Iceland is on pace to virtually eliminate Down syndrome through abortion.”
They didn’t find a cure for Down’s, they are merely killing the people that have it.
“Few countries have come as close to eradicating Down syndrome births as Iceland,” the CBS report began. “Since prenatal screening tests were introduced in Iceland in the early 2000s, the vast majority of women — close to 100 percent — who received a positive test for Down syndrome, terminated their pregnancy.”
Genetic screening is not mandatory in Iceland, reported CBS, but out of the 80 to 85 percent of women that do, nearly 100 percent choose to abort the child that is said to be born with Down syndrome. On average, two babies with Down syndrome are born each year in Iceland, usually because the mother had chosen not to have the screening done.
This situation is not an anomaly found only in Iceland. In 2014, Denmark reported that 98 percent of babies who test positive for Down syndrome are aborted. CBS reported that the rate of these eugenically-targeted abortions for those tested positive for Down syndrome are at 67 percent for the United States, 77 percent in France, and 90 percent in the United Kingdom.
“We don’t look at abortion as murder”
According to the CBS report, the counselor at Landspitali University Hospital will tell women, “This is your life … you have the right to choose how your life will look like.”
The part that they are overlooking is that there are two lives that are part of the discussion: the life of the mother and that of the unborn child.
“We don’t look at abortion as a murder,” said the counselor. “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.”
What they are telling people is that if someone’s life is an inconvenience to you, or would be a “huge complication,” you have a right to take that person’s life in order to prevent suffering for them or yourself. This attitude takes the notion of playing God to a whole new level.
She continued, “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.”
During this interview, the counselor showed the CBS reporter a prayer card with the tiny ink footprints of one of the aborted babies, presumably, one of the Down syndrome children that they were discussing.
Just as the Nazis succeeded in killing those who were “inferior” to those who fit into their mold, Iceland has succeeded in eradicating those who would be “weak” members of society.
The idea of molding a society of pristine specimen to further the purity of their blood hearkens back to the 1925 writings of Adolf Hitler.
Hitler wrote this in his autobiography Mein Kampf:
“What we must fight for is to safeguard the existence and reproduction of our race and our people, the sustenance of our children and the purity of our blood, the freedom and independence of the fatherland, so that our people may mature for the fulfillment of the mission allotted it by the creator of the universe.”
According to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, eugenics under the Nazi regime was known as “applied biology.” They rejected those who were “hereditarily ‘less valuable’ or ‘racially foreign.’”
They also put into action measures that would control who could marry and who was unfit to marry in order to further this “racial hygiene.” During the same time, the Nazis also enacted the “Law for the Prevention of Genetically Diseased Offspring” that would require sterilization for conditions that were held to be hereditary.
Pro-life pundits from all walks of life have condemned the egregious actions of the Icelandic health care system.
Patricia Heaton, Emmy-award winning actress who is outspoken in her pro-life beliefs, pointed out the problem with “eradicating Down Syndrome births.”
She responded to the report by tweeting, “Iceland isn’t actually eliminating Down syndrome. They’re just killing everybody that has it. Big difference.”
— Patricia Heaton (@PatriciaHeaton) August 15, 2017
After Heaton expressed her thoughts, she began reposting photos of children and adults with Down syndrome as they reached out to her to thank her for speaking up for them.
Another woman in the public eye also spoke out against this issue that hit close to home. Sarah Palin, former governor of Alaska, is the mother of 9-year-old Trig, who has Down syndrome.
Palin said, “This intolerance for people who may not look like you is so wrong, it’s so evil,” and that “children with Down syndrome are unique and make the world more unique.” She also pointed out that this policy “hearkens back to Nazi Germany.”
Questions for reflection
1. What were your first reactions to the CBS New report?
2. Do you have a friend or a relative with Down syndrome or another disability? What joys and challenges have they faced?
3. How can you help to end the culture of eugenics and abortion?
We must pray every day for an end to abortion throughout the world. Pray for the souls of all of the unwanted children and make sure to keep in mind the healing and forgiveness of those who have chosen to end the life of their unborn child.
As for eugenics and Down syndrome, we Catholics especially must know better and we must be a light to a world that’s grown cold and dim. It’s our sacred duty to articulate the truth about the supreme value of human life while simultaneously living out and showing God’s love for all persons made in His image and likeness, regardless of their apparent “imperfections.” To that end, we recommend taking to heart the message of this father who says it better than we ever could.