It tugs at our heartstrings to see beautiful children and adults with Down syndrome at the Special Olympics, in the public, in our churches. In many ways, they are the most beloved people because of their inherent sweetness. They enrich our lives in so many ways.
Yet, there is a calculated campaign to wipe out — not this condition — but people with this condition. And, of course, it happens in the womb.
Demographically, Down syndrome children are born in greater numbers to women who have children at an older age. So, the fix is to offer amniocentesis and other prenatal tests, to a pregnant woman to see if her baby has (horror of horrors) Down syndrome or other anomalies.
Here’s the sad part. It is estimated that up to 90% of babies in the womb detected with Down syndrome or other anomalies are aborted.
U.S. Senator Sam Brownback is trying to alleviate this problem. He has introduced legislation (S. 1810) in the U.S. Senate with the goal of reducing the number of Down syndrome abortions. The legislation is designed to educate parents of a baby with a detected anomaly about the condition and to provide connection to support systems. A mother of an unborn or newborn baby with a disability would be given “up-to-date, scientific, written information concerning the life expectancy, clinical course, and intellectual and functional development and treatment options for a fetus diagnosed with or child born with Down syndrome or other prenatally or postnatally diagnosed conditions.” The bill also creates a national registry of families who will adopt children with anomalies. S. 1810 was approved by a Senate committee and Brownback is hoping to get action by the full Senate soon.
Herein lies the schizophrenia: on the one hand, we celebrate the diversity of and work to assist people with disabilities after birth. On the other hand, we allow almost an entire population of individuals with disabilities to be brutally destroyed in the womb.