Down syndrome elimination in Denmark is "Just another day at the office"

12/08/2017 08:45 am ET Updated Dec 08, 2017

The Danish Ambassador in Ireland denied allegations this week that Denmark has a eugenic policy to eradicate Down syndrome.

While I agree that the government-led eradication of a group singled out by government sounds very much like 'fake news', the Copenhagen Post reported on the eradication long before the term 'fake news' became popular. In fact, when I first came across this startling news in 2015, I wrote about it in the Washington Post to help create more attention for the shocking fact.

That the news about the Danish eradication started spreading was confirmed this week when Danish ambassador Carsten Sondergaard, in a letter to the joint committee on the 8th amendment in Ireland (charged with making recommendations on the Irish abortion law), denied the policy is aimed at eradicating Down syndrome. “It has come to our attention that statements have been made during the meetings about Denmark's policy and practice on abortion which are not correct.[..]it is not the policy of Danish health authorities to eradicate Down's syndrome.”

Reality is a far cry from the official diplomatic statement

Technically he is right. In Denmark a woman can get an abortion after 12 weeks (and upto 22 weeks) due to a condition such as Down syndrome. And nobody is pointing a gun to her head. However, reality is a far cry from the situation that the Danish ambassador describes in his letter:

it is their duty to provide the pregnant woman with the best possible basis for her to make her own decision about her pregnancy.”

When a Danish woman first sees a medical professional about her pregnancy, screening for Down syndrome is automatically scheduled. If the baby is diagnosed with Down syndrome, abortion is the norm. “It felt like we were not allowed to keep the baby [...] as if everything was mapped out.”, this Danish family describes in this short video.

Children with Down syndrome are treated as a financial burden that can be easily eradicated through prenatal screening. This was made painfully obvious by official government documents on cost savings per aborted child. The clip was taken from a 2-part tv-series 'Dead over Downs' that revealed how women are categorically misinformed and coerced towards abortion. The series was removed YouTube shortly after publication. Perhaps someone realized how contradictory the reality of Danish screening is to their official statement on screening and abortion.

Free to abort, social duty to birth a ‘perfect’ child

Down syndrome, and undoubtedly more differences in the human species in the near future, is singled out by the Danish government for prenatal selection. Under the guise of reproductive autonomy of course!

While other minority groups are shielded from having their ‘value’ expressed in money (because it is utterly unethical!), when it comes to Down syndrome all rules are ‘disabled’. Because Down syndrome has been singled out as a choice that can be 'prevented' by abortion, it is has lead to the current mentality where parents of children with Down syndrome are increasingly seen as irresponsible and anti-social. So while Danish women are free to abort, practically they have a moral and social duty to birth a 'healthy' child.

The Danish government meanwhile, hides behind 'choice' and 'women's autonomy'. Because it is not a new concept that propaganda works best when those who are being manipulated are confident they are acting on their own free will.

'We have Downs. Meet us while we're still around.'

These are just a few recent Danish media headlines: “If we opt out those who are sick in advance, we can accommodate and care for the others”, “It's a good thing that less children with Down syndrome are being born”, “In 30 years Down syndrome will be eradicated”, “I wouldn't choose to have a child with Down syndrome, it is not a worthy life”.

Imagine. As the last group of people with Down syndrome allowed to be born bounces trough life, they are aware the public and media calls their existence 'unwanted'. They have to live in a reality that government fails to protect them from stigma and from being wiped out, despite International conventions that are drafted to prevent this from happening. Again. In their own words: 'We have Downs. Meet us while we're still around.'

Ambassador and all members of the committee on the eight, you owe them at least that: to ‘meet’ the group that is disappearing as a result of governmental policies. Please watch these videos.....they are a testimony to the unjustice happening against this group. The future depends on what you do today.

“If we opt out those who are sick in advance, we can accommodate and care for the others”

“It's a good thing that less children with Down syndrome are being born”

“In 30 years Down syndrome will be eradicated”

“I wouldn't choose to have a child with Down syndrome, it is not a worthy life”

“Opinion poll: 7 out of 10 people think that Downs children do not live a worthy life”

Renate Lindeman is the mother of two daughters with Down syndrome. She is also a spokesperson for Saving Downsyndrome and Downpride and the StopDiscriminatingDown Campaign

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