The Truth Behind Iceland's 'Cure' for Down's Syndrome and What it Means for the UK

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31st Aug 2017
Rachael Adams

The sad truth that nearly all unborn children who have been diagnosed with having Down Syndrome are aborted in Iceland hit the news this past week. 

Iceland is close to becoming the first country where no-one gives birth to a child with Down's Syndrome. Pre-natal tests were introduced in the early 2000s, and the vast majority who receive a positive test have terminated their pregnancy. While the tests are optional, all expectant mothers are informed about their availability, and up to 85 per cent choose to take it.

The UK government has now approved pre-natal testing and it will soon be rolled out on the NHS. 

CARE's Chief Executive spoke to the Catholic Universe about this issue, you can read Nola's comments below:

“These statistics offer a stark warning to the UK on what happens when prenatal tests are approved, but education and attitudes to parenting a child with a disability remain a hidden or taboo subject.”

“Deciding what sort of lives are worth living bring us uncomfortably close to the area of eugenics. When you begin to eliminate a whole group, such as the Down’s community, from society a disconcerting precedent begins to emerge that it’s less acceptable to raise a child with Down’s syndrome.”

“There are far too many stories of pregnant mothers who are told that their unborn child has a disability in such a negative manner that they feel pressured into having an abortion out of fear.”

“There seems to be an inherent bias against unborn children who are diagnosed in the womb as having a disability; it is completely legal in the UK to abort them right up until birth.”

“We need to stop viewing disability through such a negative lens. When we stop viewing groups by focusing intently on supposed limitations, we are able to embrace the potential and richness that these groups bring to our society.”

 

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To read more about CARE's latest work on the issue of abortion please click here

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