In celebration of World Down Syndrome Day, the French organization CoorDown created a television advertisement targeted at women whose unborn children have been diagnosed with Down syndrome. In the video, smiling children and adults with the genetic disorder talk about how they lead happy and fulfilling lives:
Why ban such a heartwarming video? Apparently, showing that children with Down syndrome can live happy lives–and that moms pregnant with Down syndrome children have a choice other than abortion–might “disturb the conscience of women who had lawfully made different personal life choices.”
In plain English? The ad might cause feelings of guilt in people who chose to abort their babies.
Rather than allow that, the Council apparently concluded that it is better to stop any attempts to show the humanity of people with mental disabilities. In France, you cannot air this video on television. You cannot show the smiling faces of children and young adults with Down syndrome. You cannot reassure a pregnant mother that her Down syndrome child is just as precious as any other human life.
The view, horrific though it may be, that children with Down syndrome are less than human appears to be somewhat prevalent in France. Parents who chose not to abort their child reported facing discrimination and condescension from their physicians. Even more shocking, one study found that “in some instances parents or professionals feel justified on one hand in not providing DS children with the necessary care and on the other hand to transfer their responsibilities to the public health system.”
According to reports, France terminates about 96% of fetuses with Down syndrome before birth. This is, of course, the necessary result of providing government approval of abortion. The French decision gives the lie to the term “pro-choice”: abortion activists care less about “allowing women to choose” than they care about eliminating any disapproval that people may feel regarding the cruel destruction of a human soul. Their consciences must not be disturbed by allowing anyone to insinuate that killing a fetus might be morally wrong.
There is a word for France’s decision, which promotes the acceptance of abortion by forcibly dehumanizing individuals with Down syndrome. It’s a word that we often try to ignore, and even sometimes deny the existence of: evil.
Pray that we in the United States do not go the way of France.