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If you were on Twitter or Facebook yesterday you might have seen it: a video of 50 moms, each with their Down syndrome child, signing and singing to Christina Perri’s song “A Thousand Years.” The video was released in celebration of World Down Syndrome Day, a United Nations-recognized global campaign to raise awareness of those born with an extra 21st chromosome.
The video is a moving, joyful, beautiful, tear-jerking celebration of the full lives those with Down syndrome, and those around them live, and, whether it intends to be or not, a stirring argument for the pro-life cause. It’s impossible to see the joy of these 50 children without realizing that according to some research, two-thirds of these children would be aborted by American women if they’d known they had Down syndrome. In a recent editorial for The Washington Post, Ruth Marcus outlines the mental and physical difficulties Down syndrome children face and concludes “I’m going to be blunt here: That was not the child I wanted. That was not the choice I would have made. You can call me selfish, or worse, but I am in good company.”
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Being in good company, though, hardly makes a eugenics-driven, value-based approach to life acceptable. Prior to World War II genetically preferring some life over others was in vogue, until Nazism revealed that trend for what it was: pure evil. It’s difficult to watch those 50 moms and kids singing and not realize that Down syndrome-targeted abortions are a form of genocide. Some states do see it this way, with North Dakota, Ohio, Indiana, and Louisiana all banning abortion after a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome. While abortion is horrible in-and-of-itself, the national conversation regarding Down syndrome and abortion is in a category all its own.
In a response to Marcus’s editorial...
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To despair is to turn your back on God, you can never despair.