By Kurt Kondrich
[Twelve]-year-old Alice Saunders was recently denied a plane ticket by British Airways staff because she has Down syndrome. Alice’s mother Heather Saunders had phoned the airline to book a flight for her daughter who is very independent, attends a mainstream school, reads as well as an average 12-year-old, and regularly goes away with church groups. The airline customer service agent told Heather, “Our policy says we don’t take children with Down’s syndrome.” Heather asked the service agent what the airline position would be if the passenger were a child on the autistic spectrum, and the representative said: “We wouldn’t be able to see that.” An airline spokesman later stated the customer service agent made a mistake and offered Mrs. Saunders two return flight tickets as an apology.
It is not surprising that many in our culture still feel it is acceptable to deny access to people with Down syndrome. Not long ago when a person was born with Down syndrome they were labeled uneducable, a mongoloid and then they were sent to an institution with no access to the outside world. Advances in prenatal testing and a culture of death obsessed with twisted perfection have allowed our world to deny birth access to 90 percent of individuals diagnosed prenatally with Down syndrome. I can’t think of a greater form of prejudice and discrimination than this prenatal genocide of individuals with Down syndrome, and the silence on this issue by national and international organizations who represent people with disabilities is frightening.
Today families, professionals and advocates champion “inclusion” for people with disabilities. I hear this term frequently, and I have embraced it for my beautiful 8-year-old daughter Chloe who just finished a successful 2nd grade year in her neighborhood school with typical peers. Chloe’s “inclusion” has truly brought an incredible amount of Light and Goodness into this misguided society, and I often wonder how people can claim to be champions for disability “inclusion” when they refuse to advocate for the 90 percent of individuals with Down syndrome who are “excluded” from entering this world. Prenatal screening and ultrasounds have enabled us to “see” very early the inside and outside of God’s most beautiful creation—Human Life! Because our culture is working quickly to remove God from all institutions, the results of this modern-day window into the miracle of life [have] been the identifying, targeting and termination of a whole group of unique, beautiful human beings. The rapid advances in technology and genetics will soon open prenatal windows into other unique, priceless members of the human race, and will we use this science to deny access to others deemed imperfect or not worthy to receive entry into our world? Dr. Martin Luther King said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” Who will be the next group to be denied access, and will you remain silent?
Kurt Kondrich is the father of a beautiful daughter who has Down syndrome and who has been a priceless blessing to his family and community. When Kurt became aware of the higher than 90 percent abortion rate for children prenatally diagnosed with Down syndrome, he literally could not sleep at night. In early August 2008, he had a disturbing dream about people with disabilities being exterminated and, after praying, he came up with the name SADSIN (Stop Aborting Down Syndrome Individuals Now) for a web site to defend and protect children with Down syndrome. He has since embarked on a mission to make sure people are aware of this genocide. He wants people to see the beautiful faces of our kids and realize the priceless blessings and gifts they are to a society that has lost focus.
This article has been reprinted with permission of the author and can be found at http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/kondrich/110619.