First Iceland. Where Next?
By Laura Kizior
Down syndrome in Iceland is almost unheard of.
Did doctors find a cure? Have researchers discovered treatment options? No. The reason there are almost no people living in Iceland with Down syndrome is because they have been killed through abortion.
The news only gets worse. Iceland’s destructive attitude toward people with disabilities is happening all over the world.
France already aborts 96 percent of babies suspected to have Down syndrome. The United States is not far behind. Estimates of abortion for American babies suspected to have Down syndrome range from 61 to 93 percent. According to Live Action, Denmark has plans to have no more babies born with Down syndrome by 2030. Presumably, Denmark hopes to abort all children prenatally diagnosed with Down syndrome.
Like a frog being slowly boiled to death in a pot of water, our society is being conditioned to see people with disabilities as a drain on public resources. As the culture of death takes its hold on society, parents who receive a Down syndrome diagnosis from their prenatal test will increasingly choose abortion unless they are shown the beauty and dignity of every human being and come to understand how a child with Down syndrome will positively impact their lives in ways that they cannot possibly imagine.
The culture of death makes it sound like aborting a child with Down syndrome is an act for the common good. The question really is: What are we losing? Through abortion, we lose a unique, unrepeatable gift from our Creator. We can’t possibly measure the loss of joy, happiness, and opportunities to grow in charity and virtue that come with each human being, regardless of his abilities.
What can you do?
We can stop this dangerous attitude if we educate those around us with our words and actions. Volunteer with organizations that provide programming for people with disabilities. Support families you know who have a child with disabilities. Pray for the protection of people with developmental and physical disabilities. Take every opportunity to show your children or students that people with Down syndrome (or any disability) are gifts to the world.
With elementary school children, read picture books about Down syndrome. Discuss how every person is a unique and unrepeatable gift from God. As students learn in Life Is Precious, no two people are exactly alike. People come in all shapes and sizes with many different talents and abilities.
Students in middle school will enjoy learning about Dr. Jérôme Lejeune, the French geneticist who discovered the cause of Down syndrome. Share real-life stories of people with Down syndrome or other genetic conditions.
High school students will enjoy the film Where Hope Grows,* the story of an unlikely friendship between a man named Calvin and a young grocery store employee with Down syndrome nicknamed Produce. Even though Produce has a disability, he doesn’t allow it to define him. Produce teaches Calvin about the meaning of friendship, family, and sacrifice. Where Hope Grows is a powerful story of friendship and the beauty of every person’s life.
Our society wants students to believe that differently-abled people do not contribute to society. It is our job to make sure that students understand the truth that people with Down syndrome are special gifts to our world. Unless we start educating kids today about the sacredness and beauty of every human being’s life, our society will continue down the path that Iceland has chosen—toward the culture of death. If we don’t want America to become like Iceland tomorrow, we need to build a culture of life today!
Laura Kizior is a content developer for American Life League’s Culture of Life Studies Program, which stresses the culture of life as an integral part of every academic discipline. CLSP is dedicated to helping students become effective communicators of the pro-life message. Sign up for our e-mail newsletter to see how we can help you foster a culture of life at home and in school.
*In addition to brief mild language and numerous drinking scenes in Where Hope Grows, the main character’s daughter puts herself in sexual situations with her boyfriend, leading up to an attempted rape at the climax of the film. Because of these themes, Where Hope Grows is best enjoyed by families with older teens.