A Message from The President
The Most Persecuted Among Us
There are many groups that spring to mind when the subject of persecution is discussed. Concerning life issues, there are many being targeted, including the unborn, the elderly, the depressed and the handicapped. But there is one type of people in particular that are being marked for elimination. Indeed, for many in our current world their demise is being celebrated as an achievement. Just now, I am reading a CBS article boasting about improvements in, as they say, the eradication of these people. They herald the particular success Iceland has had in being able to identify this group and thus snuff out their lives. The article further outlines what it perceives as good news that other countries aren’t lagging too far behind in termination rates (again, their words.) It highlights that through screening, the U.S. is able to eliminate 67%, France 77% and Demark 98%.
Who is the group I refer to? It would be those that have Downs Syndrome. In our country as well, there is a large push amongst the medical community to end their lives before they are born. (There is no data provided in Canada, but one can assume if the U.S. has 1 in 691 live births being a child with Downs Syndrome and a 67% abortion rate, then Canada with 1 in 800 live births being a Downs Syndrome baby the abortion percentage of the unborn with Downs Syndrome would be roughly 77%.)
Why is this? It certainly isn’t because those with Downs Syndrome (DS) are advocating their life isn’t worth living. As depicted by Skotko et al in the medical journal, Self-Perceptions from people with Downs syndrome, nearly 99% of people with DS indicated that they were happy with their lives, 97% liked who they are, and 96% liked how they look. Nearly 99% people with DS expressed love for their families, and 97% liked their brothers and sisters.
It isn’t that those who share their lives with those that have DS don’t value them either. In another medical journal authored by Skotko et al, Having a brother or sister with Down syndrome: perspectives from siblings, their data illustrated More than 96% of brothers/sisters stated that they had affection toward their sibling with DS; and 94% of older siblings expressed feelings of pride. Among older siblings, 88% felt that they were better people because of their siblings with DS. The vast majority of brothers and sisters describe their relationship with their sibling with DS as positive and enhancing.
So what has so contorted the view of our society that to have DS is to have a life not worth living? The sad truth is although our culture projects it embraces diversity, reality is very different. Our cultural elites actually only accept those deemed close enough to their values and reject diversity of thought, belief and ability outside of their narrow definition. To them, only those like them have value.
So where does this lead? Unfortunately, in a worse place then we already find ourselves. The targeting of people with DS was the first for the modern day eugenics movement. More and more screening will ensue, and any perceived genetic anomaly can be identified in an unborn child and that life ended.
So what can we do? We need to double down on our message that all life is of great value. We have lost sight that there are more kinds of intelligence than that detected by an IQ test. Those with DS have high levels of emotional intelligence, and it is a skill to be happy and think highly of others. It would be of value to inform those who hold measuring sticks to quantify the worth of others that none achieve the score of perfect, but all bring forth a gift with the potential to make this world a better more joyous place.
Andrew Thomson President Edmonton Prolife