The Country Where Children with Down Syndrome Are Disappearing

Joe Carter | August 16, 2017

The Story: According to new report by CBS News, few countries have come as close to eradicating Down syndrome births as Iceland.

The Background: Since prenatal screening tests were introduced in Iceland in the early 2000s, the vast majority of women—nearly 100 percent—who received a positive test for Down syndrome terminated their pregnancy, CBS News notes. Currently in Iceland, only about two children per year are born with Down syndrome.

“My understanding is that we have basically eradicated, almost, Down syndrome from our society—that there is hardly ever a child with Down syndrome in Iceland anymore,” says Kari Stefansson, a geneticist and founder of a company that has studied nearly the entire Icelandic population’s genomes.

A reporter from CBS asked Stefansson, “What does the 100 percent termination rate, you think, reflect about Icelandic society?” He replied, “It reflects a relatively heavy-handed genetic counseling. And I don't think that heavy-handed genetic counseling is desirable. . . . You’re having impact on decisions that are not medical, in a way.”

(The 10-minute video report is worth watching it its entirety for it provides a pro-dignity and pro-life viewpoint not often presented by mainstream media sources.)

What It Means: Before we examine…

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