Today is World Down Syndrome Day, bringing awareness to the 1 in every 700 people around the world with Down syndrome.

Down syndrome, also known as Trisomy 21, is caused by a failure of the 21st chromosome to separate during egg or sperm development. As a result, a sperm or egg cell is produced with an extra copy of chromosome 21. The day and the month of World Down Syndrome Day were chosen to correspond with 21 and trisomy.

I am sure everyone knows someone with Down syndrome or DS, whether it be a family member, a friend, or a classmate. One thing that I have found in every person I have met with DS, is that they are happy. They love life. They are always optimistic. I am sure many people try to avoid them because they look and act differently. Instead of avoiding them, I encourage you to get to know them. Five minutes with them will not only make their day, but make your day as well.

I came across an article a while back that shocked me. It stated that since 2008, there have been no children born with Down Syndrome in Iceland. At first, it made me think, “maybe they found a way to prevent the chromosomal changes.” Sadly, the truth is much more grim. The way the Icelandic government achieved this result is that every child prenatally diagnosed with Down Syndrome for the past decade has been aborted – on purpose.

In addition to Iceland’s 100% DS abortion rate, Great Britain has a 90% DS abortion rate, and Denmark has a 98% DS abortion rate. All three of these countries have a national healthcare system. As blogger Jenny Rapson puts it,

“Basically, all these governments have decided that children with Down Syndrome cost too much. Their lives drain government coffers and surely can’t be worth as much as they cost the public.”

These governments are killing off all of the children with DS. If this is not genocide, I do not know what is.

This is not just happening in Europe, the United States is guilty of this as well. A 1999 European study reported that 90% – 92% of children prenatally diagnosed with DS in the United States were aborted. A more recent study in 2012 by the University of South Carolina shows that the percentage in the U.S. has dropped a bit, with an approximate 67% – 85% DS abortion rate. While it is good news that it has dropped, it is still a high percentage.

The ideology of killing off those with DS is a direct result of the application of Social Darwinism and Eugenics. It is the same belief that Hitler subscribed to, as well as other white supremacists. It is also the same belief that Margaret Sanger started Planned Parenthood for: eradicating those she deemed unfit for society such as blacks, the mentally disabled, and the poor.

Planned Parenthood still carries out these racist and eugenic beliefs today by placing the majority of their abortion facilities in black and minority neighborhoods, happily accepting donations to help black abortions, and aborting children simply because of mental or physical disabilities. It is simply modern-day eugenics explained away as women’s rights. But that is a topic for another article.

I urge you, if you have friends, family, or classmates with Down Syndrome, to spend some time with them, love on them, give them a hug, or tell them you love them.

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Nick is a former pro-life campus leader with a passion for truth. Influenced by his faith, science, and human rights advocates of the past, he speaks out as a voice for the voiceless.

The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Human Defense Initiative.