The world is facing the loss of an entire group of people who are known for their joy, love and laughter. Today, March 21st,
marks World Down Syndrome Day, celebrating the inherent value and
abilities of individuals with Down syndrome (DS). Established by the
United Nations in 2011, World Down Syndrome Day is celebrated in
countries across the globe to raise awareness of what Down syndrome is,
what it means for those who are diagnosed with it, and the important
role individuals with DS play in their communities.
awareness is critical in the face of skyrocketing rates of abortion for
unborn babies given a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome. Countries
across the world report rates of abortion for babies diagnosed with DS
are as high as 90% and 94%, and recently reported, a shocking 100% in
Iceland. Denmark is projected to also have a rate of 100% by 2030.
"Legal abortion is leading us to a "Down's Syndrome-free" world. I can
barely type the words." laments Anne Trainor in an Irish newspaper
to Ireland's Citizens Assembly which is considering changes in current
Irish law against abortion, Prof Peter McParland, the director of Foetal
Maternal Medicine at the National Maternity Hospital, Dublin, spoke of
the risks associated with the new prenatal testing that can detect Down
syndrome with greater accuracy. "Down syndrome is not lethal or fatal,
but women are choosing to have the test," said McParland
, explaining they then feel the push to abort. "The science has got way ahead of the ethical discussion."
The world celebrates the lives of those with DS today with a variety of actions including the
release of a humorous video - NOT SPECIAL NEEDS-
which a number of young DS adults challenge the expression that a
person with DS has 'special needs' while demonstrating that they just
have human needs same as anyone else. Individuals, schools and
communities around the world are wearing crazy and/or unmatched socks
today in support of the uniqueness those with Down Syndrome. #WDSD17 is
filled with expressions of support:
of persons with Down syndrome continue to lobby state and national
governments, as well as the United Nations, to raise awareness of the
value and joy each child with Down syndrome brings to his or her family
and community. The parents of Chloe Kondrich, the namesake of
Pennsylvania's "Chloe's Law" requiring information on services for
parents receiving a prenatal DS diagnosis, recently spoke at a UN panel
Chloe's father Kurt recounted the callous demeanor of the doctors who
suggested they abort her. "They told us our daughter would be a burden.
But they never told us how happy we would be raising our beautiful
girl," he told the overflowing crowd.
Day Syndrome Day brings focus to the many contributions and abilities
of persons with Down syndrome around the world. They are sons and
daughters, brothers and sisters, friends, students and employees. They
, compete in sports, and report the weather
They are citizens of this world the same as everyone else and deserve
laws that protect their inherent right to be born into it.