Sunday, January 7, 2018


Many families in the [Down syndrome] community are concerned about recent reports from Iceland that the genetic disorder has come close to being eradicated there through prenatal testing and pregnancy termination, says Heather Sachs. She's the policy and advocacy director for the National Down Syndrome Congress, and the mother of a 12-year-old girl with Down syndrome.

"It hurts, especially when you have family members with Down syndrome who are very much integral parts of their families," Sachs says.
Down Syndrome Families Divided Over Abortion Ban
One of the things that I've noticed about broader American culture is the habit, although maybe "tendency" is a better word, to see rejection when other people make different choices. If people in Iceland have determined that Down Syndrome is something that they'd rather not deal with, I'm not sure how being hurt by that makes any sense. I understand that for people in the United States who have children with Down Syndrome, it feels as if Icelanders are saying that those children aren't valuable, but what they're really saying is that they have a different set of priorities, and that they would rather devote their resources to something else.

I think that part of it comes down to the outsourcing of choices, in a way that leads people to see whatever path they've chosen as not simply the correct one for them, but the Right Thing To Do overall. And I suspect that this makes challenges to that feel more personal than perhaps they would, otherwise.

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