This year, the theme is “’My Friends, My Community’ – The benefits of inclusive environments for today’s children and tomorrow’s adults.” Highlighting the many ways in which people with Down syndrome are included in society is a noble goal – one which should naturally encompass the inclusion of unborn babies who are prenatally diagnosed with Down syndrome and who have all too often become vulnerable to abortion.
Today is a very special day for all those living with Down syndrome and for all those who love them. Today is a day to celebrate the special gifts those living with Down syndrome bring to our human family. It is also a day to celebrate the progress made from a time when those living with Down syndrome were shunned, feared, and most often hidden away in bleak and often squalid institutions. So much has changed for the better, but there are still many challenges to overcome.
On May 6, the Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI) is co-hosting a free screening of the new documentary film about Jerome Lejeune entitled To the Least of My Brothers and Sisters. The screening is open to the public and takes place next Wednesday in Washington, D.C.
In 1958, Lejeune discovered that Down syndrome was caused by an extra copy of the 21st chromosome. Lejeune was hailed as “The Father of Modern Genetics” for that discovery, which radically changed the course of modern medicine.
How many babies prenatally diagnosed with Down syndrome (DS) are aborted in the United States each year? Well, we don’t know. While new data suggesting lower numbers has recently been published, we continue to see most often in print a statistics of 90% – 92%. While that certainly draws attention to the horrifying reality that the majority of children prenatally diagnosed with DS are aborted, it is not accurate. That number relies on a 1999 European study with little data drawn from the U.S. There are good reasons for advocates to use the best data available to raise awareness of the problem that exists in the link between prenatal diagnosis and abortion.