News from Europe

Babies with Down syndrome are being denied the right to be born in Denmark

Prenatal testing for Down syndrome has led most women in Denmark to kill their children via abortion once diagnosed. The number of children born with Down syndrome in the northern European country plummeted to eighteen last year. Michelle Sie Whitten, president and CEO of Global Down Syndrome Foundation, said the problem isn't the free tests; instead, it's a "worldwide mindset that treats people as animals to be improved by breeding and culling."


“The U.S. was the stomping grounds of early eugenics,” she told The Christian Post. “This was where a lot of the big eugenic movement happened. A lot of people don’t know about that past. It’s a little bit like the Holocaust. But if you don’t bring it up, it will happen again.”

In the early 1900s, over two dozen U.S. states passed sterilisation laws as part of the eugenics movement. Sterilisations were forced on the disabled, the mentally ill, the poor and people of colour, among others. 

Today in Denmark, the government offers healthcare for children with Down syndrome and is not overtly hostile to those with a disability. But after the country began offering free prenatal testing to all women in 2004, the rate of children born with Down syndrome has continued to drop to new lows. 

Whitten herself gave birth to a child with trisomy. “I must have had five doctors who said ‘you should terminate,’” Whitten said. “I was at thirty weeks. ‘Oh, but it’s Downs,’ they’d say. These clinicians are good people. They’re uneducated. They’re unaware. They just don’t know any better. It’s our job to educate them.”


Leave a reply